Anthony McCarthy Interview

Anthony McCarthy Interview

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This time we’re welcoming, Anthony McCarthy, one of Ireland’s most respected marketers. Anthony has over three decades of sales and marketing experience and has a no-nonsense approach to using the Internet. For the last decade, he has been marketing online full-time.

And in that time, he has been in demand to speak globally, has become an Amazon Best Seller, and has taught hundreds of people and businesses how to successfully use the Internet to grow and digitize their business.
And we’re talking about companies such as Logitech, as well as the Irish government, and even the European Union. Anthony, welcome.

Anthony McCarthy:
Lovely to be here. Thank you very much.

Great to have you here. Now, perhaps we could start with you telling us a little bit more about your background, and what it was that inspired you to venture into online marketing.

Anthony McCarthy:
I think that would be longer than the whole interview. Very simple, necessity. I was in the retail business all of my life, in ceramic tiles and kitchen cabinets. And I did a very large project where for over 6.8 million was the sale.

Property crash happened, the guys couldn’t pay me. I lost over 1.7 million of my own money, and I was literally on my backside. So a friend of mine rang me and said he was doing an event in Dublin and there were a couple of people coming in from the States to talk about online marketing, which I went, “Okay. Right.
Your point?” And one of them had family from Cork, so he asked me would I come up and bring them for a pint as you do in Ireland, and that type of stuff.
So I went up completely and absolutely skeptical, and met a guy called Matt Bacak, who I believe has been on before.

And I signed up for his programme, and that’s how it started. It was really just, it wasn’t anything that I invented, it wasn’t anything… I joke about myself, this isn’t the rags to riches story, this is a riches to rags to riches story. It really was I’ve got five kids, and I knew if I continued while I was doing, it wasn’t going to work.
Then I know that COVID would have come in because I was importing all of my product from Italy at that point in time, and I wouldn’t have been able to import anything through the current pandemic and the rest of it. And so I would have been completely wiped out again.

But I knew back then I wanted to change when I saw… I’ll be honest, it’s twice in my life my jaw has dropped with technology.
The first time was, I know I’m this old that I saw a Lotus… I used to use Lotus 1-2-3 and DOS if any of you can remember that. And I remember seeing Windows and Excel for the first time.

I walked in late and the guy did an auto fill, and I bought 11 computers that day and walked out and told him, “Deliver them.” We were done.
We were sold. And the other time was when I saw an autoresponder because, for me, I did a lot of direct mail campaigns and flyers, TV, advertising, radio advertising, newspaper advertising.

I’m old enough to know why the newspaper column inches, is the width it is. It’s the width that you’re able using your head without turning your head. And there’s the whole psychology behind that.

But, when I saw an autoresponder, it was like, “Ooh. You’re telling me now I can send an email, write one email and send it to as many people as I can get on a list.” That made sense to me. And so that’s what started.

Wow. I mean, so in many ways, Matt Bacak, is to blame for you venturing into online marketing.

Anthony McCarthy:
Matt has become a lifelong friend. We talk three, four times a week, and we do some projects together, and we’ve become… Because literally, I’ll tell you the funny story about all of this.

Back then, events were way bigger, people were treated like gods. And Matt was a bit standoffish, and couldn’t understand. And long story short, I had sent some stuff to his mother, because she was talking about visiting Ireland and the rest of it.

Which you would do being Irish, like there was nothing… We didn’t say anything about it. So we did all that, it was all grand, and Matt comes back with his good wife, Stephanie.
They spent some time in Cork, and we’re on a train to Dublin because he’s never been on a train. Americans, never been on a train. No disrespect to my American cousins, but they don’t do a lot of trains.

So we’re on the train, and he just turns over to me, and he says, “Dude , what the F do you want?

What is it you want?”

And I just looked him straight in the face, and I said, “I want to know the answer to one question and one question only.” And he said, “What is it?” I said, “Is this BS or is this real?” And he said, “Okay. What you do is you jump on a plane next week, and you’re going to come stay in our house, you’re going to stay in the basement.” Which sounds horrific, his basement was bigger than my house. It had its own bar which suited me fine. And I went over and as I say, I went to meet the Wizard of Oz, the all-knowing wizard, and I met the guy who plays the organ. So he absolutely took the business apart and I saw the inside of the business. And that was me, I was hooked from then on.

Wow. And since then you’ve gone on to work on several multimillion-dollar businesses. For anyone who’s never done that though, Anthony, how hard did you find it to get started?

Anthony McCarthy:
A nightmare. And I’ll tell you why. The Internet is a very, very simple business, and that’s the problem with it. Because most people look at it… Anyway, I believed it was true, but I didn’t believe it was true. I kept making it complicated. I kept adding stuff from traditional business. I couldn’t understand that I can buy a domain name, I can set up an opt-in page, I can drive some traffic and get people into an email and send them emails and sell them stuff. I kept trying to mess that process up, by adding in things. The other challenge is, there’s a million ways of making money online, but you can’t make money doing a million different things.

Of course. Now it’s good advice. That’s great advice. And I think that’s where a lot of people do get lost, isn’t it? Because they try a million things at the same time.

Anthony McCarthy:
Yeah. And the thing is, like my analogy is, it’s like the person that’s drowning. Because when I say I lost everything, I borrowed the money to do the course with Matt off my father. My father was paying my expenses, feeding my family at that point.

I mean, I went below zero so fast, it wasn’t funny. Over 20 million worth of property got completely annihilated. So I had every reason to sit in the ground, feel sorry for myself and not get back up. However, there’s one thing that I’ve learned through…

I lost my sister when she was 29, she had cancer, and that was kind of a refocus. And when I was feeling sorry for myself, my father walked in and said, “Your sister would love the problems you have.” So I’m responsible for the decisions I make …

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