088 - How to Turn Your Passion Into Profit With Jesse Smith

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About Jesse

Jesse is an established dancer, recording artist and entrepreneur. Getting his start in the entertainment world when he moved to L.A. in 2005 as a dancer with McDonald Selznick Associates. There he got an opportunity to work with artists like Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, Mario and more. Since then he has been using his talents to perform and speak all over the world on stages in front of over 100,000 people in his career.
Now Jesse continues to help creatives turn their passion into a thriving business that can make a positive impact on the world through his business My Creative District.
Through My Creative District, Jesse cofounded WorldWide Dance Challenge – An online Dance Show/Competition where they bring dancers from around the world and all different styles to compete head to head live online in front of a live audience for a chance to be named the worlds best.
You can check it out at www.worldwidedancechallenge.com

Resources

FB: https://www.facebook.com/jessepaulsmith/
Instagram: @jessepaulsmith
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessepaulsmith/
Website: https://www.realsecrettosales.com/

Show Notes

Josh Tapp 0:00
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky type podcast. And today we have Jesse Smith with us here on the mic. And Jesse is here to talk with us today about a topic that I'm really excited about. It's how to turn your passion into profit. And this is a topic that you know, a lot of people kind of dance around and they feel like oh, this is something that I should be doing. But what Jesse's talking about, you know, having a dancer background and such a successful dancer background, taking that and becoming successful in the entertainment industry, which is one of the hardest industries to enter into. So Jessie say, what's up to everybody and tell us one thing about yourself that most people won't know.
Jesse Smith 0:36
Well, what's up everybody? Josh, again, thank you for having me on the show. Something that most people wouldn't know about me. Ah, man.
That's a good question.
Most people don't worry. Yeah,
I would say that. Most people don't know that. If I had to be stuck on the planet, and could only eat one meal
hands down it would be pineapple chicken. Oh yeah, I can eat that meal every single day of the week and never get bored I love that
Josh Tapp 1:11
yeah it's funny is when I was in college that was like one of my go to meals really because it was easy yeah man pineapple chicken is just so easy to cook and we had a great recipe for it so I just that was like my daily lunch
Jesse Smith 1:23
I mean it's true if a guy like me can cook it then you know it's easy because it's I can I burn toast so
Josh Tapp 1:30
right but not pineapple chicken right
Jesse Smith 1:32
not pineapple chicken we know how to do that to perfection.
Josh Tapp 1:34
Yeah, that is that is awesome. See That was a good one sometimes asked that question. It's like Yeah, I like to serve people I'm like yeah
Jesse Smith 1:42
original Come on.
Josh Tapp 1:43
Yeah, don't we all I mean, yeah, pineapple chicken. That's That's a good one. That's your creative your creative side coming out of you there but so Jessie, let's let's hop into really the topic while you were here. You know, talking about turning your passions into profit, and I really like the direction that you're going because it's not just Just saying, hey, like you're so passionate about, you know, solving, solving a need for a charity and going creating a charity, you're talking about, hey, you're somebody who's Indian wants to enter the entertainment industry, but you don't know how to monetize your efforts. So, let's talk a little bit about that.
Jesse Smith 2:16
Yeah, you know, I, the, you know, the way that we did this is, is, first I did get really clear on who it was that I wanted to serve. And this gets really scary because sometimes who you really want to serve? Isn't the logical answer. And I talk about that a lot. Because, you know, my background is sales, you know, scaling teams, building business, and for the longest time, because I got out of the entertainment industry in 2014. I was scared to try to serve that market because I, you know, wasn't, you know, like a Matt steffanina, who's, you know, got millions of followers on YouTube and teaching dance class all the time. I had kind of been out of the industry for a while. And so this thought of being able to this thought of being able to be in that industry again was a little daunting. But when you can first ask yourself, who is that I want to serve? And when you actually can figure that out and why you want to serve them, right? Because you need that you need that emotion, energy in motion to push you forward. So why do you want to serve them? When you figure out those two things? The next question you need to say is okay, what are my strengths? And how can I pair that with who I want to serve? You know, for me, is I'm a connector. I love to build businesses, I love to build platforms for other people. And because I knew who I wanted to serve, I knew that it was I wanted to serve dancers. I wanted to build a platform that platform for them, so that they could see interesting ways they could get more exposure and they could actually make money doing what they want. You by getting the right exposure. And and that's really where the worldwide dance challenge rebirth
Josh Tapp 4:06
is awesome. Well, I want to highlight one of the things you talked about because, you know, we talked about this a little bit in the pre interview, right? We're talking about, you know how you found your ideal customer. I think a lot of times, that's one of the things that a lot of people struggle with, because the first two thoughts that I found most entrepreneurs have when they're trying to choose their ideal customer is, who's the person who's most likely to buy this product, right? And then they're also saying, Who is the person that really needs this product? Right. And I think both of those are the exact wrong questions to ask, right? It's Who do you want to be around? Who would you want to spend time with all day every day? Because you're going to be doing that? And it seems like you've really, like you said, entered back into a niche that was truly your passion. They also need it and they'll pay for it. But that wasn't the first question that you answered. So that's really cool. I'm sorry. I
Jesse Smith 4:56
think I yeah, I think just a little bit expound on that. I think I know what that's like. Because being in the sales and leadership development world, I did that, because that's what logically made sense. I knew that the customers that I could serve with that product had money, which I think there's a way to go about that. But again, I find more people that do it that way, end up finding themselves, even with a successful business, burnt out depressed, lost, they might be making millions of dollars, but they are, they're, they're miserable. And you know, and so I think that, you know, this is why it's so important to come first from who I want to serve, understanding what is their biggest need? Where is your strength, and how can you fill that biggest need and if you got, if you can figure that out, then it's it's it's such it's so much more on organic growth model than it is this drudgery of trying to figure out all these questions and when people really struggle to figure out who their ideal customer is. It's because they're really scared to Admit who their ideal customer is.
Josh Tapp 6:02
So expand on that a little bit. I mean, I mean, what's a good example of that? Right? They're scared of who their ideal customer is.
Jesse Smith 6:09
Yeah. So for me, my ideal customer when I was in the sales and leadership development company was somebody that made seven figures. They were, they were, they were they had, they had seven figures in revenue, excuse me. And they were they were struggling to scale because they didn't have proper systems in place for their sales and marketing. Right. And, and so, um, you know, my ideal customer was that person. So I was working with construction company, as I was working with hearing aid franchises. I was working with printing companies, and I didn't really identify with those people because that wasn't what I was really passionate about. I kept trying to tell myself, you know, I just want to help people reach their potential.
That's true, but who do you want to help reach their potential? It's not people.
There is a certain person that you are designed to to to serve in my My philosophy, we are all designed to make an impact. We're all we're all designed to impact somebody, we're just not all designed to impact everybody. And we need to be okay with that. And so when you can when you can move from going from okay? I just want to serve this person because it's going to make this kind of money for me. It's, you're, you're, you're just one step off the track. And so I I went down that road and I ended up burning myself out. And so when I could actually come back and say, okay, who do I want to serve first? And when I can identify who that person is, and understand what is their big need, your your your whole focus changes and then people and we can talk about this more too but you get more people that jump on your on your vision and your team expands and, and you see things happen because the energy around it is different than the street strategy around it from the other side.
Josh Tapp 8:02
But I love that because it's also like what you're talking about is your audience is basically going to reveal to you what they want you to give them. I mean, it's a lot of the the qualms I have with a lot of people as they go out, and they build a business and say who wants it, right? Who wants to buy my crap? And we did that with our marketing agency when we first started, right? So we started a Facebook ads agency and started saying, okay, which business can we provide this for? And your failure after failure to failure, and then it started to take off, but then I woke up, like you said, one day just being like, I really don't like this. It wasn't like, every day for months. Yes. Like, I do not enjoy this. And but when we did it differently, and we said, okay, I started with the podcast started building an audience around that. And it was people that I like to work with, right. So you talk about saying, you know, it's not about just finding somebody who, who is willing to pay you in our case, I was like, I wanna start podcasters I love podcasters some of the best people on the planet right now are a podcaster. So started in that niche and we've been working with content creators is kind of the people that I love to work with. And we didn't initially set out to be selling joint venture partnerships, right. And now that's become our entire business model our courses, everything is around joint venture partnerships, because that's what they want. And that's what they need right now. And so we just provide that service to them. So I love that you brought that up, because that's, I mean, I think that's one of the biggest pieces that a lot of people miss out on when they start a business.
Jesse Smith 9:24
Yeah, 100%. And the reason for that is because it's, it's scary sometimes because like I said, sometimes it doesn't make the most logical sense to you. It's like Facebook, well, everybody needs Facebook ads. So this is going to be so much easier. But when you start niching down, it starts getting really scary. You know, I had all the excuses of dancers are broke. They don't know they don't have a ton of money, this type of thing. And it's interesting when you really focus on serving the right person and you can put all your passion, your focus your energy into that. It's amazing how the Money shows up. Because you just don't you don't know. Until you could take your first step.
Josh Tapp 10:07
Yeah. Well, and yeah, we could talk on this all day. I love this topic. Because what's really interesting is there's a lot of people who they don't think people even consciously do this. But they basically say, this is how much I want to charge. And this is the product I want to offer. Oh, but dancers can't afford that. Right. But I know I work with a lot of people. We're trying to like sell things for $5,000 right now, and they haven't even made a sale. And I might start by selling something for $10. If you can sell it at $10, you can sell it at 20. And then you can sell 30 all the way up to $5,000. Right? It's just really, really interesting when you you break it down that way.
Jesse Smith 10:42
And here's the thing that I have, and this is coming from a guy who doesn't mind you. I've been in sales for 20 plus years. And one of the most valuable lessons that I learned is serve before you sell. Right? Serve before you sell. Don't even worry about charging it go give it away. Go do something. What we're doing right now. The world By dance challenge, we're not charging dancers to come on our show where people are like, well, you should charge them this, you should charge them that you're giving them exposure, you're getting them streamed in 65 different countries like, this is what you should do. No, we need to serve first, when you serve first, like you said, you could try to sell that $5,000 course. And you may may get five people to buy it if you're lucky, right?
Josh Tapp 11:22
Yeah. And if you're really good,
Jesse Smith 11:24
and if you're really good, right, and but if you show up and serve, your revenue is going to go through the roof. And And not only is your revenue, talk about joint ventures, I mean, people need to see the vision, right? If you're gonna have somebody that's gonna, that's gonna want to do some sort of venture joint venture partnership, they need to see the vision, well, you need to be able to have a vision. And the vision can't be I'm going to sell this product, right? In a domain. So you really got that serve before you sell is so critical.
Josh Tapp 11:55
I love that. And the thing is, everybody feels like Oh, if I do that, I'm giving away My best stuff. But the reality is, if you'll do that a year, you're giving away your best stuff. But 90% of time people won't do it unless you actually help them with it. Right? I mean, people will not become successful on their own. They've proved that over and over and over and over again. So it's your job to give them everything that it takes to win, right? And whatever industry you're in. Yeah, if you're in the dancing sector, right, like, if you're trying to give them exposure, do it for free. Just see what happens. You can make money later, right? Yep. Yep. So I do want to ask you a very specific question. Now, as we're coming up to the interview already. I love that we spent a lot of time on that. Because that's, I think one of the biggest problems that a lot of people are having, even when they've scaled to a million dollars, they're still struggling with well, who's my customer? Who do I want to work with? Right, and they're trying to hit too many markets, but get focused on that. But, you know, a specific question for you, Jesse, especially because this is really what your expertise is, is how are you helping people? What's the exact method that you use to help people to take their passion and turn it into a profit?
Jesse Smith 12:58
Well, I think first of all, you You'd have to help them really understand what their passion is. That word is really kind of thrown around really loosely. Right? Oh, this is my passion. This is my passion. Listen If you don't, one of the one of the best examples of passion that I ever have been able to hear or identify with was out of one of my favorite movies Sister Act Two. And you know, Whoopi Goldberg is talking to Lauren Hill's character, and they're wrestling about whether or not Lauren hills character should be a singer or not. And he's like, Listen, if you go to sleep, if you wake up in the morning, and you're singing, all throughout your day, you're walking around and you are singing and when you go to bed, all you can do is think about singing. You were you were born to be a singer. And and that's the thing is like, when when you've got something that's constantly occupying your mind, then then that that's that's it and and it's sometimes it's scary sometimes it doesn't make sense. And and you can't find all the logic behind it. But when you can again, understand first of all, what does my What is my passion and then who does my passion serve? And again, you join those two things. Who do I want to serve? How does my passion serve? You combine those things together. That is the formula to beginning to turn your passion into profit. Because as we talked about serve before you sell when you sell when you serve Well, the sales come naturally. That is awesome.
Josh Tapp 14:37
Yeah, I absolutely love that because there's, you know, we've we've kind of hashed that a little bit with like, you know, being served before you sell, right? But I think more than anything, you know, one of my big qualms that I have with people is they're like, you've got to wake up, if it wakes you up in the morning and you're just ready to go every day. I still believe that's bull. Because even if you're passionate about it, you're gonna wake up some days and not be excited about what you're doing, right? Because it's work, whether it's fun or not, it's work right? I generally enjoy this, but there's still days I wake up where I'm like, you know, I would rather just not work today. But the value of that though, is that it's something you always come back to. And I love that explanation. Like you said, you know, it's the first thing on your mind when you wake up every day and it's on your mind as you're going to sleep. And that's that's a really cool explanation. So for somebody who's in the entertainment industry, right they're trying to enter in as either a singer or a dancer or you know, some sort of talent you're where should they be starting because a lot of them are trying to monetize the old way right trying to get or they caught discovered right? by somebody so what's what's the major difference that you believe in and Tim ministry that way? You know,
Jesse Smith 15:44
the thing that I I can't stress enough is that if you're a creative, you need to stop looking at yourself. If you're a dancer, you're a singer, you're you're an artist, whatever the deal is, you need to look at yourself as an entrepreneur. Because when you do That you treat your whole approach differently. When I looked at myself as a dancer, all I did was dance. And then I just was victim to well dancers go down this road. But when I started to realize that I'm an entrepreneur, now all of a sudden I was I needed to learn how to run a business. I needed to learn how to market myself, I needed to understand when one when one person says no, how do I get around that? No, to create my own? Yes. And so I think one of the things that I'm constantly telling creatives is what are you learning around business that can get you one step closer to creating your own? Yes, we are waiting for other people to tell us Yes, I went to 100 auditions after I got signed with McDonald's sales associates and moved out to California in 2005. I got told no 100 times before I got my first Yes. But I was so busy being subjected to everyone else's Yes. I didn't realize I could create my own. And when you understand that you're an entrepreneur, now you can understand I now can create my own Yes. But you have to understand that you're not just an artist, you're an entrepreneur. I
Josh Tapp 17:18
love that. And and I think you're really hitting on a point that I mean, our audience understands as entrepreneurs, maybe right, but a lot of people don't realize that entrepreneurship doesn't mean you start a business, right? It's being creative. It's being resourceful. And, you know, what you're talking about is saying, hey, treat it as a business, treat yourself as a brand or as a business, everything will change. And in today's environment, you really don't need to be discovered anymore. You know, we have a lot of authors that will come to us and say, Hey, like, I want to build a mastermind or sell my book or what have you, and I want to become a best seller and it's like, Okay, why? Why do you want to be a best seller? Right? And that's a lot of people's like, Oh, I want to get a record label or what have you, you know, and all those things, but And that will obviously get you money. Being a bestseller in a book really, honestly doesn't make you anything but, but like a lot of these, you know, content when you're creating content in general, it has to do with, you know, you actually branding yourself and creating a business around it yourself. Because I've seen people make millions of dollars selling one book where other people who've sold 20 million copies of their book have never made a million dollars off their book. Right. And that's the sad truth about you know, even anything in the entertainment industry, same thing you said, you know, going to 100 people and getting nose. But you know, the cool part about it for you is you kept pushing through the 100 and got out the other end with it with a yes. So I do I appreciate that. And I think a lot of our listeners will appreciate that about you as far as you know, your you've taken and gone from entertainment to entrepreneurship and then merge them together. And that's just such a really awesome thing. So Jesse, you know, we've come to the end of the interview here, but could you give us one final parting piece of guidance if there was only one thing that you want our listeners To remember from this, what would that be?
Jesse Smith 19:02
Well, for those that are looking for tactics, it's going to be a little woowoo for you. But I'm going to tell you this first and foremost, and this is the core of my philosophy. You need to remember that when every day that you get up, whether you performed well yesterday, performed well all month, or you have been struggling. Remember that your value doesn't come from what you do. Your value comes from who you are, we are human beings, not human doings. So if you failed yesterday, does not decrease your value. And why that's important is because that means that just because you failed yesterday, doesn't mean that you no longer have something of value to offer today. And if you can get up every single day realizing that yes, we do want to perform better, we want to become better versions of ourselves every single day. JOHN Maxwell says, I'm not looking to accomplish a goal. I'm looking to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday. But when we realize that that doesn't give us value. As a human being, and that you can operate knowing that regardless of what's in your past, regardless of what you've done, you're valuable today because of who you are. That gives you that sets you up for success. So remember, your value comes from who you are not what you do.
Josh Tapp 20:14
So that was awesome. I think that was more tactical than you think. We are human beings not human doings that I'm gonna put that on my wall. That's awesome. Blah. Well, Jesse, thank you so much for coming on the show. Is there somewhere that people can connect with you or go visit your site or what have you?
Jesse Smith 20:30
Yeah, I mean, you can Jesse Paul Smith is because there's a million Jesse Smith's out there. Jesse Paul Smith is what you can find me on all the social media handles but really if you want to find out what we're doing, and really see the magic behind what has been created with my team and I you can check out worldwide dance challenge calm and see the magic behind the show. She see the stories of the dancers, and supporting them is really what this is about.
Josh Tapp 20:55
That is awesome. So go check all those out. So it's Jesse Paul Smith, calm And also worldwide dance challenge comm so make sure you go check those out depending on your interest. But Jesse, thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing your wisdom with us, man. We'll catch you soon.
Unknown Speaker 21:10
It's been a lot of fun. Thank you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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