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Ben McLaughlan of Easy Mode Media: “Don’t always be so critical of myself”

Don’t always be so critical of myself. While I understand my weaknesses, both in personal and business aspects of my life, understanding it takes time to grow and improve things takes time. That mindset is important when the frustrating days set in. Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos […]

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Don’t always be so critical of myself. While I understand my weaknesses, both in personal and business aspects of my life, understanding it takes time to grow and improve things takes time. That mindset is important when the frustrating days set in.


Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben McLaughlan.

Ben is an Australian, living in Canada, who loves exploring the world (when he can). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he swapped his decade-long electrical career for an online business focusing on Search Engine Optimization.

When he isn’t at the computer, you’ll likely find him over-eating a bowl of ramen, talking about travel or petting a kitten.

A travel blogger that developed a love for understanding everything SEO related, Ben decided to put his skills to use and help other businesses grow during these uncertain times.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben McLaughlan.

Ben is an Australian, living in Canada, who loves exploring the world (when he can). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he swapped his decade-long electrical career for an online business focusing on Search Engine Optimization.

When he isn’t at the computer, you’ll likely find him over-eating a bowl of ramen, talking about travel or petting a kitten.

A travel blogger that developed a love for understanding everything SEO related, Ben decided to put his skills to use and help other businesses grow during these uncertain times.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Sure! My name is Ben McLaughlan. I grew up in Australia along the east coast, so I spent most of my time at the beach as a kid. I never really enjoyed school all that much but loved playing sports with my mates anytime I could.

After I finished school, I jumped into being an electrician and spent a lot of my time working in the Australian outback.

At 23, I took off from Australia for the first time and traveled to Europe for 12 months. During this adventure, I met my Canadian partner who I moved to Edmonton, Alberta to be with. That was 7 years ago and I’m still not a fan of the winter (not sure I ever will be).

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“We are what we believe”. This is a quote from Frank Turner, an English folk singer. It isn’t a well-known quote at all, but it’s one that I enjoy keeping in the back of my mind.

Believing in yourself isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it helps us achieve what we want from our personal and business aspects of life.

How would your best friend describe you?

A surprisingly good dancer (in his strange way), loves to get a laugh and overall a funny guy. He’s a travel addict who possibly plays too many video games.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much?

1. Wanting to learn. I’ve jumped around several different jobs and faced plenty of challenges, from supervising electrical jobs to starting a business during the peak of COVID-19. Being ready and willing to learn different ways to do things is important.

2. Don’t always be so critical of myself. While I understand my weaknesses, both in personal and business aspects of my life, understanding it takes time to grow and improve things takes time. That mindset is important when the frustrating days set in.

3. Understanding I can’t do it all. Owning a small business makes you wear a lot of different hats. It’s very easy to spread yourself too thin and that leads to average work and outcomes, for yourself and customers/clients. Outsourcing is a skill in itself but helped my business grow while giving myself more free time.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

Before 2020, I had spent the last 13 years progressing my career as a qualified electrician in multiple countries. I had experience in a range of industries and supervising multi-million dollar jobs.

However, I had started looking to make a shift in careers for several years, I just had no idea what to pursue. While the money was decent, working outside in Canadian winters isn’t something I enjoy.

As COVID-19 hit and job prospects were very slim, I began to look into other skills I had to make money through the uncertain times.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

For the past few years, I owned multiple websites and learned what it takes to make money through content and products online. This caused me to develop several skills along the way.

One aspect of my websites that I have always seen great results from is organic traffic. I was able to make my small blog outrank some very large websites due to SEO relevancy. With this in mind, in May of 2020, I began reaching out to website owners and gaining clients every month.

Soon after that, I found success in my local community and created my brand, Easy Mode Media. This career shift has been challenging, but I won’t be returning to my job as an electrician anytime soon.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

I had been thinking about making a change for a few years, but COVID-19 gave me the time and push to take a chance on myself.

I wasn’t happy with being an electrician and wanted a change, but understanding what to do for my career move was daunting.

I’m not sure that I would be in the same position if COVID-19 didn’t force me to look into alternative ways to make money.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

I own several websites and organic traffic is consistently the best source of traffic foreach one. I developed my SEO skills over several years from learning first hand how to implement best practices on a website.

Performing SEO work on other websites has been a challenge as each business is unique. Understanding the best opportunities for every client is something I’ve had to improve on month after month.

How are things going with this new initiative?

It’s been going very well so far. My business has very low overhead costs, so most of what I earn is profit.

Even though COVID-19 is reducing marketing budgets for many businesses, Easy Mode Media has been steadily growing every month.

Plus, there hasn’t been a better time to be able to work from home.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have a friend back home in Australia that does the same thing as me. While our local target audience is located at opposite ends of the globe, it is so helpful to be able to bounce ideas and strategies from another SEO specialist in the field.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I’ve reconnected with a number of old friendsbut having one in particular reach out to me to help with his photography business was unexpected.

I worked with him during my time as an electrician, but he had decided to start a photography side business but needed some help with the technical aspects of getting online and optimized for SEO.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

Definitely. Starting in the SEO industry with no results or reviews felt like an uphill battle that I wasn’t going to win. Selling myself and expertise isn’t something I’ve ever been strong at.

I was working with one of my very first clients and optimized 5 pages on his eCommerce bedding store. By the end of the 2nd month, traffic to those pages went up 73% and the conversion rate shot up 122%. It was the first time I was able to prove myself with results.

In my work, I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

In the first few months, my partner was my main support. While she doesn’t own a business or know much about my industry, just talking out loud and getting honest feedback was important during that initial steps.

As for industry-specific support, I’m active on several Facebook groups and Reddit subreddits. There are a lot of helpful people out there willing to answer questions or give their opinions to help members out.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

Working with other businesses in new industries was very daunting for me when I first started. I had run and ranked a travel blog well on Google for 3 years, but stepping outside of a niche I knew and understood was scary.

On top of that, starting a business during COVID-19 while so many other businesses were closing down, didn’t help my confidence that I could pull this off.

In the end, I spent too long considering the potential failures I could have and didn’t look at the value I could provide to other businesses during these uncertain times.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You’re going to have terrible clients — One of my first clients expected to rank #1 on Google within a week, for a brand new website. Anyone that knows SEO will tell you this isn’t likely. Some clients just take too much effort and energy to deal with. It’s okay to say no to clients that aren’t what you’re looking for.
  2. Be organized from day 1 — Something I’ve always had trouble with is staying organized when I get busy and overwhelmed with work. Until I started planning out my days, weeks and months, my time would be wasted jumping around between clients’ websites.
  3. Networking is key to growing — Growing by helping and connecting with others is much easier. Getting your name out there to potential clients is much easier when you have a bunch of people willing to refer you. I’ve had so many referrals at this point, it’s hard to think where I would be without my network.
  4. Focus on how your service helps others grow — Understanding that potential clients are looking to solve their problems was one of the missing pieces in my marketing strategy. Once I began to identify common questions my clients had, such as “how long does SEO take to see results?”, it becomes much easier to solve the problems people are having.
  5. Don’t forget to work on your business, not just in your business — Working on your business is crucial to helping your business grow. I read this tip in a basic ‘how to start a business’ book and it stuck with me. I block out an hour every single day to work on my business.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would have to say climate change. It’s a huge concern for this generation, but especially generations to come. It’s something the entire world has to band together for to preserve the environment.

What do you want to be remembered for the most?

Being helpful. Whether in business or personally, helping out others is the best way to grow a business and be a good person. Even the smallest things can have a positive effect on others.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Mainly through my website — Easy Mode Media

You can also find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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