Mind Mapping Software

Anytime I create a new book, blog or curriculum, I use mind mapping software. It is the only way to organize in my opinion.

In my “Blogging for Fun,Leads,and Income” coaching program, I will be teaching my students how to use mind map software to put an order and a process to their blog ideas.

You can share your mind maps to collaborate with others. I also like to use them for training and promotional videos.

There are a ton of programs that do this on the market. I recommend that you find one that is web based. I have been using the web-based MindMeister.com since 2007. They have a free version that allows 3 mind maps. Even the most expensive package is less than $20 a month.

Running, Fishing, Blogging.. Profit from Any Hobby

My favorite question to ask someone is “If money did not matter, what would you be doing with your time?”

The reason I ask this is because I believe you can make money at anything your are passionate about and willing to talk about. Welcome to the power of blogging in 2012. You get to announce to the universe (search engines) each and every day something  on your topic. Your topic is the answer to my question, “what would you be doing with your time?”

Right now, I want you to write down 2-3 activities that you would do with your time. Remember, money is no object.

I will go first…

On this blog, I added the tab called Hobbies (about 90 days ago). For a long time, I traded a lot of time for a little bit of money and I had to make sacrifices. I gave up three things that I really enjoyed:



NBA Basketball

On July 13th 2012, I am launching my 6-week coaching program called “Blogging for Fun, Leads, and Income“. Yes, that’s right – along with helping my students launch their own blogs – I am launching three new ones on the above topics.

Anyone that knows me would add a 4th topic to my list and that would be Real Estate. For the sake of proving my point, that you can make money at anything – I chose 3 industries that I am not actively participating or making money in yet – besides, I already have 100 real estate blogs. Here is my initial blueprint for each of my new (industry) blogs:

Running: Why? In 1993 the fibula was removed my left leg (cancer). Long story-short, I want to run a marathon on a leg without a fibula. I turn 39 this summer – maybe this crazy goal is also part of my midlife crisis? I do enjoy running and it is healthy thing to do at my age. How to Monetize? 2 video blog posts per week on the topic of running. I am willing to sell advertising space on my blog and my body (no tattoos). Yes, I will be looking for sponsorship and the majority of my races will be in Texas. I noticed the Texas Beef Council has a program that will pay entrance fee for all my Texas races if I wear their T-shirt. Breaking even is always a good start to monetizing a hobby.

Fishing: Why? I just love it.  Fishing also brings back great childhood memories that I had on Cedar Creek lake. How to Monetize? Weekly 30-minute video talk show on Justin.TV that archives videos onto my fishing blog. Also, any footage that I can film while fishing will be great content for the blog. I will also partner with advertisers that sell fishing equipment – everything from lures to fishing boats.

NBA Basketball: Why? Call it living vicariously. I had dreams of being an NBA Basketball player. The whole genetics and physical coordination thing ended that goal. Now, I love watching the game – it is fast paced and I love my 3 Texas NBA teams and my newly adopted OKC Team (Kevin Durant is a transplant from University of Texas). How to Monetize? Hmm.. this is a tough one. I am not one of those ESPN addicts that can tell you random statistics of NBA players from their high school days.

I enjoy watching players that play with a lot of heart… Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Derrick Fisher to name a few. Maybe I will tell their stories of struggle to triumph and relate it to a bigger audience (everyday people). I can monetize on clothing sales from an affiliate program with NBA store. I found an eBook on ClickBank that could also be a digital product that I sell.

I would also like to announce to the universe (Google alerts) that I am a big fan of “Mark Cuban” and would enjoy the opportunity to interview him on the blog. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a star on my favorite T.V. show called “Shark Tank”.

Mark, when your marketing team stumbles across this post from my strategically placed keywords/tags of “Mark Cuban” or “owner of Dallas Mavericks” I hope that they will forward this one to you. I am a long-time fan of the Dallas Mavericks going back to the mid-80’s. Your decision to banish Lamar earlier this year was a good one and I like the statement this made for the league.

Blog Coaching: This starts on July 13th, 2012. As you can see I practice what I preach. Here are 3 topics and industries that I am not in. By the end of the summer, I will be making money in all of them. You can do the same and I will show you how. I am only allowing 25 students to this 6-week group coaching on “Blogging for Fun, Leads, and Income“. <==learn more





Zero-Overhead Business – Part II

Some may refer to selling advertising as selling out. Here is a factoid for you. Eventually, everyone clicks off of your website. Maybe they are clicking off your website so they can visit your storefront in person. Sometime they click off your website and never return. Either way, you should get paid on that next click.

Professional sports teams, movies, and radio shows plug advertising to offset the cost of running a business. For some reason, this concept is foreign to most small business owners.

Brainstorm on businesses that may compliment your business. For example, if you are a real estate agent you may list credit repair companies, mortgage companies, home insurance companies, and neighborhood utility companies. A small car dealer may have a blog that could display complimentary advertising space for tire companies, oil change services, and car accessories.

When you bring passion to your online content, you are getting the attention of the search engines. The traffic is visiting your site may not be interested in your primary offering. There are several companies that match advertisers with affiliates.

Learn how to monetize your website from my new book. Free Download.

Zero-Overhead Business Part I

Every time I drive by a business, I wonder how they are making it in a slow economy. Building leases are expensive. Add in the cost of billboards, direct mail and all of a sudden you have a lot of hamburgers or haircuts to sell just to pay for your expenses.

Follow too many Internet gurus and you can get lost trying to implement too many strategies at one time. Google pluses. Social media and online marketing is overwhelming for most small business owners. How do you avoid being demolished by the giant franchises of your industry?

There is hope, assuming that you still have some of that passion that spurred you to open your own business in the first place. Just remember that as long as you have a unique value proposition – there is no competition.

Controlling Expenses

Whatever the business, you need to first focus on minimizing expenses. Hold every expense accountable.

Can you actually measure the benefit of a billboard or a yellow pages ad? If the answer is no, this might be an expense to cut. There are ways to measure effectiveness in advertising. It is called online marketing.

Most internet-based efforts of time and money can be measured. Statistics also show that Internet advertising is your best return on investment.

***This is just an excerpt of my new book. Download a free copy of the full book.

What is Your Superpower?

According to Wikipedia, a superpower is a popular culture term for a fictional superhuman ability.

I disagree with that definition. Superpowers are not fictional. I see superpowers every single day.

Three weeks ago, I met a superpower family. They are a team of 4 loan officers – it is the family business. On their road trip vacation from Dallas, Texas to Destin, Florida they closed a ton of loans. Everyone had a laptop computer open and the SUV became their mobile WIFI office.The ability to have laser focus, the discipline to “get it done” and also know when to stop and have fun is their superpower.

Last Friday, I met with friend from church. He wrote an eBook and created a family counseling system. He calls himself the Debt Doctor. He is a wise old man. His computer reminded me of my first computer in 1985 – It took 10 minutes to turn on. I was amazed at his technical accomplishments without formal training in Internet lead generation. The Debt Doctor is incredibly passionate on helping people and that is his superpower.

I like to partner with people that have superpowers. My superpower is finding ways to market their superpowers online. The Debt Doctor, is Thomas Clifford. We are collaborating on a blog delivery systems for his eBook and I am helping him build a membership website out of the blog.

So what is your superpower?

There is something that you likely do better than anyone else on the planet. Have you found a way to make a living with your superpower?

I am teaching a blogging class that starts on July 13th. I can help you monetize your superpowers. You can reach me at facebook.com/jpohly





Zig Zag to Goal Completion

One of my mentors recently told me that often times goal achievement is the path of a zig zag rather than a straight line. This reminded me of my zig zag to become a trainer, it actually started in early 2008.

In that year, I was a struggling real estate agent. After selling over 200 houses I ran into a slow time in my real estate business. My listings were not selling – my sellers were upside down in their houses. I had to get creative to stay afloat.

Over the years, I had acquired a unique skill set in Internet lead generation. I had a knack for getting to the top of Google and I have always been passionate about teaching.

“Goal Initiation”

In the Spring of 2008 I looked to diversify my income by offering training on Internet lead generation. This was my goal.

I had a major obstacles to delivering the training. I was dead broke and I had already taken a 40-hour per week job at Wal-Mart. Not a great ego builder but I did get to work on the toy isle which my young kids thought was really awesome!

For anyone that knows me, you know that I am a workaholic and 70 hours is normal for me. I continued to press on with my real estate business and 6 remaining over-priced listings in my spare time.

I had also been attending Internet marketing conferences and was a subscriber to Internet marketing newsletters from Stompernet, Terry Dean, Joel Comm and a dozen other names that you probably would not even recognize. I read these newsletters and marketing magazines while I was in the break room at Wal-Mart for 15-minute breaks or lunches.

I came across an Internet marketer by the name of Jimmy Brown and he taught a unique delivery system of training. Rather than coaching calls or webinars, the delivery is one small assignment per week delivered by an email auto-responder. This allowed me to focus on providing the best content while still being the “Wal-Mart” Realtor.

Over the next couple months, I outlined a 52-week course and actually created my first 10 assignments. I got approval to sell it on ClickBank.com (one of the largest networks to sell a digital product). For the promotion of the new training, I circulated promotional videos all over the Internet.

“The Zig”

In the fall of 2008, this video in particular brought me a lot of attention, including a phone call from Keller Williams headquarters.

KWRI offered me a salaried position to join their support team in Austin Texas. It is kind of ironic that the video that was supposed to launch my training program actually brought me a job that would end up delaying my big goals for over 927 days.

Money was still tight and I needed to move 3 hours away from my family for 9 months (my wife still had contract to fulfill as a teacher in Dallas). It was a sacrifice that we decided to make because it was a great opportunity to one day become a trainer. It was Austin or bust!

Reluctantly, I closed my Dallas based real estate business. We had to maintain 2 residences and afford a weekly gasoline expense for my weekend round trips between Dallas and Austin. I closed every website including my ingenious 52-week training class. I was eating tuna fish out of a can for lunch every day for over over 2 years.

At KWRI, I spent three years answering support tickets for real estate agents via email. The best part about that job is it allowed me to still listen to training videos, audio books, and mp3’s of my favorite real estate agents and Internet marketing gurus while I was working.

I am not exaggerating to tell you that I spent over 10,000 hours on the study of real estate and Internet marketing since taking the position in Austin. I was the quiet guy with earphones on my head every single day. I could not let go of my dream.

“The Zag”

For a couple years, I felt like a plastic bag drifting through the wind. I had an insane level of lead generation knowledge but no way to apply it to my job. I was inactive on my real estate license. Could I get any further away from my goals?

In the fall of 2011, I started to hear about a new product line at Keller Williams that would simplify the lives of 70,000 agents. It would reduce duplicate entry of contacts, streamline electronic documents, and have a heavy does of Internet lead generation with a website.

This was the spark that I needed to get off of the sidelines. I reactivated my license and I started attending every closed-door meeting I could on this new product called eEdge.

In 2011, I was promoted to trainer of eEdge. My job was to create documentation in every form.. guides, videos, and even books. The other part of my job was to host daily webinars to teach the agents how to use the technology. The unofficial part of my job was to connect with real estate agents on the social media platforms and be a spokesperson for the brand.

I will never forget MegaCamp 2011. Remember, I am the quite guy with the headphones on for 3 years that patiently waited for an opportunity. Hosting a webinar everyday started to get me out of my shell. Writing a book for Keller Williams that was downloaded 17,000 times started to get my name out there. I walked into this 3-day event for 4,000 agents around the country and I do not think there was ever a minute where an agent was not talking to me or calling my name from across the auditorium.

Over the previous months.. my head shot was on the intro slide of every webinar, my name was on the book, I connected with agents on Facebook but I was never a big name or charismatic character. It was almost embarrassing that agents were surrounding me every where I went. I kept thinking, why are they not talking to the mega producers, executives, department heads at KWRI?

Participating in Toastmasters and some of the Train the Trainer events at Keller Williams helped me on my Zig Zag road to trainer, but nothing helped me more than speaking to groups of 200 to 600 people at the largest training event for the real estate industry called Keller Williams Family Reunion. By this time I had already reactivated my license and started a real estate team producing a high volume of leads. In my mind, this was my graduation from a 4-year college degree in goal completion.

“Goal Completion”

I became a full time real estate agent and trainer just 90 days ago. Looking back on my zig zag journey, I know God had a purpose in it all:

  • Going broke in 2007 helped me walk in the shoes of a struggling agent
  • Sacrificing the 2007 training dream for a better one in the future taught me perseverance.
  • Answering over 10,000 support tickets helped me understand needs of the agents
  • Studying real estate and Internet marketing for 10,000 hours helped me reinvent myself for a new world of real estate.
  •   My 10,000 hours invested also gave me the ability to quickly create content for 2 books, a dozen manuals, 25 videos, and hundreds of webinars for a piece of technology that never existed before.
  • My 4 years at Keller Williams International gave me a platform that launched my training career and real estate career for powering leads to agents all over Texas!

“What’s Next”

Climbing to the top of the peak of this mountain has shown me a new view on life. Now I can see addition mountains and peaks that I want to climb.

In the next 18 months I want to be the top Internet lead generator at Keller Williams Realty. God willing, I will achieve that goal. It is never a straight line and it is never on my time table.

Oh by the way, I found this on my 2008 computer. It is the first assignment of the 52-week program that I never completed. Today, I am the author of 10 books on the topic of Internet lead generation.

Funny to see this one assignment now. Maybe God looked at my big dream of 52-assignments and opened a different door for me because he had something bigger planned!

Are Seminars Dead?

Are seminar dead? I am talking about the “drive somewhere, listen to speakers, and drive back to office” types of events. I can not speak to every industry but I will tell you what I am seeing in real estate.

Agents are notorious for being busy and the cell phone is your life line – that is why many of us refer to it as a “sell” phone. We have very short attention spans and are notorious for multitasking.

I attended a great seminar yesterday on the topic of branding. We had representatives from “non-real estate” industries such as marketing, microchips, vodka, and cheese burgers speak to a group of 150 real estate agents. (I will be posting my “take-away” from this event later this week).

This 1 hour seminar was a huge success and here is why..

  • The event was promoted starting 2 months ago.
  • The event was promoted to the right target audience (Realtors).
  • The delivery of topic matched the advertisement.
  • Each of the 5 speakers was limited to 10 minutes.
  • The speakers were credible on the topic.
  • Food was provided.
  • There was a drawing for a $1,000 notebook computer!

Now take away the food and the notebook computer, add 2 hours to the event and it could have been a very different outcome.

For every seminar that I go to that is a huge success, I also see 4 seminars that go horribly wrong. We do live in a different world today of “too busy”, “too far away”, and “I can learn it myself on the Internet…”

Over the next couple weeks, I will be teaching a new form of hosting a seminar which I expect to replace these traditional seminars. This is a seminar that does not require a computer drawing, free lunch or a training room. This is not a webinar although there are a couple of similarities. Stay tuned for our “future of seminars” discussion!


Sink or Swim, Story of 2 Frogs

Today is the 17th anniversary of a bone marrow transplant from my sister that saved my life. My sister was only 16-years old when she donated her bone marrow. In 1995 she created a poster for me with a picture of a frog leaping out of a bucket of butter with the following poem:

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl;

The one was wise, and a cheery soul.

The other one took a gloomy view

And bade his friend a sad adieu.

Said the other frog with a merry grin,

“I can’t get out, but I won’t give in;

I’ll swim around

till my strength is spent,

Then I will die the more content.

And as he swam,

though ever it seemed,

His struggling began to churn the cream

Until on top of pure butter

he stopped, And out of the bowl

he quickly hopped.

The moral you ask?

Oh, it’s easily found!
If you can’t get out, keep swimming around


*In 2012, we have a sluggish economy and many people are struggling to make ends meet. I urge you to continue to fight the good fight and to press on. You never know what opportunities are just around the corner. Thank you Jennifer Pohly Polito for being my transplant donor and for posting this inspirational poster in my hospital room. -John Pohly

What is Trending in Real Estate?

Real estate agents can help each other on social media and SEO. Visit JohnPohly.com for details on his “Keller Williams Texas Hotspot” group. It is a 3-hour training event followed by weekly follow-up training and focused social collaboration for KW agents in the same geographical area.

You can message John Pohly on Facebook if you would like to join the largest KW Hotspot group for Texas http://www.facebook.com/jpohly

Internet Marketing Tip #2

Like it or not, your ability to market (position) yourself will determine your success and income for your entire life. In 2012, you need to do it online.. Do you own your NAME (domain name)? Is it connected to YOUR BLOG? Does it share YOUR STORY with the world?

Step: 1 Buy Your Name (domain name).

Step #2 Register for Internet Marketing Tips at http://www.johnpohly.com to learn your gameplan for increasing your success and income in 2012.

Internet Marketing Tip #1

You should search engine optimize your name before anything else.