Ep 52: How a Solopreneur Can Grow with AI

Jordan [00:00:17]:

Can you be a 1 person show and use AI to help you run every other part of your business? We're gonna talk about that concept and a lot more today on everyday AI. This is your daily livestream, podcasts, and free newsletter, helping everyday people like you and me keep up with everything that's going on in the world. Of artificial intelligence. You can spend countless hours today trying to keep up, or you can tune in every day live Give us 15 to 20 minutes. Read the newsletter, and we'll help you keep up with everything that's going on.

Daily AI news

So before we talk about how solorepreneurs, entrepreneurs, can use AI. Let's first talk about what's going on in the AI news world. So there's a lot going on. But we're gonna keep it brief. So let's talk OpenAI. So couple things going on in the OpenAI world. So they are keeping an eye on superintelligence. So they just announced this yesterday that they are expecting superintelligence to arrive within a decade and that they are devoting a lot of internal resources to kind of creating safeguards around superintelligence. So be very interesting. And if you're not sure, superintelligence is essentially when the AI is smarter than the people creating the AI, and we can't keep up. So we'll see how that goes. Hopefully, they get it figured out. And they say they are expecting superintelligence within the decade.

Alright. Speaking of very intelligent things, so a new study from a group of Chinese computer researchers show that AI can create a complete CPU from scratch in 5 hours. So You might be asking what's news worthy about that. Well, it takes Intel about 4 years to build 1 from scratch. So AI can do it in a couple of hours, it takes 1 of the largest companies in the world 4 years.

Alright. Another kind of interesting story. So the AI is apparently outperforming the US military. So a US Air Force colonel said it took in AI 10 minutes to complete a task that can take humans days So the Pentagon won't say what large language model that it's testing, but it did say that the models are being fed some top secret level data. So very interesting. And we're gonna actually throw in our a fourth news story today because I think it's worth talking about. So ChauciPT, it was recently reported that their website traffic dipped for the first time since it's launched. So from May to June, ChatGPT's traffic website traffic was down. Does that mean there's less demand? I'd say probably not. Actually, if I'm throwing my take in there, I think what happened is the app, the iOS app, finally became usable because they introduced the browse with Bing feature. And then, you know, if you tune in to our newsletter yesterday, you actually saw that they took that away. So we'll see what happens here in July.

But now we're gonna transition, and we're gonna bring on our guests, and we're gonna talk using AI as a solopreneur. So If you aren't a solopreneur and if you are joining us live or if you even just wanna know from our guests, please drop us a comment. So this is a live show. So With that, let's bring on our guest for today. Very excited. If you use LinkedIn, you've probably seen our guest today. So I'd like to welcome to everyday AI. Gabe Marusca, who is the founder of Digital Finest. Gabe, thank you for joining us.

Gabe [00:03:51]:

Thank you so much, Jordan, for having me. It's awesome to be here and super excited to talk about how AI is changing the especially this entrepreneurship environment.

Jordan [00:04:02]:

Yeah. It should be interesting. So real quick, because I know Gabe, you wear multiple hats. So, you know, you are the founder of Digital Finance, but you also help sell the preneuers a lot as well. So tell everyone just a little bit about what it is that you do.

Background on Gabe and his work

Gabe [00:04:19]:

Sure. I'll try to be as short as possible. So as you mentioned, people have many hats. I started as freelancer many years ago, about 13 years ago, and I was a freelancer for almost 6 years before I pivoted into solar partnership and probably people might ask is not the same thing. In my opinion, it's not solopreneurship. It's more of a long term vision. It's exiting releasing you from your business and try to work on the most important spot. And even if you run a 1 person business, you don't have to do it alone. Now we can do it with AI, but for we use contractors and other non full time employees. So in my opinion, that's a solopreneur. And For the past 7 years, I was doing that running a web design business all by myself with the help of contractors. And for the first time last year, I heard about a tool that basically changed the way I run my web design business. Probably, some of your listener heard about it. It's called Discrete, which is a video editing tool that use AI before ChatGPT was popular and such. And another thing that I do to jump back and forth as you mentioned, I help freelancers with the Novartis soloprene or brand in which I try to make them avoid the mistakes that I made by trading time for money and skip that trap. And, yeah, with still the help of AI, I was able, in the same time, as running my own 1 person business to launch a podcast, thanks to this wonderful thing that happened to us, the AI movement.

Jordan [00:05:53]:

Yeah. And I think if if people are not familiar with AI or, you know, maybe if the first thing you heard about AI was Catchy BT, which I think was a lot of people's introduction, is there's Ben. You you know, Gabe just mentioned Descript. Right? So a great kind of AI powered tool that's been out for for many years. You know, Gabe, as as a silver per newer, right, when you first kind of started to use tools like Descript or maybe when you, you know, were first introduced to ChatGPT or the GPT technology. What did that mean to you as as a as a solopreneur, as someone that's not that doesn't have any other full time employees What did this rush of new tools mean to you and to your business?

The impact AI has on a solopreneur

Gabe [00:06:42]:

Was was, like, a haven't sent literally, like, save so much time. I was able to do especially with the script, I was able to train my clients very easily. And since I'm a non native speaker, I was doing a lot of mistakes, and 1 of the powerful feature of the script is to basically correct those mistakes and remove arms and o's and all the long breaks and such. So it's a huge time saver for me. Just record the training for my clients and from a 30 minutes video, probably. I was able to do the specific 10 minutes or 15 minutes video that I need, all with the help of that tool. And I won't go into the features of it and such, but it can save you a lot of time. So that was the main benefit of it save time to the more tedious task like training my clients, which I did it myself. So that part, I I never outsourced. So that was a huge benefit for me. And, of course, when I heard about I tried to see how I can integrate that into my business. And when I started the podcast, that was amazing because I was able to do research by just feeding into the API, just feeding in all the information that I have about my guest. And in few moments, I was basically having only the important things. I was able to lay out questions for them and ideas on how to structure the episode and such, and not to mention after that the benefit of having the full transcript from Descript and using ChatGPT now with the plug in functionality to ask I think it's called ask PDF the plug in that I use. And literally putting there the descript sorry, the transcript and basically getting all the info that I need, like, the important time stamps, show notes dropped from you. Of course, I still need to edit. It's not perfect, and I do recommend to copy paste from. And but it's a huge save of time. And another way that I use it is another tool called. I'm not an audio engineer. I don't like to spend time to I am a technical person. I can do that, but I don't like to spend time removing noise from my recordings or, I don't know, echoes and stuff like that. And there is a tool called alphonic that basically you just upload inside it the file. And it's doing the audio engineering for you, removing the echoes, leaving only the the voice of you and your guests, and the results are pretty outstanding. And recently, they integrate with the feature from OpenAI, actually, in which they allow you to basically, they're doing the transcript as well. Like, the script is is doing, but it's extracting as well important time stamps like, a basic show notes ideas for your episode titles and such. So, literally, from editing an episode or for about 6 hours at the beginning when I started. Now it takes me probably 1 hour and a half, 2 hours. Still, it's a lot of manual work. For example, I really listen to the full recording and such, but the amount of time up I save, it's unbelievable. So is it just few of the things that they use in order to leverage it?

Jordan [00:10:07]:

Yeah. So some some great suggestions, you know, talking about, you know, kind of chatting with ChatGPT, you know, something that a lot of people don't know you can do. But I I'm really interested, Gabe, because, you know, as a a business owner, you know, when you start or when you're growing your business, everyone has that important decision to make, whether they are going to want to stay as the only time full time or or as the only full time employee or if they're gonna start bringing a lot of other people on full time to join their team. How do you think that decision has maybe changed now for, you know, solo preneuers trying to grow their business? You know? Having to make that decision in today's day and age with AI versus maybe 4 or 5 years ago before any of this technology was available.

How AI changes decision making 

Gabe [00:11:00]:

I'm a big fan of growing slow and thinking every step of the way. So I was never thinking to hire a lot of people But now you basically go can go grow faster than that, not only without hiring people, but to leverage all these AI tools. From automation to any help that you can think of. For example, from my web design business, a lot of the research, a lot of competitor research, I'm doing using AI. And all these things that used to take days, now I can do them in a few hours, and that's a huge benefit that anyone is starting a business right now can leverage. And I think everyone that will try and succeed at leveraging AI have a huge advantage, a huge leverage comparing to those that are afraid that, I don't know, AI will replace you. In reality, it wants if you are focusing on the high impact things, and you're focusing on actually embracing this change because every technology that came was something that you're probably afraid at that point, but it turned out to be something very beneficial for humanity. Even that AI is growing at a faster pace than anything we've seen, But, yeah, leveraging these tools will help any especially small business owner that don't have a lot of capital to basically compete with bigger companies. Even that, there is 1 particular thing that I'm personally afraid of. It literally big companies throughout the budget actually building AI powered agencies. For example, especially in my field of web design and marketing and to automate a lot of things like marketing copy or including web design building. And I noticed that you have a guest that talk about that. So all these things can be a bit scary, but in the same time, you can be 1 of them, of those that can leverage these things without a lot of founding because just a bit of technical knowledge, and you can learn in them quite fast, actually.

Jordan [00:13:10]:

Yeah. You you know, you bring up a good points because in the kind of, you know, creative agent see your marketing agency space. I think, traditionally, it's it's worked well, the model, because, you know, you're having people work 1 on 1 with other people to grow a company, to grow a business. And now when you introduce, en masse, a lot of AI technology, you know, you you you might be taking away at some points that that human connection, that brands are helping to grow other brands. Is that something that that you see maybe happening in the future is, you know, in general, you know, growing your business. If you're working with an outside agency, a third party partner, It might become less of human interaction and just more of of automation and and AI. Is that something that you see might be happening?

Will AI-powered agencies become a reality?

Gabe [00:14:01]:

It's totally possible. To be honest, it's so hard to predict. I think it's an everyday thing like, something that's true today, tomorrow can be simply something so far away in the past. Like, example, a simple feature or a simple tool that you use a lot I I see a lot of, for example, the SaaS companies building tools around social media platforms, and we all know what happened to Twitter. Like, they increased the price of API. Same can happen to AI. I don't know. OpenAI overnight can increase so high the prices of the of accessing the API that a lot of small businesses or a lot of independent solopreneur creators will go bust because they might not afford, like, other big companies are doing it. But it's still a lot of optimism around the subject. And I I'm not sure if that will be the case, but I think we are heading towards probably a universal income level or how it's called in which everyone will is giving the same amount of money, and we live up, like, more normal life than everyone chasing the new shiny object and the new growing their business or their or job and such, but probably that will take quite a few years. And I think AI would have a huge impact on this because this was a topic quite populating towards 2 years ago. But now with AI, indeed replacing some jobs and some low leverage jobs, might be the case. But, yeah, in this field of marketing, anything can be possible. It's hard to predict that. Yeah. Adam was thinking of that 1. It's it's impossible.

Jordan [00:15:44]:

At this point. Yeah. No. That's that's a good point. So maybe maybe something that's a little more accurate to predict is How solopreneurs can use all of this technology. Right? So so you're you're talking with and working with a lot of solopreneurs. Let's say someone has just started recently. So maybe they're less than a year or 2 in or maybe they just started their business. And they're seeing all of these new tools and technologies almost every day, you know, promising to to change the way that that someone does business. Given given your experience, how would you recommend that a solar printer can actually use some of this technology to not just start their business, but to grow it? How can they do that?

How a solopreneur can leverage AI

Gabe [00:16:33]:

Good question. 1 of the things that I'm doing myself and I talk with others and they are doing the same. It stick to the basic principle of business and not trying to reinvent of it use what is already working, but use the AI tools available in order to do that faster, do that better. Basically freeing up your time to be able to focus on the strategy part, on the growing part. And at advanced as AI is now, I think there is still quite a bit of time until you arrive at that point. I don't know to create for you the perfect marketing strategy, for example. At this point, it's just giving you probably tactics, not any not more than that. And in order to free your time to be able to focus on the actual business and learn the especially if you're starting out or you just start few months or years ago, start focusing on the important aspects of business. And that's 1 of the or 1 of them is to actually take care of your clients and build that human connection because with any AI in the world that human connection won't disappear. And if you are able to empathize, if you're able to make that connection with your clients, a stronger 1, AI will just help you to leverage that and to grow not only your business because at the end of the day, doing business is growing your client's business -- Mhmm. -- will be a game changer for anyone. Simply free up your time. I think that's the answer. Use these tools to free up your time to be able to have free time to actually put back into your business, and that's how you grow. Yeah.

Jordan [00:18:20]:

That's yeah. That's that's great advice because in the end, especially as a solopreneur, it all comes down to your time. Right? Because you're doing a little of everything. You are doing admin. You're doing marketing, advertising, client relations. Right? So maybe what would your advice be then to, you know, a a first step or maybe a the most impactful first step that you can take to use AI to start to free up the time. You you know, what's maybe, you you know, a practical piece of advice that you can give to other solopreneurs on how to use AI to get back a little at that time.

Gabe [00:18:58]:

I think the easiest 1 will be to build to build a simple chatbot with AI in which you feed basically all the question that usually get asked by your clients Put that on your website, and we'll save you an enormous amount of time. You won't get annoying messages and emails or phone calls in which they ask you. How much is the price? Even if the price is on your website for how long does it take this to be finished, or do you do that part or that part and such? And there are unlimited tutorials online in which you can learn without technical knowledge, how to build a simple chatbot like that. And you just fill up the information to them. And out of the blue, you end up with almost 0 customer sport. Of course, it has a downside because sometimes during those com small conversational, I don't know, how much it cost or whatever, you can build relationship and actually can sell. But in the same time, probably those asking those type questions are not your ideal clients, and you might want to avoid those. And, yeah, you'll just fill out the time. I think this is a small step that you can take that can and, personally, it's in the working for my own website and hopefully in 2 weeks or so to launch it. So that would be a huge thing for me to, like, literally save probably roughly around 1 to 2 hours a week. Which just imagine 2 hours a week of free time that you can put into another part of your business.

Jordan [00:20:27]:

Yeah. And, you you know, winning winning a couple hours here and there. You you know, Gabe, I think you bring up a good point is you always have to, you know, invest a little bit upfront. You know? But, usually, it's it's it's a 1 time investment or, you know, checking back in on it monthly, quarterly, whatever it may be. So you mentioned 1 thing that you're kinda working on, but I'm wondering what's the next biggest use case that that you're going to be exploring, you know, to help your, you know, solopreneurship run even better? What What's that next thing? Maybe aside from the chatbot that you just mentioned to to better, you you know, communicate with with customers and clients on the front end, What's another application that that you're looking into?

AI tools that a solopreneur can use

Gabe [00:21:10]:

I have something in mind. It's probably might be the biggest time saver and money saver as well, literally to try to automatize the podcasting. I want to just record and enjoy this type of conversation rather than spending time on postproduction or hire someone to do that for me. So I have in mind a project to literally try to use AI to automatize all the steps from editing the audio and video to, I don't know, outputting short snippets or tizzlers to create the show notes all by themselves. Not sure how easy will be that. It's still just a raw idea, but I think if I am able to do that probably by the end of the year, I will say my son long term a huge amount of time. And probably someone is already looking working at this idea. I'm pretty sure about it because podcasting is a huge industry. So if someone is building that before me, I'll be happy to pay for that because that will be a literally enormous amount of time, safe alone in long term. Yeah. Wow. So

Jordan [00:22:25]:

that's it's it's such a good example to be able to sit on this side and to hear you, Gabe, talk about all these different ways that you're looking to use AI to grow not just grow your business, but save time. And I think that's you know, if if there's 1 thing other solopreneurs can take from today's conversation. I hope that's it because it is such great advice. So, Gabe, thank you so much for joining the Everyday AI Show. It was great to have you, and and thank you for sharing your perspective.

Gabe [00:22:56]:

Thank you so much for having me. It was an absolute pleasure. And, yeah, I hope fully those listening, took at least 1 note, useful notes, and started leveraging this beautiful. So or I don't know how to call it.

Jordan [00:23:10]:

Yeah. Oh, exactly. So yeah. If if you were or were not taking notes, make sure that you go to your everyday a I dot com. Sign up for the free daily newsletter. We're gonna be sharing a lot more about everything that Gabe talked about, his, you know, his agency, his podcast. If you wanna check it out, we'll have it all in there. So thank you so much. For tuning in. As a reminder, if you did catch us live, thank you. If not, we do this every weekday morning, 07:30AM Central Standard Time, or you can catch it on your favorite podcast platform. So we hope to see you back tomorrow and every day with Everyday AI. Thank you.

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