Business Launch Podcast
From Navy to Worpress Developer with Tony Cosentino - WP Guy
October 25, 2022
Tony shares his story as he started his career going to Navy and transitioning to Website developer specialising in Wordpress where everyone started calling him the WP Expert and branded his business as the WP Guy. Tony's Top 3 tips to business owners: 1. Push your business hard and try different avenues to get your business out there and find out where your customer hangs out. 2. Put aside Tax money to avoid a big Tax Bill and not having anything to pay for it. 3. Relationships with your customers/clients is critical to a business surviving and going. Book Recommendation: Profit First by Michael Michalowicz ''only legacy I really wanna leave is that my kids. Have learned good values and good human beings, and feel like they've had a good childhood or good, have. Been given enough to enjoy their own lives''. You can contact Tony on the following links below: Website: Facebook: Instagram:
 Tony Cosentino - The WP Guy

[00:00:00] Carlo Selorio: Hey, it's Carlo here from the Business Launch Podcast. Thank you again for coming to listen. I am here with a good friend of mine, Tony Constantino. I've known him for quite a, probably I'd say 10 years or so. So we started off doing martial hearts together.

[00:00:16] Yeah. We are both in. Online space. I was doing digital marketing, online marketing, and he's a WebPress guy, when we were at the Dojo, we're always talking about business. Yeah. Yeah. It's good to finally sit down with Tony and share what the world, what he's doing here.

[00:00:31] So how are you Tony? 

[00:00:34] Tony Cosentino: I'm awesome, Carlo. I'm also glad that we get the chance to 

[00:00:37] Carlo Selorio: catch. Yeah, so he's he's very knowledgeable in the WordPress space. I think he's one of the go-to guys here in Australia, or if not in the world. He's got a lot of knowledge in web development and just SEO and all other things that you can think of.

[00:00:56] Yeah Tony shares something about. [00:01:00]

[00:01:00] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. Thanks Carlo. You talking to my origin story or my Yeah. 

[00:01:04] Carlo Selorio: Little bit of your origin story and, Yeah. How you got in business. 

[00:01:08] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. Gosh I was programming when I was 15. Basic programming, in high school. And then I, went on and got on with life and did other stuff.

[00:01:17] I did it while I was high school and then I went to uni, dropped outta uni, ended up joining the Navy becoming an electronic technician. Traveled the world worked on radar, air search radar. Went to the Middle East Timor, Solomon Islands, all the hotspots. 

[00:01:31] Carlo Selorio: So you've been all around the world.

[00:01:33] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. Yeah. Worked on the con computer consoles in the war room as well. And I was part of the dive team, so we used to go on at team, used to go under the ship when we're in dangerous places and search the hole for mines and do minor repairs and maintenance and, All that stuff. So had a great time in the Navy.

[00:01:53] Highly recommend it for single people. Yeah, a bit hard family and stuff, but it was great, a [00:02:00] great thing at the time. And then when I left there, I got head hunted to go, worked for a company that was making simulations of the radar that I worked on. And through that company they taught me how to use 3D animation software.

[00:02:11] Wow. To work on this. Simulator and then through that I, in my spare time I was just doing an internet communications degree and WordPress came up in the curriculum in that course and. I thought this is cool. And then someone needed a website, Someone I knew needed a website. So I thought I'd use WordPress to try and make that website.

[00:02:33] And it was really cool. I really enjoyed it. WordPress? WordPress? Yeah. So I started dabbling in WordPress and I called myself, I think I called myself the website mechanic or something. I found the old card actually from 2008 or nine, 2008, and started going to Twitter meetups in North Sydney in Mosman, and we'd all.

[00:02:59] That's when [00:03:00] Twitter was just kicking off and we'd all catch up and talk about our businesses and everyone kept saying, Oh, here's the WordPress guy. Here's the WordPress guy. Every time someone was referring to me, and when I heard it enough times, I thought, this is catching. So I started the WordPress guy as a business, like the WP guy is the url.

[00:03:20] But I branded myself as the WordPress guy in 2009. Nice. Yeah. And it's just been going continuously ever since it's been. 

[00:03:32] Carlo Selorio: It's been so it 

[00:03:33] Tony Cosentino: was just a never made 

[00:03:36] Carlo Selorio: pretty much a smooth transition for you. So what, Yeah. Yeah. So I guess that's how you started being a WordPress developer. What's, what events happened where you made you think that this is.

[00:03:53] The career that I'm gonna go through 

[00:03:55] Tony Cosentino: I, I could see that for me, I could see that the the interface on it [00:04:00] made sense to Someone who wasn't computer savvy, it made sense to me that's one I, Cause there were other, this Jum and Droople around at the time as well. They're all in that same space of, you can put content in it'll make the menu and the header in the footer and stuff for you, and you just worry about the content.

[00:04:15] So they're doing very similar things, but the others look so much more complex to me to use. And it, the light bulb for me really went on. Saw the interface and thought I reckon small business could really use this. Yeah. Much more easily than the others. And I just put all my chips on WordPress then.

[00:04:33] Yeah, 

[00:04:34] Carlo Selorio: I started using WordPress around about 2004 as a Wow. I was blogging at the time. Cool. Or followed guys like Darren Rows. I yeah. From, and Yeah, I was blogging until I, I stopped doing blogging at the time. I lost my domain. I accidentally didn't. Yeah. Which sucked that. I had my name Carlos

[00:04:59] [00:05:00] Yeah. I had a lot of link juice and that in that, and when I went to go buy it, someone was trying to sell it for five grand or something like that. That was my bad. Yeah. But yeah, I love SEO was really easy in WordPress, so man, I was working with a lot of businesses at the time as well ranking and doing similar things as you not as technical as what you would be doing.

[00:05:26] So being the WordPress guy what. What were the early wins in your business? 

[00:05:35] Tony Cosentino: Early wins were the fact that I was in this Twitter group and I still to this day get business from that group, like the, that network is unbelievable. And they would tell people, if you have any quick things about WordPress, they'd send them to me.

[00:05:53] I think it was that combination of using, WordPress is like its own technology that sit the web, and then Twitter was another kind of. [00:06:00] Software that was that, and between the two of them that really built my whole built like a hundred K year business within, I don't know how many years it was, not that many years.

[00:06:11] Purely from the Twitter connection. Nice. And then and now I'm at a point where, you know the referrals keep coming in from older clients and it's built up enough momentum, but that was the initial spark that gave me enough of a start to, leave my day job and really try and make a business of.

[00:06:32] Carlo Selorio: Awesome, awesome. 

[00:06:33] Tony Cosentino: Same thing go applies today. You could apply LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, all those tools you could still use to, fast track a new business. 

[00:06:45] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. So on, on the flip side, Tony yeah. What events happened where you didn't think that, have you, you weren't really sure. Having doubts with doing this business or, 

[00:06:58] Tony Cosentino: I guess it was when all of the [00:07:00] new kids came on the block. So when Squarespace and Wics and Weeley all rock up Shopify all came to theoretically take WordPress' business, that's when I guess was the, would be the only time that I. Is this gonna continue?

[00:07:16] Is this great run gonna continue that WordPress has had? Yeah, I guess that was, and so far they've barely made a dent in the market share. Yeah. I think 

[00:07:29] Carlo Selorio: WordPress has evolved a lot since the early days. Yeah. I. The amount of even templates that's coming out there or the guys that are making different WebPress sites is just incredible now.

[00:07:44] So I think they've, they're held their own, I think all the other the jewelers and all that, they, I'm not sure if they're still there, so you don't hear from them now Yeah. But I think WordPress is here to stay for a very long time, I think. Yeah. Yeah. [00:08:00] What what makes your business stand out from your competitors team?

[00:08:06] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. For me, my biggest point of difference I think, is that I'm all about the long game with my clients. I find that I come across a lot of people who've had a website built and then get left to look to worry about it themselves and never hear from the developer again, or have very painful interaction with their developer.

[00:08:26] Yeah. And. My focus, I don't really even to build any websites anymore. I prefer to maintain websites that have already been built or fix up a website that's been poorly built. Cuz I wanna work with that person for the long term and understand their business enough to actually give them good advice on what they should do.

[00:08:48] And motivates me to see them succeed in their websites, stay online and stuff like that, rather than just a quick buck of pumping at a website and dumping it and going to the next one. Yeah. But that's, I think that's my [00:09:00] real point of difference. The, this peace of mind that I give the people that I work with.

[00:09:03] Carlo Selorio: I think it's a natural niche itself, being the WordPress guy, because a lot of people like to get into. Like building, but that's the hard part. I think being in maintenance, you can charge a customer on a monthly basis like you would now. Yeah. So it's actually, you can predict what business is gonna be in the future.

[00:09:25] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. The stability is much better. Yeah. Through that method. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:09:29] Carlo Selorio: In. Growing up, what motivates or even now, what motivated you daily? 

[00:09:41] Tony Cosentino: Okay, so I've got AD hg A D, right? You do. Which was, Yeah. Yeah. And it's, you can it's funny, you grow out of it in a way because you end up setting.

[00:09:55] Setting up systems in place to keep you on track. As a kid I was all over the shop and I, [00:10:00] yeah, I struggled to focus on the same rote learning style that standard school was designed to do. Yeah. So I actually did pretty well at school, but it was only through, I don't know, great teachers, I believe.

[00:10:13] So I, my brain is always looking for some new information or a different angle at looking at something. And that actually works perfectly with websites and online. The online space. Yeah. Because there's always something new. There's always some new kind of tool or code or way of doing business that you get to feed that part of.

[00:10:37] Part of your psyche with and I like solving problems because I can think more naturally than some people can. And so motivation for me on a daily basis is just the fact that we're in an ever evolving kind of web and there's always something new to, to dig into. And I've gotta, That's where you gotta control.

[00:10:56] The a d where not just get, spend the whole day looking at new [00:11:00] things. You've gotta compartmentalize it, but it's a 

[00:11:02] Carlo Selorio: great, You gotta have A plan in place, yeah, exactly. Our 

[00:11:05] Tony Cosentino: systems in place. Yeah, systems in place to keep you on track and Yeah, so that's on a daily basis. I'm always learning something new, which is, in a day job that's not what you do.

[00:11:17] Carlo Selorio: you are stuck doing one thing or 

[00:11:20] Tony Cosentino: Yeah, in better area. The less variety they give you, they just want you to do the thing makes them the most money. So 

[00:11:26] Carlo Selorio: being an entrepreneur guess you hold your own destiny. Yeah. Who are your influences growing up? In business, in life? 

[00:11:34] Tony Cosentino: That's really hard.

[00:11:35] I consume a lot of. Nonfiction, motivational books, I guess all the way from Anthony Robbins, who was not a popular guy, but hey, 

[00:11:45] Carlo Selorio: I followed Tony Robbins growing up. I think he was one of my, one of my guys who, Yeah, Unleash. I went to unleash Alicia Power within, in the Oh, wow. U p w and did the firework.

[00:11:58] So [00:12:00] Really? Yeah, I did. Oh, wow. So I love, I've 

[00:12:03] Tony Cosentino: never done that much. Yeah. And he's still relevant. I still, he's still relevant today. Find he's put more of an edge on it. He's gone. Oh, Gary Vanner. Chuck is another guy that I aspire. To be more like, I think that guy's got the honesty and the drive and the no filter intelligence that Yeah, he's very genuine.

[00:12:23] Yeah. If you watch him enough, he's very consistent, but he's also, promoting being kind to people and 

[00:12:30] Carlo Selorio: if he can see through the language that he uses sometimes. I think he teaches a lot of great things for new entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurs who are trying to make it. And yeah, I love Gary v I think.

[00:12:45] So those are your inspirations, 

[00:12:47] Tony Cosentino: yeah. Cause my, My parents are working class. My dad was a a welder, like a boiler maker in a coal mine and hard worker, really hard, super hard worker. So he didn't have time to teach me how to be an [00:13:00] entrepreneur, he just trying to put food on the table.

[00:13:04] And my mom was a hard worker as well. Teaching and doing heap, doing a lot of stuff. Yeah. So that's why I reached I found external sources for my mentors, if you like, for business. 

[00:13:15] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. I think you can find mentors and inspiration and. Everywhere. I think. Yeah. Especially with the new age. You can go read a book or listen to a book nowadays, so 

[00:13:28] Tony Cosentino: Oh, I love Audible

[00:13:29] Yeah. Audible's 

[00:13:30] Carlo Selorio: My Friend something. Yeah, so there's so many ways. Even YouTube, you can go on YouTube and you can go on a rabbit hole for a, for. One topic that you're trying to master. So it's there's so many ways that you can find inspiration, I think, anyway. Yeah. Going forward, what are your big goals for yourself?

[00:13:52] Your business anyway, for the between three to 10 year plan or if Yeah. That that [00:14:00] far ahead. 

[00:14:02] Tony Cosentino: I think my plan is just to continue to Build quality relationships with business owners that I wanna work with for that length of time. Like I've got clients that I've worked with for 10 years.

[00:14:13] Wow. And I want more of those really that I can refine my business so that I'm working with maybe less clients at any given time, but at a higher average. Monthly retainer. Yep. So that I've got more focus really on, on less people that are prepared to pay for that kind of quality.

[00:14:30] Yeah. So I guess that's my transition. Cause I've got people anywhere from, a hundred dollars a month to. A thousand dollars a month, some higher sometimes. And in case I wanna shuffle my way to more people in the thousand dollar bracket that I can just focus on, cuz then I'm, I've got less, less clients to deal with any given time.

[00:14:49] Carlo Selorio: Do you have a team behind you as well? 

[00:14:52] Tony Cosentino: Nope. 

[00:14:53] Carlo Selorio: So you're solopreneur. 

[00:14:56] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. Yeah. And I could generate a team [00:15:00] for some of the maintenance work. That, that's something I'm starting to teach my kids a bit, a little bit on some of that area. Nice. So a controlled environment.

[00:15:08] I can show them the ropes a bit for things that I can keep an eye on. 

[00:15:11] Carlo Selorio: It's a great thing to teach your kids entrepreneurship, learning different skills. I think my oldest son, Ethan's, he's got a different brain when he works, so he's actually buying and selling. Kicks the shoes at the moment, so he is awesome.

[00:15:29] It's, I like to get him to do more of that. Yeah. Rather than gaming all day long Yeah. But it's, yeah. It's awesome to have you teaching your kids how to be entrepreneurs. The value of money. And I think it's a big thing for kids growing up. Yeah. So one 

[00:15:50] Tony Cosentino: of the hardest things to teach cause we weren't really taught.

[00:15:53] Carlo Selorio: No. So I think a lot of entrepreneurs now are like doing everything on the fly. There's a lot of [00:16:00] mentorships there as well, they cost a lot of money. But absolutely being able to just do your own thing is that I think is one of the great things for your kids. 

[00:16:10] Tony Cosentino: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that.

[00:16:12] Evolving. 

[00:16:13] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Passing the business to your kids. 

[00:16:17] Tony Cosentino: Possibly. I just wanna teach 'em to how to fish. Yeah. That could end up being their own thing. Totally different. Yeah. But I just want teach 'em how to go after the fish in the first place, yeah. 

[00:16:27] Carlo Selorio: Highly recommend that to all listeners.

[00:16:30] There. We have kids and they want their kids to do their own thing. Yeah. What's your top three advice for aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners? 

[00:16:45] Tony Cosentino: Okay. That's hard. That's not easy answer to answer. I think you've got to push really hard in the first stages and go out and try every avenue, whether it's going to networking groups, if you can find any of [00:17:00] these days. Trying social, trying all the avenues you can and spray it out there and. And then pick up on things that are coming back to you.

[00:17:08] Like personally, I think everyone talks about Instagram, but I don't think it converts particularly well in some areas. Yeah. Whereas, LinkedIn might actually be a better thing for you or for your business and but you gotta try it all. 

[00:17:22] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Trial and error to finding where your actual customers are hanging out.

[00:17:27] Tony Cosentino: Yeah. Yeah. Another thing I think that is missed by so many businesses when they start up is your tax. Yeah I stumbled so hard with my tax set up in the beginning because you don't realize that, the first year you think you're making all this money, but you're not because you're not putting enough tax away.

[00:17:46] You never put enough tax away in the first year, and then you get a tax bill that. You don't have enough money per side for, and then you get, they start saying, now you need to start paying for the in advance for your tax as well as paying back this [00:18:00] tax bill. So I think tax is a huge thing to and that's what I wanna teach my kids straight up as well, is get them to get their own Tax file number and start teaching them how to put aside money, a percentage of everything they earn, like the Profit first Yeah.

[00:18:14] Kind of method. I love Mark Mike Mcow. I love his books as well. Nice. So yeah, I think Money Financial Management is why a lot of businesses fail too early, is. They spend all the money first before realizing that you don't realize how much you of a chunk of your income you gotta put aside. So marketing, financial and cus relationships with your clients is the key thing to longevity.

[00:18:44] Nice to me, like if. Have crap relationships. You're gonna have to, you're gonna have to get so many more clients to keep feeding the money through. Yeah. If you have great, good relationships with your clients you'll build up referrals. More referrals from those clients. [00:19:00] And then they'll come back to you and they need to get some piece of work done and already know their business.

[00:19:05] So it's, you don't have to start from scratch. You've got a head start on all the background information. So I think relationships with clients is also is critical to a business surviving and going. Yeah. 

[00:19:18] Carlo Selorio: That's awesome. That's three great advice for future or entrepreneurs out there that are looking to start or even better their business.

[00:19:29] Yeah. Yeah. How do you want to impact the world and what kind of legacy do you want to have? 

[00:19:35] Tony Cosentino: I. I just, I'm one of those people that think, we're a speck of dust on a planet in a massive galaxy, in a huge universe. I don't get too big for my boots. I think you gotta be humble.

[00:19:49] But the only legacy I really wanna leave is that my kids. Have learned good values and good human beings, [00:20:00] and feel like they've had a good childhood or good, have. Been given enough to enjoy their own lives. Nice. I guess that's the only legacy I'm really wanna have.

[00:20:10] Carlo Selorio: Awesome. That's it's a great legacy. It's like living behind your legacy to your kids is it's very noble thing. And I think, you, you're not the first, you're not the first interview that I had or who actually. Have the same values. I think it's, I think I've been attracting this kind of people, so I guess yeah, it's the 

[00:20:33] Tony Cosentino: people that, There's a lot about you, doesn't it?

[00:20:34] Yeah. . 

[00:20:36] Carlo Selorio: So it's great to have that mindset with yourself and all the people that I've been talking to. Yeah. Question, a fun question. I guess you've already mentioned a few. If you could recommend one book to our listeners what would it be and why? 

[00:20:54] Tony Cosentino: That is really hard to pick one.

[00:20:56] I think Profit First. I'm gonna say Profit first. Nice. [00:21:00] Mike MCs. Because. He teaches you so much. Like his method if you apply it, is so smart. Basically telling you to put your profit aside, work at your expenses and say that's it. And if you make more money, then you've got more money for, expanding or, but your tax is covered.

[00:21:21] You, you've given yourself enough profit so you don't touch any of the operating expenses. I think it's just a great Way to run your life, not just your business. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:21:32] Carlo Selorio: That's awesome. I haven't actually touched that book yet. Great 

[00:21:36] Tony Cosentino: audio. He's, his audio books are hilarious. Yeah he's very honest, like you say, Oh, I like, ah, had a real, I don't drink very much, but a really big New Year's before I did this recording.

[00:21:45] So he just, he talks about stuff like that. He's hilarious. . 

[00:21:49] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. So I. I'll have to download that audio book. 

[00:21:53] Tony Cosentino: Yeah, he's funny. He's a good speaker. 

[00:21:55] Carlo Selorio: Prophet first 

[00:21:56] Tony Cosentino: pumpkin patch. There's a bunch of them that he's done actually. Yeah. [00:22:00] Awesome. Awesome. 

[00:22:01] Carlo Selorio: Excellent. Thank you again, Tony, for coming on.

[00:22:03] If our listeners need to help need help from you. Or wants your advice or even wanna work with you for any website development or any website maintenance, how can they get a hold of you? 

[00:22:16] Tony Cosentino: They can go to the. Wp do au sot at the beginning, but it's the WP guy dot comu. You could Google the WordPress guy and I'm pretty sure it'll come 

[00:22:28] Carlo Selorio: up.

[00:22:28] Your picture will come 

[00:22:29] Tony Cosentino: up. Yeah. I've got blue hair in a lot of my photos, but I'm going blonde for the. Short term cuz it's easier for summer coming up and I could swim in the ocean without losing my color. , but look for the blue mohawk and you'll find me. Yeah. 

[00:22:41] Carlo Selorio: I think I've seen you with so many colors.

[00:22:43] Different colors over years. That's right. That's right about, yeah. I'll, How about your handles as well, so if you can for your 

[00:22:54] Tony Cosentino: Yeah, Twitter is easy. It's literally the WordPress guy. I've had that since. 2009, the [00:23:00] WordPress guy on Twitter. Nice. Instagram's bwp Literally my web address is my Instagram account.

[00:23:10] Awesome. 

[00:23:10] Carlo Selorio: And I'll, that's pretty easy. I'll put all your your handles on the share notes and make sure that you, they come, hit you up with any future business, yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much again, Tony, for your time. It's been. It's been a pleasure to finally sit down, talk about business.

[00:23:27] I think we've been absolutely, We've been talking about catching up for so long and I think it's good to actually get you in my podcast and share your story. So I think Thank you. It's good to to know. Where you're at this point in time. Hopefully I can get you back on again as well and see where you're progressing.

[00:23:48] Thank you again, Tony, and thank you. Thank you everyone. For our listeners come check out our our podcast. We have actually killing it at the moment. I don't know what I'm doing. I guess I'm doing [00:24:00] something right. I got over 10,000 downloads after four episodes, which is mind blowing.

[00:24:07] It. I'll see you guys next time and thank you Tony for a great episode. Thank you, Carlo. See you later.