$4M Annually – Teaching how to play piano in 21 days – Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 1:02:25)


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Jacques Hopkins is the creator of Piano in 21 Days, a unique online piano course that teaches an appealing way of playing the piano in just 21 days through chords and improvisation. Jacques has achieved impressive success in selling online courses. Jacques shares valuable insights on how to start and grow an online course business and emphasizes the importance of building an audience as well not waiting too long before hiring help.

Episode Summary

Jacques Hopkins is the creator of Piano in 21 Days, a unique online piano course that teaches an appealing way of playing the piano in just 21 days through chords and improvisation. He discusses his competency as being not able to learn the fundamentals in just 21 days and that being able to learn the foundations in 21 days doesn’t mean someone will become an expert or a pro. He emphasizes the importance of dedication and highlights the value proposition of his course. Hopkins also discusses the business and marketing strategies for his course and his personal life in terms of building a business around online content.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, you are introduced to Jacques Hopkins, the creator of Piano in 21 Days, an online piano course that helps adults learn to play the piano quickly. JavaScript talks about his background and how he got started with the business. He shares that he started taking piano lessons at a young age but never practiced and hated the lessons. However, he discovered a different way to play the piano based on chords and improvisation which he found more appealing. He then worked as an electrical engineer and later developed the idea for an online piano course, teaching piano this unique way in just 21 days.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, Jacques Hopkins discusses the value proposition of “learn piano in 21 days” by saying it depends on what is considered as being able to play the piano, competency. He explains that competency takes years on the piano and sometimes even that is not enough, and that being able to learn the fundamentals in 21 days doesn’t mean someone will become an expert or a pro. He also explains the role of dedication, with someone dedicating an hour and a half each day for 21 days at the beginning never touched a piano after 21 days being able to play a song that they like and others can recognize it. He concludes that being able to impress someone and play in social situations is a motivator for many people, and that competency is a realistic goal that one can achieve in 21 days.
  • 00:10:00 In this section of the video, Jacques Hopkins discusses the details of the support and interaction offered through the top tier of his online piano course. Hopkins offers various ways for students to ask questions, such as attending monthly Q&A sessions, submitting questions through a chat area under each lesson, and recording videos for feedback. He also talks about the value proposition of his course and how it has enabled him to scale his business. Hopkins shares that it took him several years to find success with his course, as he made mistakes and struggled with developing a curriculum, filming videos, and marketing his product. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the needs of the target audience and developing a course that solves their problems.
  • 00:15:00 In this section of the video, Jacques Hopkins discusses his experience of building a business around online content. He starts by talking about how it took him several years to figure out how to make his content work and eventually allows him to quit his job. He then talks about how his business has evolved since then and how he manages his content on YouTube and other platforms. Hopkins also discusses how he balances the free content he puts out on his YouTube channel with the paid content he offers through courses. He explains that he doesn’t hold back on his free content because he wants people to see the value he can offer, and that he offers paid content to those who want a more streamlined and focused learning experience. Finally, Hopkins talks about the possibility of creating a second course on a different topic and the steps he would take to approach it.
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Jacques Hopkins,” the speaker discusses the importance of building an audience before launching a business or product. According to Jacques Hopkins, having an audience built up is crucial to the success of nearly any venture, and the product one creates may need to be tweaked based on the needs and preferences of their target audience. Hopkins also mentions the potential issue of competition and piracy,but suggests that the best way to eliminate this issue is through the inclusion of valuable components with a product, such as Q&A sessions or additional support.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the speaker discusses marketing and advertising strategies for an online piano course. He says that targeting people who already have a motivation to learn music, such as those who see an ad on Facebook or Instagram, can be more effective than trying to convert people without any interest in music. He suggests using Google ads instead of Facebook ads because Google ads are less interruptive and more targeted to people actively searching for relevant terms. He also discusses the importance of building an audience and collecting email addresses to create a funnel for promoting the course. However, he notes that having a higher price point for the course is necessary to use a funnel effectively.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, Jacques Hopkins discusses his approach to pricing and selling online courses. He prefers to price his courses higher, conveying a higher value to students, making more per sale, and attracting higher quality students. For effective sales, he recommends two types of funnels: a webinar funnel and a free course funnel. In the webinar funnel, a free Workshop is offered, breaking down barriers, implementing urgency through a discount, and subsequently upselling to higher packages. The free course funnel involves offering a small piece of the course for free, creating initial value, and eventually upselling to more comprehensive course packages. Currently, Hopkins focuses on the business side of courses and podcasting, with the Online Course Show providing motivation and inspiration to aspiring course creators.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, Jacques Hopkins discusses some of the unique and unusual courses he has come across in his coaching program for online course businesses. He mentions a few examples of specific niches, including Toddlers Can Read, which teaches three-year-olds how to read, and a course that teaches Vineyard owners how to have their own growing and picking flower field. Hopkins also discusses competition in these niches and explains that having a special sauce is crucial in standing out in a saturated market. He notes that having a unique personality or culinary sauce can be a key factor in standing out and creating a successful business.
  • 00:40:00 in this section, Jacques Hopkins shares his five-step song learning process that allows individuals to learn a new song in as little as five minutes. He also discusses his business operations and how he has an operations manager and a virtual assistant to manage operations and customer support, allowing him to focus on creating content and small team management. Hopkins talks about how his
  • 00:45:00 In this section, Jacques Hopkins discusses why most people do not succeed with courses and what are the main things that hold them back. He highlights the importance of having all the pieces in place such as product, course, audience, funnel, compelling offer and messaging, value proposition, and good testimonials. He also emphasizes having mentors and coaches for learning from others and reflecting on their mistakes to avoid making the same. Hopkins then moves on to answer a few rapid-fire questions where he recommends Russell Brunson’s “Expert Secrets” as a book for entrepreneurs and Kajabi as an innovative product in e-commerce retail and tech landscape that he feels excited about. He also suggests having only one meeting per week as his biggest productivity tip.
  • 00:50:00 In this section of the video, Jacques Hopkins discusses his approach to work and meetings. He prefers to have meetings on one day a week, allowing him to focus on deep work for the majority of the other days. He also talks about his experience using the tech tool Bonjoro, which he uses for personal video messaging. He suggests other entrepreneurs or business people who inspire them should check Bonjoro out. Additionally, Hopkins shares his best business advice for entrepreneurs, which is to not let haters and trolls get them down and to remember that people are not against you, but rather for themselves. He encourages entrepreneurs to realize that negative comments may be due to the commenter’s emotions and to not take them personally. Finally, he thanks the interviewer for having him and encourages viewers to check out Bonjoro.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days

[00:00:06] Introduction to TrepTalks and Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days
[00:01:25] Jacques’s Journey with Traditional Piano Lessons
[00:03:00] Discovering a New Approach to Playing Piano
[00:04:49] Addressing the 21-Day Learning Proposition
[00:06:00] Understanding the Value Proposition of Learning Piano in 21 Days
[00:08:00] Appeal of Learning Piano in a Short Duration for Adults
[00:09:29] Structure and Support in the Piano in 21 Days Course
[00:11:00] Building and Scaling the Piano in 21 Days Business
[00:11:49] The Challenging Journey to Success
[00:12:00] Initial Steps: YouTube Channel and Landing Page
[00:13:00] Misconceptions about Immediate Success
[00:14:00] Learning and Overcoming Technical Challenges
[00:15:00] Gradual Growth and Long-Term Success
[00:16:00] Balancing Free Content vs. Paid Courses
[00:17:00] Leveraging YouTube as a Primary Traffic Source
[00:18:00] Differences Between Free and Paid Content Strategy
[00:25:11] Marketing Approaches and Paid Ads
[00:26:00] Building an Audience and the Role of Funnels
[00:28:43] Pricing, Funnels, and Sales Strategies
[00:32:56] Diversifying Focus: Course on Courses
[00:33:09] Focusing on the Business Side
[00:34:00] Initiating a Podcast: The Online Course Show
[00:35:18] Unusual Course Niches Explored
[00:36:00] Teaching Toddlers to Read and Unique Courses
[00:36:34] Introduction: Competition in Piano Teaching
[00:37:05] Managing Competition in Piano Courses
[00:37:36] Standing Out in a Saturated Market
[00:39:00] Finding Your “Special Sauce”
[00:41:15] Running a Business: Team and Operations
[00:42:29] Enjoying Financial Freedom: Travel & Family
[00:44:22] Keys to Success: Audience and Mentors
[00:46:27] Lessons from Mistakes in Entrepreneurship
[00:49:28] Kajabi: The Shopify of Online Courses
[00:49:43] Productivity Tip: Meeting Management
[00:50:38] Bonjoro: Building Personal Connections
[00:51:49] Graham Cochran: Inspiring Mentor
[00:52:28] Dealing with Criticism: Haters and Trolls
[00:53:25] Business Advice: Handling Negativity

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response:Kajabi)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Meeting Management)
  4. A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response: Bonjoro)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Graham Cochrane an Author and Financial Advisor)
  6. One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
  7. Best business advice you ever received (Response: Don’t let the haters and trolls get you down “People are not against you They’re for themselves”)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there entrepreneurs, my name is Sushant and welcome to Treptalks. This is a show where I interview successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, business executives and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used.

to start and grow their businesses. And today I’m really excited to welcome Jacques Hopkins to the show. Jacques is the creator of Piano in 21 Days. Uh, Piano in 21 Days is an online piano course that helps adults of all ages learn to play a piano as fast as possible. And today I’m going to ask Jacques a few questions about his entrepreneur journey.

And some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to start and grow his business. So Jacques, thank you so much for joining today. I really, really appreciate

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: your time. What’s up, Sushant. Thank you for the invitation. I appreciate the opportunity.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. So really interesting. You are primarily, um, [00:01:00] a digital based e-commerce entrepreneur.

So can you share a little bit more? I mean, you’re, you have a very interesting product, very interesting value proposition piano in 21 days for adults. Can you share a little bit about your background? You know, how did you come up with this idea? What were you doing before? And how did you really get started, uh, with this, uh, course based?


Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah, no problem. So Sushant, do you play piano? Do you play any musical instruments? I do.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I, you know, when I was in high school, I took a piano class and I learned really hard to play for Elise. And, but then after that, you know, I kind of, uh, I didn’t have a piano. I didn’t get to practice. And so, yeah.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: And do you still know how to play a Fury Elise today? Probably not. Probably not. Okay, that goes really well with my story. So yeah, look, I, I took piano lessons when I was a kid, [00:02:00] um, because, and I started when I was about five years old, because my parents put me in it, right? When you’re five years old, you kind of just do whatever your parents do.

Um, ask you to do, tell you to do. And so I took those piano lessons. I was a very shy, reserved, respectful, I guess you could say, kid. And so I stuck with those piano lessons for 12 years, even though I absolutely hated them. So you, you learned Fur Elise. In 12 years, I learned how to play two songs. Now I say two songs. along the way I learned a few things here and there, but after 12 years, I’m 17 years old.

And I realized at that point in my life, I literally could play two songs. Cause I went to this event, my friends were there and somebody asked me to play. I played one song. They’re like, play something else. I played another song and that’s all I knew after 12 years of piano lessons. And it’s because, I mean, certainly I was not a good student.

I never practiced. I did not like it. And I wasn’t really learning piano, probably like you did [00:03:00] with Fur Elise. I learned the basics of reading sheet music, and then I learned how to just parrot back what was on the paper. And I was just, I was just memorizing, and like I said, just parroting back something that somebody had written.

The exact sequence of notes with the exact timing, and I wasn’t learning the fundamentals of music in any way. So, um, I met this guy. Who, when I was 17, showed me a different way to play piano. And it was based on foundations. It was based on chords and improvisation. And it blew my mind that for 12 years, I was doing this other approach and he could play any song he could possibly want to play without she music with a different approach.

And so from that moment forward, I started playing that way. Now, I’m not, I’m not like a natural musician. I don’t even call myself a musician. Um, and so some people just pick up musical instruments really, really easily. And that’s certainly not me. [00:04:00] And so I, the, this other way to play really appealed to me because I didn’t have to labor over the sheet music and whatnot.

So fast forward years later. I was working as an electrical engineer and I was trying to find a business that I could run on my own and ideally a digital based business where I didn’t have to, you know, physically mail things or anything like that. And so I got this idea for an online piano course because I was playing my piano one day and I was like, I wonder if other people maybe had the struggles that I had and want to learn to play piano this way.

And so it was 2013 and I got the idea for an online piano course teaching piano this unique way, quickly in 21 days. And years ago now, and, uh, it’s been successful. So let me ask

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: you this. I mean, you know, you hear with any skill like this, you know, of course, I’m assuming like playing the piano does probably take more than 21 days.

I mean, I’m [00:05:00] sure you can learn some fundamentals in 21 days, but is that really kind of getting it? A willing student started on the piano journey within 21 days, like get them to create some sort of a habit or something, or is, is the, I mean, your value proposition, of course, there’s a very concrete value proposition, learn piano in 21 days.

What exactly is the personal learning in 21 days? Yeah.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: It sounds like a scam, doesn’t it? No,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: no, I’m not saying it’s a scam. I’m just saying it’s like, if you, if you’re, if you want to become, um, skilled, you know, there was a, there’s this concept that if you want to become a pro or something, you have to spend like 10, 000 hours of practice and.

I mean, of course, 21 days is not 10, 000 hours, um, you, you can, you can learn to do anything in 21 days, you know, to a certain extent, I would say, you know, learn a language, you know, maybe start dancing, play [00:06:00] piano. But of course, that’s, I would assume that that’s kind of the beginning of a journey that you’re

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: undertaking.

Yeah. I’m. I wasn’t suggesting you were calling it a scam. I, I think it does sound like a scam from the outside. And I can tell you thousands of successful students. It’s not a scam, but it does sound like a scam. It’s like. Whoa, whoa, whoa, it takes years to learn piano. How could you possibly say that somebody could learn in 21 days?

I’m with you, Sushant, on the 10, 000 hours. I believe in that rule as well, but I believe in it to the extent that that’s what it takes to be, using your word, a pro, right? You’re going to be like an expert in something once you spend 10 hours, 10, 000 hours in it. And my, my proposition is that I’m not helping you to become a pro.

I’m not helping you to become an expert at piano. So ultimately it depends on what we call being able to play the piano. And what I help people to do is to be competent [00:07:00] on the piano, which even competency normally takes years on the piano. And sometimes even that isn’t enough because people have an experience like I had where they’re just memorizing or they’re just parroting back what’s on a piece of paper and they’re not actually learning.

So in 21 days, it’s very realistic that somebody can… learn and understand the fundamentals and play a basic to intermediate version of an endless number of songs because they understand the core concepts. That doesn’t mean they can’t continuously get better. And that does not mean they’re going to be an expert or a pro after 21 days, but can a person who’s dedicated and spends an hour, hour and a half each day for 21 days at the beginning, never touched a piano after 21 days.

Be able to play a song that they like and other people can recognize what song it is. Yes

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, that is a very strong value proposition. I would say, you know, even if You know as an [00:08:00] you know I’m an adult and I think it would be cool To be able to play piano like if i’m at a party or you know If I just want to impress someone I have a piano at home You know and I can just play something and I can learn that in 21 days.

I think it’s a very Um, very, very, uh, makes it a very strong value proposition. I think, you know, even if I don’t have the motivation to learn piano, if somebody’s telling me, Hey, you can play music in 21 days, I would, I would probably spend that 21 days learning it just so I can do certain, certain party tricks and so forth.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: You get it. Most people are like you and most people don’t want to spend the years to be an expert. Don’t want to spend the 10, 000 hours on one thing, in this case, piano. Almost everybody would love to be able to go to a party or something. You know, sometimes you’ll go to a city like a downtown area and there’s like a piano outside or something.

How cool would it be to just sit [00:09:00] down and be able to play something to where it sounds like you know what you’re doing? The average person, that’s what they want to be able to do. Not play, you know, 27 different Mozart pieces or whatever. They just want to be able to be competent and be able to play in situations like that.

Like exactly what you’re saying. You are a busy guy. You probably don’t want to dedicate your life to learning piano, but if you could spend a little bit of time and it can be one of the tricks that you have, I think you’d really appreciate it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. Definitely. Um, so can you talk a little bit about the course itself?

Is it completely kind of an on demand kind of a course or is there, um, a portion of it where a student, if they have a question or, you know, they want kind of an in person time or feedback or something like that, that, you know, there’s a way for you to provide that as well.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Great question. So with an online course, I’m a big fan of selling two tiers.

And so the way we do it is certainly that two [00:10:00] tiers, the bottom tier is you get the online course and there’s really nothing else you get besides that with the top end tier, you get the online course and you get some bonus courses, uh, as well as the support and interaction. So what that looks like is you can, uh, you can email us anytime with a question you can attend.

We do a monthly Q and a live Q and a. Um, where I jump on camera, they they’re attending just on zoom, kind of like we’re doing right now and they can ask questions and I’m at my keyboard right here at my desk answering questions. Um, they can record videos of themselves playing and email those in for feedback.

And then we have underneath each lesson. There’s a kind of a chat area, Q and a area where people can ask questions right underneath the lesson, if they have questions there as well. Awesome.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, I want to definitely want to talk about the business aspect of what you’re doing, you know, and the entrepreneurship aspect of it, [00:11:00] because, you know, I’m reading, I’m on an online website where I think you’ve interviewed before and of course, you know, your course is generating a significant amount of annual revenue and things like that.

Um, can you share a little bit about when you started, like, what did it take for you to kind of, you know, create a course? Put it online. And then how did you start getting your first customers? And what has really enabled you to kind of scale? I mean, I must say that Your course has a very strong value proposition, so I think that’s that probably helps quite a bit.

But even then, like, how can you talk, talk through, you know, the process of creating the course and how did you get your students and kind of grew this to where you are now?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah, sure. Uh, I started 10 years ago, a little over 10 years ago now, and there’s a big difference between the best way and the way that I took.

It took me [00:12:00] several years to, uh, find success with this because I, I made so many mistakes. So I can kind of flirt with, with, with both, uh, with both ends there. But for me, um, I did start with a YouTube channel. Uh, I figured that I would need to have. Some kind of audience come in, you know, discover me some kind of way.

So I started with the YouTube channel. It didn’t take off at first by any means. I created a basic landing page on a website, um, while I was developing the course so I could collect and build an email list, but there wasn’t much success with the YouTube channel early on. So it took. Probably eight months for me to actually develop the course back in 2013.

And by the time I launched, I didn’t have much of an audience. And so I made like one sale and it was the next day. And so I thought that just by building it and doing some basic stuff. I would immediately find success. You know, I, I don’t know. I mean, you’ve got a podcast. I’ve got a podcast too. I’m a big podcast guy.

And even 10 years ago, I was [00:13:00] listening to all the, the marketing podcasts and you’d hear all these amazing success stories. Oh yeah. I got this idea for an online course. And so I went away for a week and I built it and I launched it and I made 3 million. And it was like, you know, Those were the only stories I was hearing.

I wasn’t hearing the failures because who wants to have the failure on their on their podcast, right? And so I just assumed that if I built the thing and launched it, I would find success as well. And for me, it wasn’t it wasn’t that easy. It took forever to I had to develop a curriculum. I’m not a piano teacher.

I had never taught anybody piano in person. I was just like, well, I’ve got this kind of unique way to play myself. I had my struggles. I wonder if people also have my struggles and want to learn this way of playing. And so I had to develop a way. Um, in this 21 day curriculum. So that took a while figuring out how to film videos, you know, back in 2013, there weren’t all these amazing online course tools that there are [00:14:00] today.

So even having the course behind a password protected paywall was just a nightmare to try to figure out. And, um, eventually certainly I did. So there was a lot of struggle and headache. Um, but for me, it was just like trying to figure out all the different, getting all the different. Pieces in place, like getting a good amount of traffic coming in, having a good sales funnel in place, having the right offer in front of people.

You know, I, I didn’t know anything about marketing, you know, I was an engineer, right. Um, and so the whole concept of like sell the benefits and outcomes, not just the features, right. Don’t, we don’t need to talk about, oh yeah, it’s 21 lessons and you get your own login, like we don’t need to talk about the features if we want to sell.

I need to really paint the picture in of. In just as little as 21 days, you can be playing your favorite songs on the piano. That right there is what I’m selling, not a piano course. It’s the ability to play your favorite songs on the piano and as little as 21 days. So it [00:15:00] just took, it took a few years for me to figure all that out and get all the right pieces in place.

Um, until eventually that it really started working. It allowed me to quit my job and so on. So that was like from 2013 to 2016 was figuring it out and trying to get it to work far from an overnight success. I

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: mean, that’s so interesting, right? You know, I’m looking at your story today and I hear, you know, you know, whatever revenue it is, like, you know, half a million dollar plus, you know, wherever, wherever you are right now.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Um,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: and, you know. The impulse is to think that, you know, you have some special way of doing things that, you know, that you made it work overnight and you’re kind of like this overnight success. But what people don’t usually hear is that there’s this, you know, ramp up of period of years and years of, you know, struggling and not knowing if it’s going to work and trying to figure that out.

And eventually, you know, it [00:16:00] starts to pick up. I guess my question would be, you know, right now. You know, you said that you started with YouTube video and you started creating content. How does one manage, uh, is that still kind of your way of, you know, bringing in the traffic? And with something like YouTube, how do you balance the kind of content that you put out for free, let’s say on your YouTube channel or social channels versus the content that you have?

That people are paying for. So can people get the same information on YouTube versus what they’re getting on, uh, by your course? How do you kind of manage what you share freely versus what you, what, you know, what you’re only giving out for a payment?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah, I think that’s a big question that people have when they want to get into something like this, because you know, you need to get eyeballs on your stuff.

And you probably need to [00:17:00] put something in front of them that’s free that offers value. But what do I put out there that’s not in my paid course, right? And by the way, you mentioned, you mentioned revenue. I’m not, uh, I’m not afraid to share some numbers like in total. Like we’ve, we recently crossed over 4 million in sales all time.

Those first few years were almost nothing. So, I mean, it is over a long period of time. Um, but it, we’ve, we’ve sold over 9, 000 like units at this point. Um, so YouTube is still the number one traffic source we have coming in. And at this point, we’re not regularly posting new content. We probably should, but I have like other things that I’m more passionate about these days, but, um, the business is still very healthy and we still get new students all the time.

I still do live Q and A’s and things like that. Um, But with, with free content versus paid content, I really don’t hold back on my free content because we want people to see our free content and say, wow, if you know, this is the free content, imagine how [00:18:00] great the paid content is. And the other thing about YouTube versus a course.

Is you can’t really, it’s, it’s hard to learn piano, like just from YouTube. YouTube is for more like isolated topics. Whereas a course is more of a complete A to Z transformation. And so you can pretty much find every concept, every lesson, everything I could possibly teach somewhere in my YouTube channel.

But it’s all scattered about and it would be really hard to go through it in some sort of sequential way. And so. All of my best tips, all of my best lessons are somewhere in YouTube videos out there for free. Um, and so, like I said, I just, I don’t hold back and it hasn’t been a problem. Um, because people pay for that streamlined step by step A to Z system.

Um, and also if they see your free content is good. They’ll respect your paid content too.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. [00:19:00] So, I mean, it seems like you have had to go through a lot of learning. Um, what, what, what would you do? Like if you were to create a second course, let’s say on a different topic. I don’t know if you have a different course because to me, it seems like such a great business model, right?

It’s almost seems like a passive. And kind of income. I mean, you’ve created the course, it’s there, you know, you have your content on YouTube. So, you know, you have traffic coming in and, you know, a certain percentage of those people are, you know, converting, I’m assuming. So, I mean, it seems like a really great passive business model.

Um. If you were to create a second course on something else, what would you do differently this time around, considering that, you know, you can assume that nobody knows you and, uh, you know, you’re starting completely fresh, like you can’t use your existing audience. Yeah. How, what would you do now? Um, that took you that like three, five years to learn.[00:20:00]

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah. So it is, it is fairly passive. Passive is a tough word because passive means like zero effort or whatever. And there are still a few things here and there that I have to do with it today, but it’s an extremely leveraged business that I have to do very, very little with for sure. Um, if I were starting something new today, there is, there is no question what the, the top first thing I would need to do would be, I guess the first big thing.

Is you gotta, you gotta build an audience. And I feel like that’s kind of like the first step for, for nearly any, any venture, um, you know, I’ve got, you know, most of my friends here, you know, locally and whatnot have traditional jobs. And sometimes people will throw things out there like, Oh, I’m going to write a book or I’m going to make this product or, you know, I’ll do an online course too.

No matter any of those things, it doesn’t make sense to make the thing if you don’t have an audience to sell it to that already trusts you. So, for me, if I was starting over, I wouldn’t even worry about a course or whatever [00:21:00] the product is going to be. I would try to cultivate that audience first because, um, then I’ll actually have somebody to sell it to when it exists.

But secondly, the product that I was going to sell to them might have to be tweaked a little bit once you learn who your audience truly is. You know, for example, when I first started with piano, I assumed that my audience was going to be roughly my age. At the time I was in my mid twenties, I was like, you know, probably people in their twenties are going to want to learn from this guy in their twenties.

As it turns out, like over 85 percent of my. Customers are over 60 years old. Mm-hmm. I have a very old customer base and I had no idea, and not that I have to tweak the messaging too, too much, but it is a little different. It’s really helpful when I’m talking into the camera to picture my ideal customer.

My typical customer, and now I know they’re older people. Typically retirement age, people that have wanted to learn piano their entire lives in a lot of cases. [00:22:00] They took piano lessons as a kid, but it never stuck. They always hated not being able to play. But they don’t want to spend years learning.

They’re older. They, you know, they’re counting their days and they want a, you know, as the process to be as little pain as possible. They want to learn as quickly as possible, be up and running and playing songs as quickly as possible. And so now I know. That is my audience. So no matter what venture I would go down next, I would start a podcast, a YouTube channel, an Instagram, a TikTok, something, a blog, whatever, and start building an audience with free content.

And then, and then make the next steps, make the next plan once I start building an audience. Awesome.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, do you, in this, in the digital Product category is, is there a fear or risk to that somebody can download your course and basically made [00:23:00] it, make it, make it available for free. So, you know, if it’s already available somewhere on the internet, like, do you kind of go on Google, try to find if you’re somebody has kind of downloaded your course and put it on the internet so people can buy it or is that kind of.

Not a, not a, not a, um, an issue for you because people who are generally interested in the course, they would want the support that you offer that goes along with the course, or you know, you’re the price point is not that huge that a genuine person would not, you know, wouldn’t really be wanting to download it

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: off the internet.

So some people are more concerned about that than others. I’m, I’m not especially concerned about it. Um, I guess if my sales all of a sudden went way down and I saw that somebody else was selling my course, I’d be more concerned about it. So it’s never really been a problem for me, but the best way that I like to try to eliminate, eliminate that being a problem is to make sure we’re including components with our offer that you can’t steal.

So [00:24:00] for example,

If somebody signs up and they know that they can ask me questions, anytime that I’m going to go live once a month for a Q and a things like that, because those things are going to increase their chances of success. Um. Whereas if they’re just buying a, buying a pirated version, they’re not going to get all that additional support and community and things like that.

And so part of me is just like, okay, if they want to go that route, I didn’t want them as a customer anyway, and they’re not going to get the extra stuff that comes with it. And so, you know, all of my. Um, videos, all my course lessons have my logo on the video, you know, kind of for that reason too. So that they find it somewhere else.

They know at the end of the day, it’s a piano in 21 days product. And they, if they’re buying it from somebody else, they should know that they’re like, it’s not me. They’re there. They know that they’re pirating it. And if that’s the route they want to take, I think it’s such a low percentage of people [00:25:00] anyway, that it’s not going to cut significantly into my revenue.

Um, but if it became a problem. And then I can hire a lawyer and try to try to sort it out. But it’s not been a problem for me.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: What kind of marketing advertising are you doing? Um, besides the organic, you know, the content that’s already on your YouTube and so forth to drive kind of like the new, new customer acquisition.

I’m assuming that. In this kind of a product, you’re not trying to convert people. So, you know, I’m assuming that the person who already has certain motivation to learn or some certain interest in learning piano or a musical interest, they may see an ad, let’s say on Facebook, you know, Facebook or Instagram, and they may be like, yes, you know, I’ve already always been interested, you know, let me check it out.

But you’re not trying to convert like a person who has no interest in music to. You know, comments all of a sudden start learning

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: piano. [00:26:00] Yeah. I’m not a paid ads guy. I’ve never been super successful with it. I think the number one mistake people, people make with online courses is they, they build the course before anything else without putting any of the other pieces in place without having an audience, uh, without having a funnel, anything like that.

And I would say the second mistake that people make is assuming that worst case, they can just use paid ads to drive the traffic and make more money. On the back end, then what they spend on the front end, but nine times out of 10, from what I’ve seen is people end up making less money than they’re putting in and they’re wasting money with paid ads.

And so I personally don’t think that’s a great way to go, especially when you’re starting out. Now, if you’re already successful, you’re making 10, a month, and you want to. You do some paid ads to throw fuel on an already burning fire. I am a fan of that approach. And that’s kind of what we’re doing is we spend a little bit of money each month with Google ads.

And we choose Google ads because it’s [00:27:00] not interruptive marketing with Facebook ads and other platforms. We, there’s some targeting you can do, but they’re browsing, you know, Facebook or whatever. And then we interrupt their scrolling with an ad. They’re not actively seeking what we have to offer. Whereas with Google ads, we are targeting people who are actively searching for terms like.

How to learn piano, online piano course, learn piano fast, and we’re just making sure we appear as high as possible in the results for the people that are already searching for those things. So I think Google ads is like our third or fourth top traffic source at this point. And once again, for us, it’s just fuel.

On the fire and we choose to go with that, um, that style of advertising where it’s like, we’re putting our stuff in front of people that are already searching for what we have to offer. But that’s not necessarily the best approach for everybody because piano is extreme, an extremely well known thing.

You know, you, most people know what a piano is. They know what it sounds like. When somebody [00:28:00] knows how to play piano, and a lot of people know that they want to play piano. Sometimes people have online courses where the thing that they’re teaching is not so, um, people aren’t so aware of, and they almost have to educate them that, that Getting that outcome is even a possibility.

And that’s when something like Facebook ads might be more appropriate.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: In terms of the funnel, of course, you know, you, you mentioned funnel a few times, um, let’s say that a person is trying to create a course now, you know, uh, they don’t have an audience. You know, they have an idea that, you know, or they have a certain expertise or skill that they want to share with the world.

Um, so the first step that you said is, you know, you have to build an audience. So let’s say that start, they started creating, you know, videos for YouTube videos, short form video for social media and so forth. Start attracting some attention based on the content that they’re putting out. [00:29:00] Um. The next step to that would be to have some sort of a way to collect email addresses so that, you know, the people who are coming, you know, maybe offer them some sort of a free, um, you know, free, uh, content piece or value, um, that that’s useful for the audience and collect that email address.

And then from there. You would have like some sort of a drip email sequence and you would offer, create offers for, for the course and you’ll educate people on the benefits of the course. Would that be kind of the funnel that you would kind of build today or you would do it in a different

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: way? Yeah, more or less.

I can get specific with what, with the type of funnel I’d recommend. In my opinion, to sell an online course, a funnel is really necessary. But the caveat there is that I like to price higher, not lower. So if you’re selling a course for less than like 150 bucks, you don’t necessarily need a funnel. You could just have [00:30:00] a basic sales page that’s well done, and you can get away with that.

But I don’t like selling online courses for that cheap. Now, it certainly depends what we’re selling, what outcome we’re selling. But in general, I like to err on. Pricing it higher so that we are conveying a higher value of what we have to offer. And also like, I want to make more per sale. Like I’m going through the effort to make an online course.

I’d rather make more money per sale than less money per sale. And thirdly, you end up with a higher quality. Student at a higher price. I’ve sold my piano course at lots of different price ranges. And I’m telling you, you know, that we’re, we’re at our top in packages, a thousand dollars now, and those are our highest quality students by far fewer refund rates, uh, you know, less needy, more engaged.

It’s really incredible. So I err on the side of higher pricing, but if you’re going to go higher, you’ve got to have an effective sales funnel. And so what I see working for online courses would be two different types of funnels. One would be a [00:31:00] webinar funnel. And that’s where we’re just offering some sort of free workshop, free web class of some sort, maybe an hour long, maybe 45 minutes, where we’re offering value, but we’re breaking down the barriers that somebody might have to accomplishing our thing or taking our course.

And so I have a, I have kind of a script and a framework that I use. To do that through a webinar. And I’m not talking about live webinars necessarily, and I’m not talking about pretending it’s a live webinar either. I’m just talking about a simple on demand type of webinar that is basically a video on a page that somebody does opt in for.

They need to give me their email address so I can keep marketing to them after. And then I like to implement, uh, the urgency of a discount. I think that’s the most ethical way to implement. Evergreen urgency. And so for a limited period of time after they opt in for the freebie, we are offering a discount for a certain period of time.

So my two packages I told you about are $500 and a thousand dollars, but within the [00:32:00] funnel, you can get it for either $400, so a hundred dollars off, or you can get it. Uh, 800, 200 off. So 500, a thousand or 400, 800 inside the funnel. And 95 percent of our sales come inside the funnel. The other type of funnel I recommend for courses.

Depending on the niche, what you’re trying to teach would be a free course funnel. So you can take a small piece of your course and offer it for free. You say, Hey, you want to learn X, Y, and Z, take the free course. They opt into that. And it ends up looking very similar to the webinar funnel, but the initial value proposition is a little different.

Hey, free workshop where you’re learning this, this, and this. Or free course where you’ll learn this, this, and this, but those are the two of most effective sales funnels that I see working today for online courses.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: You said that, uh, now your focus is our other things, or you’re interested in doing other things.

I mean, to me, this, the course of business [00:33:00] model seems really nice. Um, what, um, what, what, what, what other things are you, are you focusing on right now?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah. So I’m a total sellout and now I just have a course on courses. So what, what happened was, you know, I was never super passionate about the piano stuff I mentioned to you.

I wasn’t a piano teacher. Um, I was, I was in my senior year of college. Getting my degree in engineering and I, and that’s when the book, the four hour work week came out. And that’s what really for the first time made me want to be an entrepreneur because of all the cool things having an online business allowed the author to do all the traveling and whatnot, you know, having a four hour work week.

And so I tried to create a lot of different types of businesses and. The piano one was the seventh thing I tried and the first one that made a single dollar. And so I tried a lot of different, uh, a lot of different things. Um, so my go to wasn’t just, Oh, piano. [00:34:00] Like that’s what I’m most passionate about, but it turns out I had something to offer and it worked, but.

And going through the process and figuring out all the hard lessons, I really enjoyed the business side of that. And so eventually once it started working, I really wanted to just like, talk like, like we’re doing now, we’re talking about the business side of it. And so in 2017. I didn’t have a product in mind.

I didn’t have really even a business and model in mind, but I wanted to build an audience. And so I started a podcast and I started a podcast called the online course show. And, uh, it’s still going today. We’re over 200 episodes in. And so I just, most of the time on the podcast, I’m interviewing. Other course creators in all kinds of crazy niches.

You would never even think of that. I found success in online courses like I have, and it provides motivation and inspiration to people listening to it. Maybe somebody who’s looking to create an online course, maybe they have, and they’re trying to scale it. [00:35:00] And so that is. Where I focus most of my working hours now is doing that podcast.

And then I’ve got a coaching program that I sell as well, where I help people with their online course businesses.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: What are some of the craziest niches, of course, that you’ve come across? I’m, I’m curious now.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: So there’s plenty of mainstream ones, right? Like a lot of guitar courses, you know, other musical instruments, um, teaching people to sing or write songs.

A lot of people in the music niche do end up finding me because I’m in the music niche, but there’s certainly plenty of others. I have one guy that I coached who has been uh, incredibly successful. Um, his brand is called Toddlers Can Read, so he teaches like three year olds how to read. And it works. It’s incredible what he’s able to do.

Uh, his name is Spencer Russell. He’s got over, you know, 600, 000 followers on Instagram. So you could, you can check him out. But he sells a 200 online course, um, through a webinar funnel. And he sells [00:36:00] like hundreds of those courses every month. And it’s, it’s really, really cool. You know, typically. You go through school, you learn to read kindergarten, first, second, third grade.

And he’s, he has a method for teaching toddlers to read. That’s really cool. Recently, I came across somebody who teaches people to start their own grow and pick flower. No, no, they teach. Vineyard owners, how to also have a grow and pick your own flower field at your vineyard. Very, very specific. Very specific.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And there’s a market for that. Yes. Wow. Okay. Uh, very interesting. Talking about competition, I mean… You know, in a category like industry, I mean, piano, it’s I’m assuming there’s a lot of other teachers out there who know who are kind of experts who have put the 10, 000 hours into learning the piano and they have a much, you know, [00:37:00] intimate understanding of piano and teaching and things like that.

If a lot of those creators are also creating courses, like, how does that play out in terms of competition? Is it, like, at the end of the day, does it really come down to two things? Number one, who is a better marketer? And number two, uh, a bit of, you know, the personality of the person itself. I mean, at the end of the day, I think the person is really buying into the teacher, right?

Or the person who’s teaching. So how do you, how do you manage that competition?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: The person and their message, right? So I will say that, you know, I’ve been in, I’ve been in business for 10 years. And at the time when I, I was at the first, there were others. In fact, my original idea was piano in 30 days, but that existed already back in 2013.

So that’s, you know, I ended up coming down to piano in 21 days. So, but now man, the, the [00:38:00] competition there’s, there’s, there’s got to be thousands of piano courses now. Right. And COVID. Increase that. So I was already established when COVID happened and overnight my business like 10x because the amount of people searching for piano lessons once COVID happened and the lockdowns happened 10x and I was already established.

And so my business went crazy. But another thing that happened during COVID is not only did a lot of people want to learn piano, But a lot of people had it in the back of their mind to create a course of some sort. And certainly a lot of people had an idea to create a piano course. And so it gave people the time to do that.

And so the competition certainly has never been bigger now. Um, but all the more reason when you’re in a, when you’re in a saturated space to have some sort of what I would call, um, Your special sauce, right? What is, what is it that makes you different? We have this fast food restaurant that started, uh, where I live.

It’s called Raising Canes and all [00:39:00] they sell is chicken fingers. Basically, they have chicken fingers. They have french fries. Um, they have drinks. But they have this special sauce and that’s the reason that people go there. Everybody tells sells chicken fingers. Dude, can you go somewhere and get chicken fingers in Toronto?

Of course. Yeah. I mean, we were, we were in a town in France in the middle of nowhere, tiny little town, we’re on this little beach and they had those little shack serving some food and drinks. And like, they had chicken fingers because like, everybody has chicken fingers, right? But if you want to stand out in the crowd, you’ve got like, that’s the reason that people adore canes for the people that have one and have heard of it, it’s because their sauce is incredible.

And it’s like, you can’t replicate it. And so that’s the key when you have a lot of competition is to try to figure out what your special sauce is. And so for me, um. There’s a, there’s a few elements. So a lot of times you and your personality can be part of [00:40:00] your special sauce, but also a lot of times that’s not good enough.

And so, uh, being able to teach somebody in 21 days is huge for me, but then I also within my program, and I share this in a lot of my YouTube videos, my biggest special sauce is what I call my five step song learning process. So being able to play piano at the end of the day is playing songs on the piano.

It’s not drilling scales. It’s not drilling something else. It’s not sheet music. It’s being able to play songs. And that can be really hard, especially the traditional way, because it takes a really long time to learn how to read sheet music. And then even if you know how to read sheet music, it can take a really long time to learn a new song through sheet music, but I’ve got a five step song learning process that doesn’t involve sheet music and allows you to learn a new song in as little as five minutes.

You hear a new song on the radio. He’s like. I want to know how to play that. If you’ve got the fundamentals down, you follow the five step process, you’re playing it that day. [00:41:00] And that’s really my main special sauce that I have that sets me apart from other, other competitors. Awesome.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So you, you are now running a 4 million plus business, as you said, for at least for this product.

Um, What does the back end look like? What is, are you kind of the sole operator? Do you have team members who kind of manage some of the marketing and customer service? And what does your team look like

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: right now? Yeah, so I’ve got, I have an operations manager. And he helps me manage both businesses. So he’s, he’s, he does the operations in both man, uh, businesses and then a virtual assistant as well.

And so, um, and she does a lot of the customer support and whatnot. So for me, that means that all I really have to do is if I want to create new content, like I’m the one on camera and then I do the monthly Q and a. So we’re talking very minimal hours each month, um, because we have [00:42:00] a lot of automation in place and then there’s a very small team in place too.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Now you did, you did mention that, you know, your goal was initially to be able to, to have a business that gives you the time to be able to do cool things and to be able to spend time, um, you know, doing things that you want to do. What kind of cool things have you been able to do with the kind of financial freedom that, uh, your business has afforded you?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: That’s a great question. Um, back in 2016, once I quit my job, Yeah, I’d worked as an engineer for eight years. One of the very first things we did, we had a, at the time, nine month old baby, our first kid, uh, we went and lived in France for three months in a small town. Uh, because that, that’s the type of thing that me and my wife both had always wanted to do.

We, we, we took vacations here and there, you know, you take, you ask for a week off of work, you know, going across the ocean for, and then [00:43:00] only spending one week is you don’t get to do too much. So we wanted to go somewhere. And stay and like live and really soak in the culture. So we were able to stay in one place for three months because that for the first time we actually could.

And so that’s something we did really early on. Um, just last month, we, uh, went on a big road trip around the country, um, to a bunch of national parks. We went for four weeks. I didn’t work at all. Um, Because of the automations and team that I have in place with both of my businesses and just spend that, that, uh, quality family time.

I don’t work a full schedule. You know, my kids are now six and eight and, uh, I make sure I get off by four each day. I don’t really start working until about nine. I don’t usually work on Fridays. I’ve got a really, uh, um, Small schedule, working schedule. And I try to spend as much time as I can with, with my family, because that’s really what’s most important.

So whether it’s just spending [00:44:00] time with them or, you know, we travel a lot, we have lots, a lot more trips on the horizon as well. Um, so it’s, you know, family and travel would be my go tos there. I mean, that

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: almost sounds like a dream, dream life, uh, which it is, uh, in many ways. Um, I’m assuming that your story is more of an exception rather than rule.

I mean, out of all the thousands of people who try to become, you know, successful online entrepreneur course creator, you know, only a very small fraction of those are actually able to do it at the end. Um, I mean, do you, do you agree with that? If, if, if not, like what, what do you think have you been able to do versus, you know, the people who are not, who don’t end up becoming successful?

Um, like what is the, what is the difference, uh, for someone who becomes successful versus, you know, [00:45:00] all the other people who kind of try and do everything that they can, but, you know. Cannot get to the stage where you are, I mean, which is kind of where, you know, which is, which is the dream for many people.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Yeah. I think two things come to mind. If we’re talking about why the majority of people don’t succeed with courses, two main things come to mind. One would be you’ve really, you’ve got to have all the pieces in place. And if you’re missing any one piece, You’re probably going to fail. And sometimes just one little piece you’re missing that can take it over the top.

So certainly you need to have the product. You have to have the course, but like we talked about earlier, you’ve got to have the audience. You’ve got to have a funnel. You’ve got to have a compelling offer and really compelling messaging and value proposition. You really need. Uh, really good testimonials as well for that social proof.

Um, so you really need all the pieces in place. And then I think the other thing where people go, uh, area that people go wrong is having mentors and learn, learning from other people that have been there [00:46:00] and done that. And that’s something that I’ve really leaned into the past few years is always having mentors and coaches.

Um, that are steps ahead of me that I can learn from and not assuming that either a, I have all the answers or B that I can find all the answers on my own. Having, having mentors and coaches is really, really incredible.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in every entrepreneur’s journey, there’s always mistakes made lessons learned failures.

Um, since the time you’ve been, uh, an entrepreneur, what, what is like the top mistake that comes to your mind that you made that, uh, that was a big failure for you and, uh, you know, what did you learn from it? What can other entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: Um, I’m trying to think of something that wouldn’t be something we’ve gone over already.

I mean, cause the first thing that comes to mind is like not really focusing on the audience first. I think that’s the biggest thing. Um, is the, is the idea of if, if you build it, they will [00:47:00] come. And so that’s what would have allowed me to find success much sooner is really focusing on the audience and building the audience and like blocking out all the other noise.

So I look at that as probably my biggest mistake. I would say not finding outside help, like um, like outsourcing, sooner, having trust issues with that, worrying about how much to pay them, if I would have enough work to give them, right, not outsourcing sooner, definitely held me back and was a mistake, and then Not hiring mentors and coaches sooner was a mistake as well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Now I’m going to move on to our rapid fire segment. In this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions. You have to answer them maybe, uh, in a couple of words or a sentence or so. So the first one is one book recommendation for entrepreneurs

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: and why? One book recommendation for entrepreneurs.

[00:48:00] Um, let’s go with. For entrepreneurs, um, or, or in general. Yeah, in general. So I would say expert secrets by Russell Brunson. It’s one of the books that I have behind me that that is a book all about how to take the knowledge that you have and sell it in an online course. A lot of the things we’re talking about here, I’ve learned a lot from Russell Brunson, the creator of ClickFunnels.

And so that would be certainly one of my top book recommendations. And that was probably more than two words, wasn’t it? No, that’s, that’s

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: fine. That’s totally fine. Um, an innovative product or idea in the current e commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about. That I feel is what? Excited about a product

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: or an idea.

Um, so I think I would just go with Kajabi. Uh, I’ve played with a lot of different online course platforms, and there was a time where I had all these different pieces of software doing different aspects, you know, the communities [00:49:00] here, the courses here, the websites over here, the landing pages are here, payment processor.

Like you’ve got all these pieces and right now I’ve got everything inside. The all in one platform Kajabi that does all of those things really well. It doesn’t do them all perfectly. Um, but I think that’s another area that does hang people up is the tech side of things and trying to have too many different things.

You know, today my recommendation is like just go with Kajabi, have it all in there and don’t worry about tech.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So that’s kind of like the Shopify of

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: online courses. Yes, exactly.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: My biggest productivity tip right now is only having meetings once a week. So, I’m a big fan of deep work. Like having long periods of time within your day to really get into something without distractions. And I [00:50:00] used to allow meetings to happen in my calendar every day. And it’s really, it’s really hard to like work a little bit, have a meeting, and then work a little bit more, have another meeting.

And so I really try to just have meetings on one day a week. And that way the other days. Normally I take Fridays off and then the other days I have like I can really have that deep work time The the majority of the day because I don’t have to worry about stopping and restarting

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, yeah, I think I think that that makes a huge difference.

The meetings really interrupt your your flow um a startup or business that you think is currently doing great things it could be In any industry.

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: It doesn’t matter. Yeah. So I, I mean, I mentioned good job you already, but I think they’ll keep doing great things. Um, I’ll also throw out Bonjoro. Bonjoro is a tech tool I use almost every day.

You know, that’s something I didn’t mention. That’s something I do in my business for piano in 20 minutes. I didn’t mention earlier, but it’s something I’ve done for years and it’s every time somebody buys my [00:51:00] course. Within a day or two, they’ll get a personal video for me, 20, 30 seconds long, welcoming them to the course.

And Bonjoro is the tool I use to make that super easy. So I have an automation set up to when somebody buys, it automatically creates the task for me in Bonjoro. And so every day or two, I log into Bonjoro and I see my tasks, which are the people that I bought. And I just click on it, record a short video, calling them out by name so that they know it’s not an automation, welcoming them to the course.

And that really sets that relationship up the right way. Um, so that’s, I’ve been doing that a long time. I’ve sent over 5, 000 Bonjoros and I love, love, love that tool. And the people that work there. Wow. Wow.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I, I, I didn’t know about that too. That sounds really interesting. I’m going to check that out. Uh, a peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: you?

Sure. Um, so I would say I mentioned Russell Brunson, uh, of course. I’ll go with, um, Graham Cochran [00:52:00] as well. So, uh, he is in my space as well. He’s done courses and now he’s got a big brand around teaching the online business stuff as well. Um, he’s one of my mentors for sure. His book is behind me on this shelf too.

I listen to his podcast, watch his YouTube channel, uh, and so on. So I’ll go Graham Cochran.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Final question. Best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: um don’t let the haters and trolls get you down and um, there’s a quote that I like to remember and it’s um People are not against you They’re for themselves.

So you don’t really ever know what’s happening on the other end, right? If somebody’s complaining about you or you, you make a piece of content and you get negative comments underneath it, that person could just be having a bad day, you know? And, uh, unless a hundred percent of the comments ever are negative [00:53:00] about you, um, for most people, it’s only like five to 10 percent of the comments.

And really. You’re probably doing something wrong if you’re not getting any negative comments. So, um, I used to let those, those negative comments really get me down. Uh, but. It’s better to realize that it’s likely more about them than you, and maybe they’re just having a bad day.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Very true. Very true. I think you can never please everybody.

Well, Jacques, those were all the questions that I had. Really insightful discussion. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I mean, your life seems like almost like a dream life to be on. I usually talk to a lot of, you know, product based e commerce entrepreneurs, and it’s like, they’re always, uh, on the hustle.

They’re struggling. They’re working. So, so this is, this almost seems like a dream life to me. So, well, thank you. Thank you again for joining me today and sharing your story, Jacques. So, um, yeah, thanks again for your time. Really appreciate it and wish you all the very

Jacques Hopkins of Piano in 21 Days: best. Thank you. Thank you again [00:54:00] for having me on for the opportunity.

I appreciate it.

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