First off, thank you for taking the time to get involved in this interview for my readers.
We’re met on a few occasions in person now in Bangkok and Singapore and know you’re the real deal and one of the few online guys that truly delivers value. This is so important in this “make money online” space as you know, there are just so many cowboys!
For anyone not familiar with Dirk aka Diggy, he is an internet marketer who has been in the trenches for some years now with search engine optimisation, paid traffic, cryptocurrency and more recently with your own info-products.
This is a reasonably long interview with Dirk as he provides real insight into his journey. I suggest reading until the end as he really does provide some real insights into this lifestyle. So, let’s jump straight into this with my first question.
1. For our readers who may not be familiar with you story, can you give us a brief outline of your background.
Originally from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, from a family with a history of being entrepreneurs, it was pretty sure from an early age that I wouldn’t end up going to college or university after school, but instead get started with work right away.
Suggestions to me have always been around classic trades. “Become an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber… and you’ll always be able to earn a living”.
There’s nothing wrong with any of those professions, but it just wasn’t for me.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be independent and be able to live my life on my own terms, and have the freedom to do what I want, when I want.
I first got introduced to the concept of making money on the internet through Glen Allsopp (who now runs a popular blog Gaps.com) through a mutual friend of ours. Glen showed me how it was possible to earn money online through affiliate marketing and so began a number of years doing SEO with blogging, recommending affiliate products to lead generation for local businesses.
After creating my first online digital product with Glen – an info-product that taught the strategies I’d been using to rank websites and to get local businesses as clients, I was sold on the info-product business model.
I realized that there was money to be made in doing things myself, but there is also a LOT of money to be made teaching other people how to solve a problem or how to get a result.
My journey hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s changed my life and given me the freedom I’ve dreamed of. I want to pay that forward and help others achieve the same, in an easier, faster way than I’ve done it, by sharing my personal blueprint that goes from zero to hero, while avoiding the struggles and failures along the way.
My goal is to help at least 10,000 people create their first info-product and guide them to building a successful business around that.
The best way I can reach this goal of helping so many people, is through the very model that I teach and personally follow, e-Learning.
2. There a number of terms used these days to describe online entrepreneurs, such as digital nomads, solopreneurs, performance marketer – how would you describe yourself?
I don’t place very much value on labels actually. I guess I could be all the above, or none of the above.
What I’m trying to do is live life on my own terms, doing something I’m passionate about, while making an impact to the lives of others.
Ultimately being an entrepreneur is just being an entrepreneur and my job is to provide solutions to people’s problems at a price that is valuable to them while it makes a profit for my business.
The “digital nomad” lifestyle is definitely becoming a trend. More and more people desire to be able to work from anywhere in the world, with just their computers and an internet connection, and it’s completely possible.
I’ve been doing this for the last several years, and it’s fantastic! But it also has disadvantages if you’re looking to build a large business or have any sort of stable base. Constantly traveling and living out of a suitcase does make it hard to keep up a routine, especially if you travel between different time zones.
I’m leaning to a very stretched out version of the digital nomad life, which is still being able to work from different countries, but limit it to 3 or 4 locations maximum, and stay in each place for multiple months. This allows for the existence of a routine with healthy eating, sleep, gym and work.
3. What are your three priorities in life that shape what you do and how you do it?
1 – Be kind to others and make a difference as much as possible
We live in a time where there are more people in the world than ever before, yet people are more disconnected than ever before. People are rude to each other, there is a lot of stress and negativity, and I believe it’s our responsibility to start changing that.
The best way to make change is lead by example. Start with yourself. So that’s what I aim to do in my personal life, but also with the work that I do.
It can be something as simple as leaving a big tip for a waiter, taxi-driver or someone else who is actually very helpful in society but gets severely underpaid.
It can be as simple as leaving an encouraging comment on someone’s post, or replying back to a nasty email in a kind and polite way.
2 – Be honest and ethical
Another trend that seems to be occurring in today’s world is dishonesty and the erosion of ethics and values. So many people are willing to forget about honesty and ethics in order to make a quick buck.
I like money and success, but for me it has to be obtained ethically and honestly, by providing value and solving problems for people.
3 – Make the most of every moment
And number 3, since you asked, is to live every day to the fullest. It’s not always easy to do this, but I aim to live like this. Life is short and you don’t know how much time you have left.
When opportunities present themselves, I like to grab them. Opportunities to learn, travel, meet new people, experience new things…
If you’re lucky, you might have 100 years to live.
Of those 100 years, the first 18 are spent growing up, and the last 30-35 you’ll have less energy and physical health to be able to do the things you want to do.
That leaves you with just 47 years. And of those 47 years, you spend 33% sleeping… so you’ve only got 31,2 years of life to explore this world and really do the things you want to do.
I’m already over 30 years old, so that’s why it’s really important to just maximize every single day and follow your dreams and grab opportunities that may lead you there.
4. What have been your most expensive failures and what did you learn from it?
Good question. I’ve actually created a module inside my online business course Six Figure Inc about this, called “7 Figure Mistakes”.
Once I started making decent money, I got way too comfortable, worked too little and spent too much.
The first 7 figure lesson (as in I left 7 figures on the table by making this mistake) would be complacency. Once I started making decent money, I got way too comfortable, worked too little and spent too much. I thought things would keep going that well forever, and very soon afterwards my business collapsed, and so did the income that came with it.
In hindsight, I should have worked harder once things started going well and milk the business for all it could generate. I should also have been smarter with spending and build up a savings fund and a contingency plan what to do if the business were to fail.
The second 7 figure lesson was not having upsells to my products. Not only did this result in me leaving a ton of money on the table, but I also did a disservice to my customers.
An upsell is basically a better or expanded version of your product. You could compare it to air travel… there is economy (coach), but there is also an option to fly business class, first class or private.
There are a percentage of people who buy economy class who will upgrade to business class. And a percentage of people who fly business class who will want first class. And so on.
There is also a percentage of people who will never fly economy class no matter what.
You can think of upsells as the business class, first class and private jet versions of air travel. A percentage of people who spend $1000 with you will spend $5000. A percentage will spend $20,000 or even possible $50,000 or more. And there are people who will only purchase from you if you have top tier products available.
By not having those upsells, you frustrate a percentage of people and customers who are looking for that expanded, better quality, more expensive version of your product.
Another multi-six figure lesson I had was that I’ve been too trusting of people. I’ve started partnerships on handshakes and believed people at face value. Unfortunately there are many people who exaggerate their stories and flat-out lie.
Sometimes these stories and lies are easy to spot, but when you deal with sociopaths, it can actually be very difficult to figure out the truth because sociopaths are basically automatic liars and they’ve been doing it for so long that they have become incredibly good at it.
Sociopaths will tell you what you want to hear and give you just enough snippets of believability to allow you to give them the benefit of the doubt. And by the time you actually figure out what’s going on, an incredible amount of damage has already been done.
I’ve personally lost out on a large amount of money and had to deal with enormous amounts of problems due to blindly trusting people. So, the lesson here is to never believe anyone at face value and if it comes to something important (like a business deal or partnership), to always verify someone’s claims before working with them.
5. Opinion seems to be polarised with online entrepreneurs saying these days you need a team versus being a one-man army. I know you have had a number of joint ventures in the past but now you have decided to go it alone, to be your one-man army. Is this your preference now and why?
I guess it depends on the kind of business you want to run and the level that you want to run it at. I think it’s entirely possible to make $10,000/mo as a one person online entrepreneur.
If you want to build up a bigger business, you’ll need to have people to help you because you just won’t be able to handle everything on your own.
It’s possible to outsource components of your business, or work with freelancers but it’s also possible to build up a full-time team (either remotely or in a physical office).
I’m currently not a one-man gang but our team is still small and lean under 10 people. As the size of the business grows we’ll likely expand the team.
6. Your latest project is a blueprint for helping people create their first online business in the info product market, called Six Figure Inc. (SFI) I have been through the course and really enjoyed it and got a lot of value from it. You have revamped this recently; can you give us your thinking behind creating this course and how it can help those starting to create their first online business?
Absolutely, and thank you for asking. I’ve shared my journey with online business in response to the first question of this interview, and my personal journey is the reason why Six Figure Inc exists.
I’ve spent 10 years and invested more than six figures into learning how to build profitable, sustainable six figure online businesses, and I want to help other people achieve the same in less time and with less money.
I know what it’s like to struggle, and I know what it’s like to be broke and not have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. It’s a terrible feeling.
Fortunately, it’s possible, thanks to the internet, to start an online business for a very small amount (in fact you could follow the Six Figure Inc training and start a business with just a smartphone, laptop and internet connection) and turn that into a six figure per year full-time income.
I initially created SFI back in 2017, after having achieved 7 figure success online through multiple online businesses in various niches. After creating and launching the first version of SFI (and generating close to six figures with the course), I got involved with another online business in a new niche that over the past 18 months has generated multiple 7 figures in revenue.
Since the first launch of SFI I learned an incredible amount, connected with dozens of very successful people, attended many conferences and masterminds and I decided that the first version of SFI wasn’t quite how I’d like it to be, so I completely redid the course from scratch.
It is now much more complete, more comprehensive and I believe, a complete guide to building a global online business from scratch, and scaling it to six figures per year.
It shows anyone how to take their existing experience and knowledge, and turn that into an online course or digital membership, and sell that product online.
I believe this business model of digital courses and memberships is going to be the new “hot” strategy and it’s going to get a lot more saturated in the coming years, but right now there is still an early-movers advantage and I want to help as many people as I can launch their online course business in 2019 and beyond.
7. As you know I have been creating a supplement brand over the last few months, it’s been challenging with a physical product that requires manufacturing and fulfilment. At times I have questioned why I took this route. So, the prospect of info-products is appealing. Can you outline why you believe this is the best model?
Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with a physical product business. It’s entirely possible to turn it into a six figure or even 7 figure per year business. It’s also possible to combine the physical products with digital products in combination.
In fact, there are many people who start off with digital information products and then follow it up with physical products. For example, if someone has an ebook about weight loss, and that business goes well, it’s possible to start your own range of physical weight-loss products and supplements that the customers of the info-product could then purchase because they now know and trust you.
I’m personally a huge fan of the info-product model I teach in Six Figure Inc due to the following reasons:
Low Barrier To Entry
The capital requirement to getting started with a digital product business is incredibly low, sometimes even non-existent. You could literally get started with your smartphone, computer and internet connection and turn that into a part time or full-time income.
At most, a few thousand dollars is all you need (and this is only to make life a bit easier because you’ll be able to invest in training, advertising and have a budget for outsourcing tasks you don’t want to do yourself).
Scalability is a huge factor to consider when starting a business. If your time is tied to your income, then you cannot scale indefinitely because you only have 24 hours in a day, 8 of which you need to sleep.
When you sell digital courses and products, it’s possible to scale that to 8 figures a year because the overheads are incredibly low, and digital products can be replicated so easily and sold to thousands of people for virtually the same amount of effort and cost as to a single individual. This is obviously not the case for physical products.
Work Once, Profit For Years
Another really big benefit about digital products, is if you follow the right strategy (one I teach inside Six Figure Inc), you’re able to choose an evergreen niche, create your digital course or membership once, and be able to sell it for many years to come.
This is a huge advantage compared to many business models that require continuous amounts of work and effort to product the product for every single sale that’s made.
No Need For Degrees or Qualifications
Again, the barrier to entry is really low. Not just in terms of capital, but also in previous experience or education required to actually launch your digital product online business.
You don’t need any past experience, and there is no minimum education requirement.
You can get started, right as you are right now. And whatever you don’t know how do to yet, you can figure out along the way.
This is what makes the digital product online business model perfect for anyone who wants to make some money on the side or start a full-time business (or both).
Part Time and Full Time
If you have a full-time job and responsibilities and only have an hour a day to work on your online business, that’s perfectly okay.
An hour a day could be enough to start building up a side income with your online business, and if you want to take it to the next level, you can just keep working on your business as a part time gig, until the income becomes big enough to justify going into it full-time.
Do What You Love, Help People And Make An Income
I realize it may sound a bit cliche, the whole “doing what you love” thing, but it’s true. With the digital product online business model you can match your passions or interests with a niche where there’s enough demand, and your digital product or membership is a solution for a specific group of people’s problems. This way, you get to work on what you enjoy doing, you get to help people by solving their problems, and you get paid a premium for doing so. It’s the ultimate awesomeness in my opinion.
For example, I love teaching people how to start online businesses and scale their businesses to higher levels. Six Figure Inc is a great example, where I’m able to help people do this. I get to work on doing what I love, and when people purchase Six Figure Inc, I get to make money for helping them solve the problem of starting an online business.
This can be done in virtually any industry. Health, wealth, relationships…
You could help people get fit, get healthy, get better at a certain sport, help people improve their marriage, get more dates, improve their social skills, help people get out of debt, help new parents with a strategy how to take care of their newborn… the opportunities are endless.
And for all these reasons I believe the digital product model that I teach in Six Figure Inc (the exact model I’ve personally followed to generate multiple 7 figures in sales online) is the best model for anyone looking to start an online business today.
8. We see a lot of people making courses now, teaching the secret to riches whilst you sleep. The question many people ask when getting into making money online is this for real? Are there riches to be made?
Can you really make money online? The answer is yes, absolutely. I’ve been doing it for years, to the tune of millions of dollars in revenue generated from my online businesses.
One thing you should absolutely be wary of when purchasing courses is to verify whether or not the creator of the course who is teaching the content, is actually doing what they teach.
There are many fakes online, who only make money by teaching others how to make money, and by appealing to the hopes and dreams of people looking to start an online business. You need to verify and do your due diligence before purchasing a course, or at the very least make sure it has a full money guarantee policy so that there is no risk to you.
Personally I share my past business ideas and many case studies of other businesses I have run and results I’ve gotten so you can see that I do what I teach (and that I’ve gotten results first before I started teaching).
Look, the key to making money online is based on the same principles as making money in the real world. It’s all about providing value to people and solving problems.
If your solution solves a problem that is painful enough, and the price you ask for your solution is lower than the perceived value of that solution, people will queue up to pay you.
For example, if you can help someone improve their dating life and help them find the man or woman of their dreams while that person has been suffering their whole lives and unable to do that, that may just be worth thousands of dollars to that person. And they’ll gladly pay that money and even thank you for allowing them to pay you that, if you really help them solve their problems.
So, my advice to being successful and making money online would be to focus on solving painful problems with your digital products or services.
9. Where do you see yourself in both professional and everyday life 1, 3, or 5 years’ time?
I’ve spent the last years traveling the world and figuring out what I want to be doing. My focus for the coming years is on building a 100M exit, meaning that I’ll likely need to be generating $10M-$20M in annual sales to be able to achieve that.
Achieving this goal will likely still involve a lot of travel, but mostly for business purposes such as conferences, events and meetings with coaches, mentors and investors.
I’ll be focusing on exactly what I teach in Six Figure Inc, the e-Learning/Info-product model, but I’ll be doing this on a larger scale with our core business in the Cryptocurrency education space, intelligentcryptocurrency.com.
Thanks for your time again Diggy. If you want to get in touch to find I have provided the links here.
Follow Dirk on Instagram @sixfigureinc.
Want to learn how to start a 6 Figure Online Business?
If you want to learn more about what Dirk does and how to get started with Six Figure Inc, Dirk has a free online web-class where he shares his exact six figure info-product blueprint.
In the web-class he’ll show you, for free, how you can turn your existing knowledge and experience into an online course and launch your online business in the next 90 days, with no previous experience. And, if you want to join Six Figure Inc and continue learning from Dirk directly, he’ll show you how you can do that at the end of the web-class.