Entrepreneurs without programming knowledge tend to dismiss software-based businesses as too complex. Courses and other digital products are often seen as more accessible. But creating digital tools to serve your audience is easier than you think!
Spencer Haws, today’s returning guest, hasn’t been on the show since episode 066 — over ten years ago! He still runs an incredible blog at NichePursuits.com and has built and sold several thriving software businesses with no coding experience.
In this episode, we hear about Spencer’s niche sites and get an inside look at his latest venture, Link Whisper — a WordPress plugin that makes internal linking faster and more effective. This fascinating chat covers everything from interviewing potential customers to selling a business for massive profit!
Also, if you’re nothing like me and love ultra-thin pillows, Spencer’s your man! We dive into his physical products as well today, so tune in and enjoy.
Spencer Haws is a family man with 4 children and an amazing wife. He’s run 16 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 3 times.
He built his first website in 2006 and has been fascinated by niche sites ever since.
After trying for years, Spencer was finally able to quit his banking job in 2011 and go full-time in his niche website business.
He started blogging about his online business journey at NichePursuits.com when he quit the corporate world and now gets millions of visitors each year to his site.
Spencer has always looked for ways to speed up processes through software. He created Long Tail Pro as a way to do more effective keyword research in 2011 and sold that business in 2016.
In 2019, he created Link Whisper as a way to speed up the process of building internal links. Link Whisper is now the #1 internal link-building WordPress plugin.
- Building a thriving software-based business
- Niche ecommerce and creating physical products
- Lessons learned from unsuccessful ventures
- How to find a buyer for your online business
- The importance of conducting customer interviews
- How Spencer developed and launched Link Whisper
- Find out more about Spencer’s new tool, Rank Logic
- Subscribe to Unstuck — my weekly newsletter on what’s working in business right now, delivered free, straight to your inbox
- Connect with Pat on Twitter and Instagram
SPI 701 How to Profit by Building Software (With NO Coding Experience) with Spencer Haws
Spencer Haws: Software isn’t as hard as you might think, or it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. I think it scares a lot of people off. They think, ah, you know, doing, you know, a course or some other digital product that is not software is just so much easier.
And in some regards that may be true, but software really does come down to the basic principle of find the problem that your audience has, find the solution for that, and, if you can explain your thoughts in a Google Doc really well and talk to a developer about that, you can get somebody to build it.
Pat Flynn: Hey, we have a guest who’s back on the podcast since episode 66. This is episode 701. The first one after 700. Thank you for helping us get here, which is wild. But this is a person who is hundreds of episodes ago, so we’re talking over a decade. His name is Spencer Haws. He’s the founder of NichePursuits.com website and a person that I’ve been friends with and connected with for a very long time, obviously, and this was back in our niche site duel days, building websites about specific keywords and ranking them, generating an income from them.
And he had built a software back in the day called Long Tail Pro, which he later sold. We’re gonna talk about that a little bit, but he wants to encourage you to figure out ways to profit from building software that solves a problem for your audience. We’re gonna talk about his latest venture, Link Whisper, as well as some other projects that didn’t do so well in the lessons he’s learned from those.
This is Session 701. Thank you so much for being here. Spencer Haws from NichePursuits.com and Link Whisper. Here he is. I know you’re, you’re gonna love this one. This one’s great.
Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host. His phone ringtone? It’s the Rick and Morty theme song. Pat Flynn.
Pat Flynn: Spencer, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for joining me today.
Spencer Haws: Pat, it’s an absolute honor to be back on the Smart Passive Income podcast.
Pat Flynn: And, you know, whenever we have like another or, or a person who’s been on the show before, usually it’s been, you know, a couple years, maybe three or four max, but for you.
I mean, you were back in episode 66, bro. That was over 10 years ago. That’s a long time.
Spencer Haws: I know. I was just looking at that 10 years ago, a decade. I have a couple more kids. Maybe you’ve got more kids. Got more gray hair. But it’s been a long time, so
Pat Flynn: I do, and it’s coming outta my like chin now. Yeah. I love it. Which is wild, but I know a lot has happened. When we were last talking here on the show, you were the owner of something called Long Tail Pro, which was a software that I was using for a lot of the niche site related stuff. Are you still dabbling in those kinds of things from niche sites to software today?
Spencer Haws: To a certain regard, yes. So kind of the definition I think of niche sites has changed a lot. Right? Back in the day, used to be really small little niche sites. I built a ton of them. I’ve evolved and so I still have a few niche sites, you know, that I put more time into it, right? So I’ve got like three or four sites that I focus on and, and, and try to grow instead of a huge portfolio or something.
I sold Long Tail Pro in 2016, so quite a while ago I actually exited that business. But that first experience with building a software tool has led to a total now of four software tools. You know, some with varying degrees of success, and one in particular that I’m focused on now. So, definitely still involved in the software world and the niche site world to a certain degree.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I’m curious on the software, did the success of Long Tail Pro open up more opportunities for you to explore other spaces outside of what you were doing? Or did you kind of create new software that kind of was in the same industry? Because I know some people who are like, I’m done with this. I sold it.
I wanna. You know, grow coffee in Hawaii now, right? And do something completely different. Like how much did you stay in that realm with your next project after you sold?
Spencer Haws: I’ve had NichePursuits.com, my blog, and that has always been active and I’ve always continued to do that. So I’ve always been in the sort of, call it the SEO, niche site, affiliate marketing world. But when I sold Long Tail Pro, I actually dabbled quite a bit in the e-commerce space. Believe it or not, I had an a pillow brand that I launched on Amazon fba. And so I was selling, you know, pillows for about, let’s see, I wanna say three to four years that I had that brand and sold that brand in like 2018 or something like that.
And so, yeah, it was awesome. It was a lot of fun. It was sort of a need out of my own need, right? Like pillows, I really like. Thin pillows for whatever reason, that has just been my thing, really thin pillows and I could not find anything selling on Amazon that was just as thin as I liked it. And so I outsourced it to to China.
Got a manufacturer, created really thin pillows, listed it up on Amazon. I was like one of only two listings that were clearly calling out like thin pillow. No way. And they started selling like the first week. So this is back in 2015 or something, I think is when I first started doing this. And so I grew my portfolio of pillows to like a dozen different pillow varieties, like most of them being thin.
And it, it did really well. It was, I don’t remember at its peak what it was making, but you know, it was netting like, 15 to 20,000 a month. Like bottom line for me, dude, that’s wild. Sold it for like 450,000, the whole business. I decided to get outta the Amazon business, like I said, in 2018 or something.
Sold that. Yeah. And so, yes, I’ve dabbled with different things. I’ve done e-commerce. I, like I said, I’ve tried a couple software things. All the software things I’ve done have been focused on the sort of niche pursuits audience.
Pat Flynn: Did you use the pillow situation is sort of a case study for Niche Pursuits as a, as like an arm of niche pursuits, like an e-commerce kind of section of the brand.
Spencer Haws: Yes, absolutely. So it produced a lot of content. That’s cool. Actually brought on people to, to my podcast, interviewed, you know, Amazon FBA experts and e-commerce experts like had Steve Chu and, yeah, Chris Guthrie and other, other people at the time that were, you know, very involved in, in e-commerce and also was able to demonstrate how to build a niche site associated with an e-commerce brand, cuz that’s something that, I married the two together. I built a pillow website that was rank in four lots of long tail keywords in Google, you know, related to thin pillows, you know, what’s the best thin pillow out there, thin latex, pillow, whatever it was.
And so I got a lot of traffic to my own blog that I would then send onto my Amazon listings through my own affiliate link.
Pat Flynn: That’s cool. That’s similar to how like a lot of the stuff I’m doing right now in the Pokemon space, which is completely separate, but it is a great case study for Superfans. It’s a great case study for, you know, building a business today and for YouTube as well.
So I, I love that. I have two questions about the pillow thing before we move on. Number one, why a thin pillow? Like that’s, I cannot imagine sleeping on a thin, like I would have to fold it in half, twice to get it to what I need to be.
Spencer Haws: I don’t, I don’t know if you and I can agree on this one here, it’s just thin pillows are just way better in every regard, Pat.
You don’t fold it, you just like literally keep it flat. No, you, you do not fold it at all. You just keep it flat. You know, you get these thick pillows and you got your neck that’s just like bent, you know, so far. One way. Yeah. Yeah. You want it just so thin. I do like to sleep on my stomach, so that’s maybe part of it.
At least I try to sleep on my stomach. Right? I start on my stomach and then flipped to my back. But so for whatever reason it’s been my, my one little quirk is like, you can never have a pillow thin enough. So I created it. I created like this super thin, like two inch thick pillow. So what was the name of the brand?
Elite Rest. Elite Rest. Elite rest. And it still exists. I think if people go on Amazon, they can find it and you know, the, the new owner has it.
Pat Flynn: I was hoping you were gonna say like sleep engine optimization or something like that.
Spencer Haws: That would’ve been so good.
Pat Flynn: And then you would have a podcast called Pillow Talk that that would have to happen.
Spencer Haws: Yes, absolutely. If I were to go all in, I would launch the podcast with, with it, and then maybe have an app, right. To like calculate what’s your perfect pillow height. Right. Like how, yeah. That’s doesn’t need to be, right. So that’s awesome.
Pat Flynn: Again, I love the idea that you used that as case study. You, you, you did really well there.
So you went from the pillow to why, why, why get rid of it? Why not just keep it as a cash cow? Why walk away from e-commerce entirely?
Spencer Haws: Yeah. It started out kind of as an experiment. Like I said, Hey, I’ve got this problem. Can I find the solution? I did. I wanted to dabble. So it always was kind of a side project anyways, you know, I didn’t go even bigger because they’re starting to get a lot of competitors come onto Amazon over the years, you know, like I said, I was only like one of two listings that was like thin pillows.
Within the next couple of years, everybody uses a Jungle Scout and sees how much you’re selling on your listing, and all of a sudden I’ve got, you know, like 20 listings that are all selling, like almost the exact same pillow. So I got a lot more competitive. I didn’t have a lot of other directions that I wanted to go with it.
It kind of just, you know, I, I had created the thin pillow that I wanted and I grown the band done really well. After a few years, just decided to exit and move on to other things.
Pat Flynn: That’s cool. I, I also like that as a case study because it’s completely outside of the Niche Pursuit sort of audience. It’s like a brand new audience that you have to find and, and optimize for. So it’s cool that you were able to, again, prove yourself there. And so after the pillow stuff, what was the next move from there? Back into software, it seems?
Spencer Haws: Yeah, I did. I, I launched a couple of different software tools that were kind of what I’ll call bumps in the road software tools, right? Like a, after I sold Long Tail Pro, which I have shared the numbers there. You know, it was a seven figure exit. It was a great exit, and so I felt like, hey, let’s, let’s try to replicate the Long Tail Pro success. So I built something called Table Labs, which was a software tool to help you build Amazon comparison tables.
So Amazon Associates would compare, you know, a bunch of different products, create beautiful looking tables, right on your website. I had a great audience for that, put a ton of money into it. Spent like, like a hundred thousand dollars getting this software tool developed, and it never really made much more than a couple thousand dollars a month.
Right, and I, I kind of just felt like, oh, I either missed the mark and understanding how large the potential audience was there, or, or what exactly it was. But it was, it was not a huge success. I launched another little WordPress plugin that was called AMZ Image, that just helped you quickly insert images into your, your blog posts that were from Amazon that were compliant because it used the API to pull the images and everything like that.
And that was never meant to be a huge thing. But that one I only spent like 600 bucks developing and it made almost as much as the table labs software tool. So I had a couple things that I tried that that didn’t work as well. And then eventually I landed on what I’m currently doing, which is Link Whisper we can talk about.
That’s been, you know, much more successful.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I definitely want to hear about Link Whisper. If you could go back to the point at which you were thinking about creating these additional software products after the pillow thing, what would you have done differently now that you know what you know?
Spencer Haws: You know, I think I would have spent more time figuring out what my customers wanted and if they truly would be willing to pay the price that I was planning to charge, you know, to, to do some more market research. I mean, I hate to say that cause I feel like I do a good job of doing market research. I felt like I found a gap. You know, there were some plugins that kind of, you know, would let you insert tables. But this was just way more customizable, better looking, I thought.
But I would’ve spent more time probably in conversations with my audience to really dial in, okay, are you really willing to spend $97 a year for this, right? Or 20 bucks a month or whatever. I tried different price points. I tried monthly, I tried annual and I could never get anything that like people just loved.
And so I kind of feel, feel like I missed the mark there of how badly people wanted a solution for that problem.
Pat Flynn: Well, I appreciate that. I mean, this is why I tell so much about validation and like you said, literally having more conversations with customers. You can never have too many really leading into, you know, the, the validation sequence of a product and, and such.
So do those products still are like, are they still out there and kind of just, you know, servicing the customers, but kind of you’re not really pushing hard on them, or did you kind of close ’em down?
Spencer Haws: Right. They do still exist. I, I actually exited both of them. Right. They were making money, but I felt like, you know, these aren’t gonna be as big as I thought.
And so I, I sold them. Right. So, so they both do, do operate under different owners and they still exist. They’re still active, they’re both good tools, but the, the market size for, for both of them is just, is small.
Pat Flynn: So you’ve had a lot of experience now selling businesses big and small for those two software products, like how did you, with all that previous experience selling, like what was the, the route that you took to sell them? Or did you already have like a person in mind or is there a marketplace for that kind of stuff?
Spencer Haws: The route I went was probably something not many people can replicate simply because I have an audience.
I, I reached out to my audience, I emailed my audience, makes sense, and said, Hey, I’m, I’m selling these. And I was just very upfront and honest. I said, Hey, these haven’t turned out to be, you know, huge successes. They’re small projects, but they’re making, you know, a thousand dollars a month or $2,000 a month if anybody’s interested in this, you know, reach out and let me know.
So, so that’s how I was able to find a potential buyer for those couple of projects, which, which is awesome. I, as you know, Pat, just having an audience that is active digital marketers, there’s a lot of unique things you can do with your audience for sure. But there are marketplaces that you can go and and sell your business, but I haven’t used them for my software tool.
Pat Flynn: So Nice. I think Empire Flippers or Flippa, and there’s other marketplaces and stuff in case anybody’s curious.
Spencer Haws: Yeah. As, as you get larger, there’s Quiet Light Brokerage or FE International that, that tend to focus on like SaaS or software tools and stuff.
Pat Flynn: Speaking of software, let’s talk about Link Whisper, where did this idea come from and how did you, or what did you do differently here to ensure if, if anything, or maybe it was just luck, that it is now experiencing the success it has today?
Spencer Haws: Yeah, so Link whisper. How did I come up with the idea? Well, the way that I’ve come up with the best software tools in my experience is through kind of experiencing that firsthand pain, right?
Having that pain in your own business process. And so I have always built a lot of websites and been very active doing SEO producing content. So, and a big part of that is building internal links for seo. Right, linking to other articles on your site to, as a signal to Google that, Hey, these articles are important.
Or when you first publish a brand new article, the, the, the pain that I was finding in particular with, with niche pursuits, to be honest, because I really ramped up content production there. I was finding that, okay, we go through this whole process to get an article published, we hit publish, and then we’re done.
Right, well, not really with SEO in particular, you need to either build external links to that article or build internal links to that article. And so I was just finding this, this little pain point of like, I’ve gone through so many hours and now I need to go find other articles. I need to link to that.
Or as I’m writing an article, I need to, you know, make sure I’m interlinking properly. Then the real pain came when realizing, you know what, I have like a thousand articles on my site and I haven’t always done this process properly. Now I gotta go and find 500 of them that don’t have internal links pointing to them.
So, so I was experiencing the pain of like, okay, this is gonna take many, many hours to properly structure my site. And so that’s, that’s where the idea came from was just like, you know, there’s, I wish there was a tool that would make internal linking faster, easier, more effective. And so that was, was sort of the genesis of the idea was, you know, working on my own blogs, I did do a lot of potential customer interviews for this one. I did several calls and said, okay, what’s your internal link building process? What do you do after you publish an article? Or how do you ensure that you don’t miss any articles? Kind of walk me through that experience of what your process is, and that really helped me flesh out the, the feature set for Link Whisper.
And so of course, I, I went and I hired developers. I should mention for listeners that don’t know, I am not a developer, even though I’ve built, you know, four software tools, I’m, I have no experience as a developer. I can’t code. And so I went and I found a developer. I, I shared my idea, you know, and it’s not super advanced or complex in the way that I do it, but like, it’s literally like a Google Doc. I’ll type out like, here’s feature one, you know, bullet point, here’s feature two. Right? And, and I have to work with a developer that’s like smart enough to go, okay, he wrote it down, now let’s, like make it code. Right? And so I had have been able to find some, some great people to help me do that.
Yeah. So, so that, that’s the genesis of the idea and I’m happy to say that yeah, Link Whisper for definitely has met that goal. It makes internal linking faster, easier, more effective. And I saw that in my own process and so I felt like I know other people are gonna love this and they have.
Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. Before we go too far from it, I wanna ask about your developer. A, where did you find this person? B, where can other people find people like them? And C is this like a pay per project sort of situation? Are they coming on as a partner? Like how does that, what’s that relationship?
Spencer Haws: Yeah, I’ve made all the mistakes in the book as it relates to this.
So even with Link Whisper, my, like fourth or fifth, you know, software product here is I went to Upwork and I think that’s fine. You can find great developers on Upwork, but I went to Upwork hired somebody, and even after six months of them working on it, I was embarrassed to release this to my audience.
I was like, Ooh, you know, it kind of works, but kind of doesn’t. And I sort of had to make the decision, do I invest even more time or do I just scrap the, the project? And so then I, I went to somebody I knew, a mutual relationship, and asked for referrals on a good developer, found somebody and they stepped in and for the next six months, kind of revamped what the person on Upwork had done, fixed all the code base and made it work way better to a point where I’m like, okay, I, I can now share this with my audience. So that’s, that’s two ways is Upwork, you know, through referrals is a good way. Yeah, that’s, that’s primarily how I found two developers. I will say now I have a, a different person that is working full-time on Link Whisper that I found through Indeed, after I kind of got the initial project off the ground, I went to Indeed, I hired a full-time developer to do the ongoing work.
I, I should answer your one question that you said per project basis, yes or no. Initially, yes, it was a per project. You know, I paid them, you know, X dollars to complete this feature set that I had in my Google Doc. And then after that, when I got my full-time developer, now it’s, you know, a salary based, I just pay ’em monthly to do it.
Pat Flynn: The work that makes the most sense. I mean, when I had attempted software in 2010-2011, you know, I did the same thing. I found somebody and worked with them. It was a, actually a really bad experience, but I actually ended up work, it ended up working out cuz I put that aside and I didn’t know anything about having to upkeep that software.
Right, you have to continually update it. You have to change things and, and whether it’s an iPhone app or a software, a SaaS, you can’t just kind of rest on it. So you, you’re gonna eventually have to either keep paying that developer and then they might disappear, especially if they’re coming from, more of a marketplace type place or like you did in very smartly, and that’s the solution, is find somebody to come on full-time to kind of help with that.
Or, or even part-time, just at least be the point person when something breaks or if there’s, you know, an update that’s required or some compatibility issue or, or something like that, right. Just walk me through and walk the audience through like how this works. Like as a user, I sign up. Tell me about it.
Spencer Haws: Yeah, so Link Whispers is a WordPress plugin. We do also have a Shopify app for people that have Shopify stores, but, but primarily our user base is on WordPress, and so you buy the plugin and then you install this plugin zip file on your, your WordPress dashboard. The way that it operates, once you’ve got it installed, is that it can connect if you want to your Google search console, and I’ll explain why that might be important, but basically figures out what keywords you’re ranking for already. And then as you’re writing a new draft of an article is kind of where the magic happens, right? Is you’re, you’re in your article, you’re writing, you’ve written up your whole article, and then just below that, below that draft Link Whisper has internal link suggestions.
So it reads, you know, your sentences, your paragraphs, and it says, okay. You’re talking about thin pillows in, in this sentence, and it will suggest the anchor text, thin pillows, and the article that you have about, you know, best thin pillows or whatever it is, right? And it will suggest all these relevant internal links.
All you do is check the boxes and hit, you know, add, and that will add those internal links to your draft. And that’s pretty much it in terms of adding to content that you’re writing. And then on the other hand, like I said, you’re not done when you hit publish of an article. So once you publish your article, you then need to add internal links to that new article, and Link Whisper will do the same thing.
It will suggest, okay, this, you know, article is about memory foam pillows, and so here’s the 10 articles that have the phrase memory foam pillows in them on your website already, it will suggest the anchor text. You can click the boxes next to those suggested internal links, hit add, and it automatically adds them.
You don’t need to go to those 10 individual articles. Add the anchor text, add the link, like link whisper for just does it right. It, it’s done. It adds it in WordPress for you, and so huge time saver makes it so much easier. I guess the final thing there, there’s a few other things it does, but the final big thing is the reporting.
Just Link Whisper has a ton of internal link reporting. How many links does every page have? You can expand on and see, okay, what anchor text are you using? You know, are you really targeting the right keywords that you should be? So you can add and remove links very, very quickly through the reports functionality to just better understand what the structure of your site looks like.
Pat Flynn: Dude, that’s awesome. And when this came out, how much of it was built? Like, was there an MVP model of this when you launched it and, and when you launched it? What was your sort of marketing strategy there?
Spencer Haws: Yeah, there was an MVP. It essentially had the functions that I mentioned, but they’re much, much more robust now.
And my marketing strategy, again, fortunately, and, and this is can’t, I think definitely applies to, to listeners out there, fortunately I had an audience built in that I could essentially email my list, right? And I could send this out to potential users. And that’s how I launched. It was just through my, my own email list, my own audience, you know, if, if I had a different brand, I would be looking at how can I monetize my audience with software tools? Right? I think maybe that’s the takeaway here is that, hey, maybe you’ve already got an audience and you have never thought about software as a potential way to monetize that audience. Emails, social media, YouTube everywhere I could, could spread the word about through my own audience. And then after that, I reached out to affiliates and started building up potential affiliates to promote that to their audience as well.
Pat Flynn: I like it. And so how, how many years has it been up and, and how’s it doing?
Spencer Haws: Yeah, so launched it in 2019, mid 2019, so almost four years now.
And it’s doing very well. It’s doing very, very well. I may be biased, but it definitely is the number one internal linking tool for WordPress and existence and have many testimonials to back that up. But there’s between free and paid users, cuz there is a free wordpress.org version, there’s 35,000 users.
So a huge audience. A lot of large websites do use link whispers on their sites. Some that have shared publicly are like Forbes.com and many others that, that now use Link Whisper as their go-to tool. It’s very successful. It’s, it’s done very well. It’s, it’s surprised, even me, to be honest, how well it did.
I sort of thought, Hey, this is gonna be a nice little niche business. Right. Maybe make a few thousand dollars a month, but it’s surpassed that and I’m, yeah, I couldn’t be any happier.
Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. Well, congratulations on that. I mean, this is something that is seemingly even bigger than what Long Tail Pro was or, or had become.
What’s your ultimate plan for this, if you know, for the future.
Spencer Haws: Yeah. So we still have lots of development plans for it, so a lot of functionality that we want to integrate. Maybe I’ll tease one that we’re talking about, but is definitely integrating ai, artificial intelligence into the I was gonna ask about that, yeah, internal link suggestions to just make them even better, more relevant. Yeah. There’s a lot that you can do with AI to help a tool better understand what your whole website means, right? And, and so that’s a pretty big project that we’re, we’re planning on tackling. So pretty excited about that. But eventually as you may have sensed my pattern in the past, I probably will exit the business.
I don’t know when that will happen, but eventually I’ll sell the business and I’m building it in a way so that I can’t step away from the business, right? So that I’ve got employees in place. I’ve got a full-time, you know, marketing person, customers, you know, support staff, full-time developer. Right? And so if I were to sell it and walk away, the business should be able to run without me.
Pat Flynn: And then what, like, are you gonna keep building software or like, are you gonna, like, what, what’s your ultimate goal? Like, do you have bigger things outside of software that you wanna get into that this will kind of be the stepping stone for, or like, I’d love to know a little bit more about what’s going on in there.
Spencer Haws: Man, Pat, you’re asking the deep questions here. So, so I’ll answer the surface level one. Okay, and then we’ll maybe go deeper. But I actually do have another word press plugin under development right now. Not surprised, that’s called Rank Logic. People can check it out if they want. It’s like beta testing right now, so it’ll be a couple months before it’s really ready.
So I, you know, I have that other idea. I don’t know if I’ll do any more after that. The deeper question I think that you’re asking is like, okay, do I just keep building little software tools and selling them or am I gonna, I don’t know, go into to basketball cards and compete with Pokemon or something?
Yeah, man. I, I don’t know, man. Seeing what you’re doing with Pokemon looks like so much fun. I’m having a blast, that’s for sure. Yeah. You know, I, I would be tempted to do something that’s more “fun”, right? That’s maybe less about worrying about revenue numbers or something. But I, I don’t know, to be honest, like, like what I will do or if there will be a big next thing, you know, I’m, I think I’m, you know, two, three years, four years older than you maybe, Pat.
I don’t know. I, I start to get to the point where my, my oldest just graduated high school. I have two in high school. I start to think about what does life look like either when they’re gone or do I keep working. So, I don’t know, man, it, part of me is like, maybe someday I’ll just sell everything and find some other passion project, whether that is a for-profit, a nonprofit, a, some other project, I don’t know. But, but honestly, that, that could be in the next five years, you know, where I do that. But, but I don’t know. Then again, I might just get passionate about something.
Pat Flynn: And, and that’s okay. That you don’t know. I mean, I think, I think, I think a lot of us are like, oh, what is your big, sort of hairy, audacious goal, right?
And it’s like, if you don’t have it, that’s okay. As long as you, what you’re doing is something you, you’re, you’re enjoying. And I’m not saying it’s like, It has to be fun all the time. I mean, even the Pokemon thing and like I’m stressing out about this event that’s happening. It sounds like you’re having a fun time solving these problems with software.
Spencer Haws: Yeah, it is. It’s fun. There’s something about just seeing problems that exist in the marketplace or finding gaps in the marketplace and being the one, the one to come up with a creative solution to solve that problem. Like there, there is a certain amount of joy to that, right? Being able to do that. I love the creative side of finding those solutions.
And so where that will lead, you know, I, I don’t know. You know, I don’t have, like I said, I think some, some people have the big goal of either, you know, taking a company public or having a hundred million dollars in the bank or becoming a billionaire or, you know, Buying a, a sports team or, you know, I, I don’t really have some huge financial goal like that, right?
Like I eventually, you know, I’m getting close to the point where, hey, if I sold everything, you know, we, we, we’d be fine. And so I will have to come back and talk about what that next thing might be, other than the doors open. I’ll find something that hopefully excites me, wherever that is, and I’ll pursue that.
Pat Flynn: I love it, man. Well, thank you for that honesty and, and for opening up a little bit about the companies that you’ve built and the software LinkWhisper.com is the place to go. My team and I are definitely looking at it for sure. So cuz that is a big pain, especially with a thousand plus blog posts in our library as well.
So LinkWhisper.com, check it out. Niche Pursuits. We had Jared on the show recently, who’s the host over there at the, at the podcast. And so, you know, thank you again. And any final tips for any soon to be software developers listening who have gotten really excited about this potential venture. And, and you know, what, what can you tell ’em to encourage them a little bit?
Spencer Haws: Yeah. You know, I, I will maybe just say that software isn’t as hard as you might think, or it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. I think it scares a lot of people off. They think, ah, you know, doing, you know, a course or some other digital product that is not software is just so much easier.
And in some regards that may be true, but software does not have to be as hard as you think. It really does come down to the basic principle of find the problem that your audience has, find the solution for that, and then you can hire people to make that a reality. I mean, if you can explain your thoughts in a Google Doc really well and talk to a developer about that, you can get somebody to build it.
And so that would be kind of my encouragement. So that it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think it is, and it can be wildly profitable. Right. Just sort of the, the innate benefit of, I guess, any digital product is that you create it once and you can sell it as many times as you want. There’s no additional cost.
It’s not like we’re out here creating thin pillows where you have to manufacture a new thin pillow for every sale you make. No, you’ve already created the software. You can sell it, you know, an infinite number of times. The unit cost is, is very, very low.
Pat Flynn: Thank you for that man. I appreciate you. It was great to catch up.
Congrats on everything and looking forward to connecting with you again soon. If not online, then hopefully in person. I know you go to events every once in a while and you know, it’d be good to, to have a chat and have coffee together.
Spencer Haws: Yeah, absolutely. Pat, it’s been great. Catching up after 10 years.
Yeah, let’s not wait another 10. Let’s not do that again, for sure. But I love seeing everything that you’re doing, all the success you’re having, and yeah. Congrats on that. So thank you for having me back on.
Pat Flynn: Appreciate you.
All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Spencer. Just such a cool guy, genuine, and I wish we got to chat more often because I always learn so much when I chat with him.
He’s just such a genuine guy and you know, to hear his success with software is really, really encouraging. Really, really inspiring. So I hope this encourages you to explore how you can build solutions using software without any coding experience. And if you wanna check out more of his case studies and the things that he’s got going on, you can check out him over nichepursuits.com.
Jared Bauman, who’s his podcast host over at Niche Pursuits is is over there as well, who’s been on the show recently. And of course, LinkWhisper.com for that awesome software, and I love it. It just solves a very specific problem, much like the Switch Pod did in the physical world. And thin pillows really, I mean, really shows you there’s a niche for everything out there cuz I would wouldn’t have ever imagined a niche of thin pillows, but I guess it makes sense.
But I hope this was inspiring and encouraging and perhaps it might require a re-listen cuz this was a short and sweet episode. But either way, I appreciate you and thank you, Spencer. Thank you for listening all the way through and make sure it hits subscribe if you haven’t already, because we got some amazing episodes coming your way, including the Pat only Friday episodes as always, and the interviews coming every Wednesday.
So thank you so much again. I appreciate you and peace out. We’ll see you soon.
Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!