Kimanzi Constable has an amazing story to share with the audience. He is a writer for The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and much more. He is also the author of two books, Are you Living or Existing? And Tales of the Everyday Working Man and Woman. On the show, he shares his story with Jason on how he switched from being a bread delivery truck driver to an author, speaker, and consultant.  He shares key tips on how to increase your following and live the life you’ve always wanted.

Key Takeaways:

[1:55] Kimanzi shares his story and background.

[5:25] In Kimanzi’s book, he shares stories of the everyday working man and woman.

[6:58] Kimanzi read Amanda Hocking’s success story in a USA Today magazine and was instantly inspired to become an author himself.

[11:40] Kimanzi found great success in guest blogging and appearing in podcast interviews to expand his audience.

[14:10] How did Kimanzi get all these guest post/podcast interview opportunities?

[17:05] Don’t get discouraged. Kimanzi was able to push through hardship because he had goals.

[19:40] It’s possible to live your dream.

[21:05] Final business tips? Try to target larger websites to guest post on.

[24:45] Kimanzi now consults companies how to improve their online presence.

Mentioned In This Episode:

http://www.48days.net/

http://kimanziconstable.com/

http://lanyrd.com/

Tweetables:

Start figuring out what you want to do in life. Don’t feel stuck, we have many options.

There’s definitely things that are a lot more attainable now that weren’t attainable back then.

No one ever gets a big huge break necessarily, you get little small breaks.

Transcript

Jason Hartman:

Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome Kimanzi Constable to the show. He is a former bread delivery guy who self-published two books, sold over 82,000 copies. He’s a published author, international speaker, he’s a life and business coach and you can find him writing at his home his beautiful Maui, Hawaii and in the last year, he lost a 170 pounds. This guy is amazing in every way. He’s also a contributing writing for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Mind, Body, Green. He’s a weekly columnist and editor at the Good Men Project and his mission is to help men and women create true freedom in life. I’m looking forward to having him on the show. Kimanzi, welcome, how are you?

Kimanzi Constable:

I’m good, Jason. Thanks so much for having me.

Jason:

Yeah, it’s good to have you. Are you just looking out at the crashing waves in Maui?

Kimanzi:

I’m about less than a mile from the ocean, so yeah, I can definitely see them.

Jason:

Yeah, good stuff. It’s a beautiful place. I’ve been there several times. So, your story is amazing. When did this all start? How long ago were you delivering bread and then it was the book, right? That was the first big move for you?

Kimanzi:

Yeah, I was delivering bread, started when I was 18 years old and did it all the way to 2011, mid 2011 everything just kind of fell apart. I had completely mismanaged the bread business and at that point I was $180,000 in debt to the IRS. My wife and I were separated because we had all the money problems and I was dealing with some major weight issues, because when you’re out there delivering bread at midnight, you pick up bad habits like you’re always eating fast food and drinking soda and all those bad habits, because your clock is just kind of thrown out of whack. Midnight seems like morning time and you’re just all off.

So, in 2011, it all came crashing down on my head and I wanted to vent and to talk about what was going on. Just kind of get all the crazy thoughts out of my head and so I started keeping a little journal and that journal over a period of time just waiting it developed a lot of material and that’s what ended up becoming my first book, which I self-published in August of 2011.

Jason:

Okay, so just help the listeners understand a little bit here. When you say you were delivering bread, was this your own business and to whom were you delivering bread? I don’t understand that exactly.

Kimanzi:

Yeah. It was sort of, I had a service business that was to guys who were independent contractors to company – where are you located, Jason?

Jason:

I’m in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kimanzi:

Okay, so maybe you might know this, but it’s a company, it’s a company called Oroweat. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that.

Jason:

I’ve heard of them.

Kimanzi:

Okay, so it was called Brownberry where we were and the way that it works is those guys buy a territory, so they’re investing about $250 grand and the company gives this territory and they give them 20% of the profits, but they have to buy their own trucks, it’s essentially their business. My business was to cover vacation routes for these guys, so when they would want to take time off, they’re not just going to hire any Joe off the street, because this is their business, they have invested a lot of business, so I had a service that would cover their routes for a week at a time so that they could go on vacation. I was living in Wisconsin at the time, there was about 180 of these independent operators in Wisconsin, so I never lacked for work and so I would have to get on the bread truck and deliver bread on all these different routes every week.

Jason:

Wow, amazing. So, you started keeping a journal and how long were you keeping this journal?

Kimanzi:

I wrote in it probably for three months in the summer of 2011.

Jason:

So, it was three months and what kind of stuff were you writing in the journal?

Kimanzi:

Everything that was happening with me personally, with the business, with pretty much the working man in general. The book ended up being called Tales of The Everyday Working Man and Woman. So, I kind of wanted to write about what, like, the average everyday working person went through.

Jason:

Okay, good. So, what were some of those tales? I mean, just give us a primer on that.

Kimanzi:

Yeah, I shared pretty much every story that I had dealt with those 12 years doing that job, “job/business”, but then even before I got into that business, I had worked 13 other jobs before. So, everything you can think of from telemarketer to vendor to retail worker, I have worked a lot of different jobs. I kind of talked about what it’s like for the person that doesn’t have a college degree what they go through and what’s some of their options are and what they have to deal with and survive on and those were the tales.

Jason:

Do you feel that you were pretty limited not going to college? Is that the take on it?

Kimanzi:

Definitely. Back that I hadn’t heard of the internet or anything online. I didn’t touch computers, just being in my world, a world without computers and access to internet and the opportunities, yeah, I definitely felt like it was either going to be grunt labor job or locked into some mid-level job.

Jason:

Okay. So, you didn’t like that, you wanted to change your position in life and that’s what you did. How did you come to, I mean, did someone tell you, hey, you outta right a book or, that’s how it happens a lot of times, you were telling someone your stories maybe over a beer or something and they said that to you or how did the book come about?

Kimanzi:

I was writing away in this journal and I happened to be reading USA Today and I ran across a story of a woman named Amanda Hocking and she was a 19-year-old CNA from Minnesota and she had written 17…

Jason:

What’s CNA?

Kimanzi:

Certified Nursing Assistant. So, she had written 17 books by the time she was 19. So, she really liked to write and she tried to get them published with agents and publishers and she went through that route without success. So, this was in early 2011, she decided to self-publish them and self-publishing wasn’t what it was today. It was still pretty new, not a lot of people knew about it, but she put her books out there, she put eight of her books out there and she self-published them and she didn’t have a big following at all. I think she had a 1,000 followers on Twitter at the time and she didn’t have a big blog audience or anything like that.

She just kind of put these books out there and told her people that, hey, could you help me promote this? And she got a couple of book reviews that agreed to review the books. She didn’t pay for any marketing or anything like that and in the one month period, she had sold 10,000 of these books and these were paranormal romance books, so it was right around the time that Twilight was becoming popular and that whole genre of stuff, so it was just the right topic at the right time.

To make a long story short, in an eight month period, she had sold 1.5 million copies of her books and she got the big deal. She sold all these books, she got the big deal with Random House. Random House signed her for $2.5 million dollars.

So, I’m reading her story in USA Today and I thought, man, if this girl from Minnesota who’s a neighbor of ours in Wisconsin, if she could do this self-publishing thing and put her books out there, why couldn’t I take this journal, make this into an ebook and put it out there and make enough money to quit job/business that I hated.

Jason:

Yeah, absolutely. So, what are some of these secrets that people can use to get out of the rat race, this job that you hated, how can someone get ahead?

Kimanzi:

I think it starts with figuring out what you want to do in life. I had no clue what I wanted to do and I felt like my options were limited so I just kind of stayed stuck, but once I saw what Amanda did, it kind of opened up the possibilities in my mind and it kind of showed me there’s this whole other world that I didn’t even know about, this online stuff.

So, start figuring out what you want to do in life. Don’t feel stuck, we have many options. Jason and I were talking before we got on here about the fact that there’s 2.5 billion people online everyday, so if you’re an entrepreneur, you want to start a business, even if it’s an offline business, there’s still huge potential to reach people online, but that might be your thing. I don’t know what your thing is, but figure out what your thing is and then once you figure it out, it’s a matter of putting a plan in place. So once I figured out, okay, I want to be an author, I want to write, this is what I really want to do, then it was a matter of sitting down and figuring out, okay, what are the steps that I particularly have to do to get there and so whatever your thing is, figure out what it’s going to take to get there. Do some research.

Again, we have the internet so it makes a lot of this a lot easier and there are some things that are going to be harder, like if you say, hey, I want to be President, that might be a little bit harder to do, but there’s definitely things that are a lot more attainable now that weren’t attainable back then and then it’s just a matter of realizing there’s going to be some hiccups along the way and just accept those, but determine that you’re going to get back up and you’re going to keep going, because, you know, I had a great story and things worked out eventually, but there were a lot of hiccups along the way, a lot of failures, a lot of times I wanted to quit, but I really wanted this. I wanted to create this lifestyle, so I kept going. So, just determine right now that you’re going to persevere.

Jason:

Yeah, absolutely, okay. Some of the other steps? I mean, perseverance, figuring out what you want to do certainty important. What did you do? You published the boot, you self-published it right, the first one, the first time around it was self-published.

Kimanzi:

Well, the biggest thing that I did that I figured out, Jason, was, if I want to sell books, I sold five copies in the first six months of the book’s release and it was a total failure. The biggest thing that I figured out was if I wanted to sell books, I have to have somebody to sell these books to. I had no kind of an audience, nobody knew who I was, what I did in the beginning of 2012 was focusing it on getting it in front of a lot of people. How do I do that? For me in the “online world” the thing that I saw that could help, there was social media, that’s great. There’s search engine optimization, which is getting traffic from search engines, that’s great too, but those are longer term strategies.

When I had no audience, I figured I had to get exposed to the audience and since I am a writer, the way that I did that was through writing for other places and other people. So, people that had large audiences on their website, I would write an article, send it to them, and say, hey, I’m a fan of what you do, I wrote this article that I believe would benefit your audience and when you do that, it’s called guest posting, when you do that, you get three links back to your website, so in 2012, I wrote for 50 different blogs that I had guest posted for, wrote guest articles for and in 2012, I had started to see a little bit of success. I started to have some success on my weight loss and so I wanted to get out there in a big way and another medium to do that was podcasting. We’re on a podcast right now.

So, in 2012, I shared my story, just simply shared the story of where I was at on 80 different podcasts, so between all the articles and all the podcasts, I ended up getting half a million visitors to my website in 2012. So, I went from 10 people to half a million people and it was a great way to say, hey, here I am, this is what I do, and I also have these books that I have written and a few people ended up buying some of those books and sharing it.

Jason:

Did you record any of these interviews while driving around in your bread truck?

Kimanzi:

Oh, yeah! That’s a very good question. There was one time.

Jason:

I just had a feeling. I just had a feeling that’s what you were doing.

Kimanzi:

Yeah, my schedule was so whacky that there was quite a few times, but there was one time in particular. It was in the summer, it was in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is very humid in the summer, so something like a 100 degrees. There was sweltering heat and I had to park in the parking lot of the store  and this bread truck and I had to close all the doors all the windows so that it was quiet and I’m recording and it was an hour long interview and by the time I got out of that, I looked like I had just jumped in the pool.

Jason:

Yeah, absolutely. So, at what point did you, well, first of all, how did you book all the interviews and how did you get all the guest post opportunities to develop that traffic and then, when did you quit the bread job?

Kimanzi:

Yeah, well, for the guest posting, I had, I landed 50, but I actually sent out 86. So, 36 of those were rejected, but the way that I did it, I started with the blogs that I had read everyday and loved guys like Michael (?) and Dan Miller and Jeff Goins and John (?). Some of the guys that were top guys to me. Like, I loved their stuff. That’s where I started and I was able to land those successfully and those guys have huge, huge audiences, but then after that it was just a matter of searching, using Google to find people that talked about what I talked about and saying, hey, do you take guest posts and when they did, sent them an article. So, it was a lot of writing, a lot of searching, a lot of finding.

Jason:

Okay, so this is one of the paradoxes of life, right, and that is that it’s kind of like, when we’re all trying to get that first job, usually when we’re a teenage, right. Well, you gotta have experience, kid, well, how can I get experience if no one will give me a job? Right? That’s the paradox.

So, in your case, you know, now it’s probably pretty easy for you to get a podcast interview even on a high rated podcasts, but in the beginning you were a nobody, right? How did you do that in the beginning? I think that’s what our listeners really want to know, because what they might here is they might hear, gosh, of course this guy can get interviews on all these shows and guest post opportunities, because, he’s got this big audience, he sold $80,000 bucks, right? Some day you had to stat, you had to get the first one. How did you do that?

Kimanzi:

The first one was through networking, the first few through networking, so I was apart of networking community called 48days.net. It’s put on by a guy named Dan Miller.

Jason:

Sure, I had Dan Miller on the show. I know him.

Kimanzi:

Yeah, there you go. So, Dan is probably one of the nicest people you’ll meet. I just sent him a message saying, Dan, this is what I really want to do and he actually responded in an email and said, okay, join 48days.net. There’s many podcasters there, connect with them, build the relationships, get to know them, share who you are, what you’re trying to do, and you’ll get on some shows. So, those first few shows were just networking in 48days.net. I also had a few opportunities for, I don’t know if listeners would know what this is, but the service called the Helpareporter, which is a Help a Reporter Out.

Jason:

Yeah, Help a Reporter Out. Yeah, sure.

Kimanzi:

Yeah and so they sent out these things that media outlets are looking for and I would respond to probably like ten a day, some crazy number, but one of them actually responded.

Jason:

So, you’d respond to ten a day and you wouldn’t get any response and you just didn’t get discouraged though, you kept going, right?

Kimanzi:

I didn’t get discouraged. I would set goals for myself, so when it came to all this stuff, when it came to guest posts or trying to get interviews or trying to get speaking, which I eventually got into speaking, I would set a goal of pitching this many a week and keep going on those goals and it was just kind of a shared number’s game by that point, but I ended up landing HARO reporter on a website called Secret Entourage, which I had never heard of, but they ended up linking to me in one of their articles and that brought a ton of traffic and a little bit of exposure. So, I was able to take that and say, hey, I was featured on the Secret Entourage. I had been on this and this podcast, even though they weren’t big podcasts, I still had something to reference to.

Jason:

Yeah, so that’s similar to my story of getting big name guests on my show and people ask me that all the time, you know, how do you get these big names? How do you get Steve Forbes? How do you get all these other big name people on your show and the way I did it was once I got to about 70 episodes, I kind of started running out of content and I thought, you know, I can’t just talk by myself, that’s a pretty big responsibility.

I’ve got to get some other people on here and talk to them and ask them questions and let’s help the listener learn about their success and so I remember early on I landed Peter Schiff, Harry Dent, a few other big names early on and Pat  Buchanan, love him or hate him, you know, I just got some big name people on the show and then I used them, their names, to get the next people and you can pyramid up.

For anybody out there who is listening who is like looking for their big break, right, I just say to them, just keep trying. No one ever gets a big huge break necessarily. You know, you get little small breaks and like you, you got that one HARO response, finally, you know, after trying so hard and doing ten a day, you got one response and that thing lend to another thing, which lead to another thing, and that’s how life works! It’s incremental, right?

Kimanzi:

Right, definitely, and as the momentum started to build and I wanted to go after some of the bigger name ones, it was a matter of having friends or connections or who ever you know make the introduction for you.

Jason:

Yeah, yeah, and using that network, absolutely. Good, good stuff. What else do you want people to know about your story?

Kimanzi:

I think the main thing that I want them to know is that it’s possible. Whatever your dream is, whatever you’re trying to create in your life, it’s definitely possible. It’s not going to happen overnight, I don’t think there are any – there’s not too many over night successes and when I talk about this kind of stuff it’s like, oh, you had some success, but yeah, it took three years.

Jason:

You were a three year overnight success, but really it was longer than that, because, you know, working delivering bread, all that kind of stuff, that was part of your success practice as well.

Kimanzi:

Exactly. So, just be patient, stick with it. Be really clear. I wasn’t clear for a long time and I tried a lot of different things even in the online space, so when I got some clarity and some focus, that’s when things definitely started to move.

Jason:

Excellent. Good stuff. Give out your website and tell people where they can find out more about you and get your books, you got special reports, right?

Kimanzi:

Yep, you can head to KimanziConstable.com. You can Google it or you could type in LivingOr ExistingBook.com. You’ll be redirected to the site and like Jason has graciously said, there’s some free reports that kind of talk a little bit more in depth about the things we talked about here and use those and build whatever your dream is.

Jason:

Kimanzi, before you go, just share another business tip, if you would. You talked about HARO, you talked about guest posting, doing podcast interviews, etc, that really helped you get your message out there, give us one other tip.

Kimanzi:

Yeah, definitely. Well, if you’re going to try to – I’ll give you a few quick ones, Jason, because I’m a fan. Guest posting is a little bit different game, especially for the larger websites because they don’t take unsolicited guest posts anymore. So, the thing that I do now and, as Jason mentioned, is I write for a lot of larger websites. Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and these are great, because not only do they bring a lot of traffic, if you look at my Huffington Post articles, they have both of my books down there after you get done reading an article I wrote in Huffington Post. They got my book down there at the bottom, which is great for book sales, but it’s great social proof to say, hey, I write for the Huffington Post.

People may not know Michael (?) or Dan Miller or people like that, but when I saw the Huffington Post, even my mom who is from Kenya and doesn’t know anything about this stuff, when I told her, yeah, I’m writing for the Huffington Post. She’s like, I know that one! So, definitely try to shoot for the larger websites and here’s the thing, even if you don’t have social proof, sites like that put out so much content it’s not even funny.

So, if a blogger put out a post everyday at 365 posts, that’s how much the Huffington Post puts out in one month. So, when they make their decision about who is going to write there, they look at the content, they don’t look at the relationship, who you are, or anything like that. Those things can help, but more than anything, it’s just about the content, how good that article is. So, don’t be afraid to shoot for those.

The second tip is speaking, speaking is underrated and it’s a great way for business owners to make income, but not only that but to travel for free. So, I would tell you start where there are local leaders, opportunities around you at your Chamber of Commerce, meetings like that, but there’s a website called, it’s called Lanyrd. It’s got one of the largest databases of conferences in the world. If you’re looking to break into paid speaking, head to that website, it’s going to take some sorting through to find what you’re looking for, but there’s a lot of conferences that I have pitched on there, pitched the organizer directly and I’ve gotten paid speaking all over the world. I mean, I’ve spoken in Milwaukee, where I live, all the way to Israel in the last year, so definitely paid speaking should be apart of your business and then even a pig tail off of that is paid consulting.

Paid consulting is probably the primary income source for me right now and I consult with quite a few companies and companies spent $39.3 billion dollars last year on outside consultants, so whatever skill set you have and your business is, people would, companies would hire you to come and consult. I have clients that consult with companies on copywriting, mindset coaching, sales, social media. Social media is a really, really big one.

A lot of companies do not do social media well, so if you identify a few companies probably where you live, maybe where you don’t live, but can point out, hey, this is how I can help you, this is where you’re lacking, companies are not afraid to spend some money hiring you. So, consulting should definitely be a part of your business.

Jason:

So, what are you consulting to companies about? I mean, it sounds, you know, like on the face of it, Kimanzi, it sounds like your story is teaching people how to leave companies.

Kimanzi:

Yeah, definitely.

Jason:

I don’t think they want you consulting on that.

Kimanzi:

No. I consult with companies on building an online presence, so I started in Milwaukee with a local McDonald’s franchise, this was in 2012, that had a terrible social media presence and I saw the owner, like I saw this guy everywhere in Milwaukee and I just went to him and I said, hey, you got a really terrible social media presence. If you give me $500 I can help you build it up and I didn’t know anything about anything, but he said yes and from there he made a couple of recommendations, but now, it’s, how do you build an online presence today, how do you get your company to standout among the crowd and I’ve been fortunate to work with some great companies to help them build their online presence.

Jason:

Yeah, good stuff. Okay, you said a few tips, so I’ll let you decide when to end it. These are great. If you want to share more, if you want to wrap it up, either way is fine.

Kimanzi:

That’s what I have. I mean, speaking, consulting, and writing for large websites and they all kind of work hand in hand and if you have one of them, you could probably leverage the other one, but leverage is huge.

Jason:

Yeah, leverage is huge and I speak about that all the time in my talks and interviews, so I love it. That was a good way to end. Kimanzi, you have an awesome story, thank you for sharing it and I wish you continued success and keep in touch with us and let us know how things develop for you, we really want to hear it.

Announcer:

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