Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated January 6, 2024

Matt’s Memo – 7 minute read

Video Version of Memo:

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“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

As I continue my journey to read all the books of the Bible, I find it interesting that while many credit people like the philosopher Epictetus for that quote, the true source came from God himself. 

It’s estimated that the Book of Proverbs was written between the 10th and 6th centuries B.C. 

It’s estimated that Epictetus uttered his famous quote 2,000 years ago. 

2000 years ago vs roughly 2,600 or 3000 years ago. 

What came before Epictetus?

Proverbs 10:19 came before him. 

It says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”

Jon Courson, in his Commentary Bible, illuminates:“The more we speak, the more vulnerable we are to sin, and the more likely it is we’ll say something we wish we hadn’t said. Therefore, I believe it would do each of us well to listen more and speak less.”

In simple English: we have two ears and one mouth, so use them accordingly.

It’s interesting that much of the “self-improvement” material out there is an adjusted repeat of what God already told us. 

Why This Is Important To Today’s Internet Entrepreneurs 

I suggest that the biggest problem you face in business is you

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Not competitors. 

Not the “market”

It’s your ability, or lack thereof, to listen well. 

As you build your network marketing, affiliate marketing, or custom-product business, think about the biases, old ideas, limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging thoughts you bring to the table. 

I find it interesting when someone learning how online business works talks more than they listen. 

They hear their business coach or mentor say, “Learn how to write well.”

And the student goes on and on about how they can’t write, don’t like to write…“Build a blog.”

And the student goes on and on about how that takes too long, or it seems hard. “Cultivate relationships on social media.”

And the student goes on and on about how that takes too long. They think they should just announce their product or service and people will flock to them. 

They talk and talk and talk and talk. 

The chatter is littered with negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and all the reasons why things won’t or can’t work. 

I’m not judging either…I used to do the same thing.

Or my favorite: This will take too long. 

Too Long Compared to What?

 I find it funny that some younger folks look at my white hair and call me a Boomer. 

I’ve got news for you:

I was challenging society’s planned box for me and you back when I was 12 or 13 in 1983 or 1984. 

Check the dates, I’m not even a Boomer smart guy LOL

I’m what they call a Gen Xer…known for our desire to be more independent!

Seriously, though, one of the things I admire about younger people today, those in their 20s and 30s, is a curiosity that I see in many of you. 

A curiosity that gets you thinking about how to challenge society’s status quo of getting a job and that’s about it in life. 

As another aside, I think it’s dangerous for people of different generations to use “boomer” or “millennial” as derogatory terms

I got laughed at by people in my own generation when my ideas didn’t fit the dumb crap our teachers and politicians of that day dictated to us. 

I see people in the younger generation who both “see” what I see, and plenty of them who don’t see it. 

I don’t believe it’s a generational thing as much as it’s a spiritual thing, meaning how well can a person see through the B.S. thrown at them by Big Media like CNN or FOX, the government and its pursuit of absolute power, or the propaganda “taught” in our government-controlled schools. 

Anyway, waaaay back then I was telling people that working 40 years for a company and retiring with a small government “thank you” check didn’t make sense to me. 

Going to college, getting in debt for hundreds of thousands of dollars didn’t make sense to me. 

Yet, what do most of us do? 

We “listen” to society tell us we need to go to school for 17 to 25 years, then get a job, then wait 10 years to get the “big” raise, then get stuck at that amount for another 20-25+ years. 

And end up scrambling at the end to eat and continue paying taxes on the house. 

And then we say:“Wait, I need to bust my rump for one, two, three years or so to build something big in my online business?

That seems too long. 

I compare that to society’s plan for us and go, 



Too long?

Compared to a lifetime of desperation, wishing there was more to it?

A More Effective Way To Build Your Business

There’s a better way to increase income online. 

Become a student of the game.

Napoleon Hill told us that controlling our thoughts is the beginning of self-discipline. 

A few years ago, when a six-figure online business fell apart for me, I lapsed into a self-pity party. 

After some time and reflection, I fought back by gaining control over my negative thoughts and emotions. 

I stopped beating myself up, looked at what the situation taught me, and started building again with a new perspective. 

I realized that one of the reasons it fell apart to begin with was because I was talking more than I was listening. 

I understood that some of the success came by way of pure luck, not because I had become a great businessman. 

I realized that I had allowed pride to rise up in me. As an aside, open up Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 for a lesson about pride, and how it caused the Fall of Man…and put us in the predicament we’re all in today. 

Humbling myself, I started listening more than I talked. 

I sought after mentors who could teach me how to become an improved businessman. 

I doubled down on learning the skills required of all of us in this new Information Age. 

Skills like sales, marketing, speaking, content creation. 

And that’s what I humbly suggest you focus on if you want to build something evergreen, something that allows you to leave your legacy on the world. 

Are you prone to looking for a “quick fix” to making a buck online?

I get it…I was there at one point. 

Honestly assess your skills in the following areas:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Speaking
  • Content Creation

If you rank yourself from 1-10 in all four areas, where are you?

Are you working daily to increase those skills?

By the way, AI isn’t the solution or short-cut so many will have you believe. 

I’ve learned to incorporate AI tools into my business and workflow. 

But, I know for a fact that people crave human connection. 

Nobody wants to follow a bot. 

Use AI intelligently, to help with brainstorming, with outlining, with planning. 

But if we expect AI to start, run, and increase our revenue for us while we sit around playing games in the park, well, we’ll find ourselves falling behind those who inject the human element into their workflows and businesses. 

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Napoleon Hill also tells us this:Success is a journey, not a destination. 

It’s all about the lifelong learning process. 

If you say things like, “I don’t like to read. I don’t like to learn new things. I’m bored.”

I humbly suggest that you’re trying to start and run the wrong business for you. 

When you’re excited about the topic of your business, you’ll discover a renewed excitement to learn more every minute and hour of each day. And that leads me to the ultimate basis of an online business:


How To Build an Online Business

99% of the time, building an online business means creating a Me Business Brand approach. 

You might start by becoming a network marketing rep. 

Or, you become an affiliate marketer, selling other people’s products and services. 

Or, you might start with your own product. 

Either way, the last several years taught us that people identify more with personal brands than corporate brands. 

  • Think Neil Patel and Brian Dean in the SEO field. 
  • Think Elon Musk and his various companies. People identify more with Musk than SpaceX.
  • Think Tim Ferriss. 
  • Think Tony Robbins. 
  • Think Tom Brady. 
  • Think Seth Godin.
  • Think Billie Eilish.
  • Think Martha Stewart. 
  • Think Oprah. 

Heck, go back and think about a personal brand like Steve Jobs against the Apple brand. 

By the way, don’t let your personal differences with any of the above interfere with the point I’m getting across. 

I have severe personal problems with many of the above people. 

My point is that you and I need to think about our values and the problems we want to solve for others. 

Then, we need to build our personal brands around those values via blogging, social media, and email marketing to attract our prospects. 

Here’s a quick exercise to get started on building your Me Business Brand:

  1. Write your Top 3-5 Brand Standards (what you stand for)
  2. Write your Top 3-5 Brand Enemies (what you’ll avoid)

Here are mine as an example to get you thinking:

Matt’s Brand Standards:

  • Honesty: Real #s, non-gimmicky, authentic path
  • Depth: Meaty, actionable, unique, data-driven content
  • Biblically-based: Relatable to biblical values/lessons
  • Family-oriented: Interesting to parents
  • Funny: I have a sense of humor…bring it out sometimes

Matt’s Brand Enemies:

  • Gimmicky ideas: No “get rich quick” angles
  • Low-value/shallow: No rushing to put content out
  • Same old ideas/tips: No generic info

Working from these helps your content generation. 

  • It drives the types of Tweets you put out. 
  • It helps you decide whether you’ll focus on YouTube long-form videos or Shorts. 
  • It makes sure your Instagram feed attracts the best prospects for your PERSONAL brand. 
  • You’ll always know you’re proud of each blog post on your website. 

Productivity is Key

Building your business (and Me Business Brand) requires several daily, weekly, and monthly steps. 

Lack of clarity is the best way to lose at this game. 

Learn how to prioritize your tasks. 

For example, I use the following Priority Quadrant to keep myself focused on what’s important (where I’ve adapted from Eisenhower’s idea w/ langage that resonates better for me):

Priority Quadrant

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Prioritize what’s important in the top left quadrant. Get those tasks done first. If something can wait a bit, put it on your calendar for later in the week or month (top right quadrant). 

The less vital things either go to someone else in the bottom left quadrant (if you’re at the point to afford outsourcing) or you simply get rid of it (bottom right quadrant). 

You can plot your most immediate needs on a table like this one:

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To create a table like this, go to Insert > Table > Table Templates > Product Roadmap in a Google doc.

Sell Based On Your Personal Brand’s Connection With Prospects

Get your Me Business Brand planned

But don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis” here. 

Write your basic values down on paper. 

Start marketing from that paradigm. 

You don’t need to be perfect

It will never feel “perfect.” 

Trust me on that. 

You can pivot next month, six months, or a year from now if you want to. 

You can get your design elements perfected later (social media profile, blog header, etc)

The garbage dump of failed online businesses started by good people with good intentions is huge. 

Most of the “failure” stems from trying for perfection at the expense of action

Get your blog started. 

Focus on one main social media (YouTube, X, IG, TikTok, etc)

Get content up. 


Commit to learning how to improve your content over time. 

Focus on content that matches your personal values and views. 

That content will attract the people who care about those values and views.

It will repel those who don’t appreciate what you’re about. 

The result?

The correct people buy from you. 

You’ll enjoy working with them. 

You’ll enjoy the process. 

You’ll get better over the next year. 

Just. Get. Started.

No excuses, okay?

Helping you build business big,


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