“You know you could make way more money just doing this....” she said.
“You know this would be far less work for far more money....”
“You know you’d actually enjoy these clients far more than what you’re doing now....”
Over and over again, my mentor would jokingly poke me about my business and why I was insistent on continuing down this path.
She was right. She always is.
“Look” she continued.... “You could realistically do the same things that you’re doing right now, except for a better and more grateful client. A client who’ll happily pay you way more for the work you’re already doing. You’ll probably make 3x what you’re making right now. I get it, you’re stubborn like me - but maybe it’s time....”
Simple advice to take in theory. Do the same thing I was already doing. Do it for a more affluent and more grateful client. Sounds like something that would be easy to transition to, right?
I had invested so much already in my current business. I didn’t really want to start again from scratch.
It took 6-12 months of badgering before I started even considering the possibility of walking away from that business. I wanted to have exhausted every avenue - I wanted to be sure.
... but she was right. She always is - but I had to find out for myself. Because I’m stubborn like that.
Build a business that helps teenagers... they said.
Everyone would want that... they said.
Hindsight always sees 20/20. This was going to be my first big lesson as an entrepreneur, educator and marketer. Your prospects don’t know what they want. I just hadn't learned that yet.
Change the education system… they said.
It’s broken… they said
My partner and I had inadvertently stumbled into an incredibly complex web of government funding, bureaucracy and red tape. The vision was pure and noble - but the reality of a public education system was far more tricky than that.
Take highly engaging and valuable life and study skills and teach them to teenagers in a game format.
I went from having zero clues how to market a business and generate leads and consultations - to being able to generate them on tap. Let me be clear - I knew how to build funnels in the technical sense.
But I had zero ideas how to write copy, ads or setup offers that worked. In fact, I was terrible at it.
I had always been a high achiever. I’d done well at school, sports, uni - I got good jobs - by all standards I was successful. But I wanted more (high achievers always do) - so of course, I decided to start a business.
Our first-year goals were, in hindsight, embarrassingly small - we were firmly stuck inside the sub $100k revenue - with 2 of us working in the business.
From a marketing perspective, my goal was to generate 200 phone numbers - for the year. Back then, you couldn’t just whip up a lead ad and get $20 phone numbers with an ad that is by all measures - mediocre.
Back then, it took a TON of testing and tweaking - to even get a SINGLE lead. It took tens of thousands of dollars before we even started getting decent results. My ability to do niching and copywriting, to put it generously, was limited.
I found it incredibly difficult. I sucked at it.
My ads didn’t work very well. My writing lacked clarity and punch and it was VERY difficult to break through and articulate what I really wanted to say.
But as is common with any skill acquisition - I persisted. I consistently put my ads up for comment and criticism. And much criticism there was. I felt like I was getting nowhere. But then something funny happened. Thing started working. I started to get results - it was still a shit-fight - but we could see things starting to work. I started to get leads!
So you can imagine why I wasn’t so eager to just ‘quit’. I felt like I was so close. I didn’t want to be the guy who quits 2mm from the finish line and misses out on all the rewards from putting in the hard work.
I even find it hard to write the word quit. I’m no quitter. But in hindsight, I wasn’t really quitting. It was more like putting myself out of my self-imposed misery. I’d invested a lot of time and energy. I wanted to take that ride all the way to the conclusion. I wanted to explore every aspect to make things ‘work’.
After 4 years of investment, stress, blood, sweat and exhaustion - I began contemplating what life would be like running a business for business owners.
It was intimidating.
There’s a huge amount of trust that comes with taking on the responsibility of helping with marketing and lead generation - and I was not going to take that on lightly. I wanted to know that I’d be doing a good job.
… and then it got worse.
My partner (and business partner) decided she wanted out of the relationship. She was frustrated and burned out too - and she’d had enough. This all went down while trying to run a business and keep up commitments we’d made to the few clients we had. Needless to say, it was messy. After 4 years of exhaustion and burnout, one thing was clear. We both had given enough of our blood to this business - it was time to move on.
I had developed some amazing skills along the way.
Always the high achiever, I’d done well at school, sports, uni and work. I’d always worked hard to ensure that the education at our courses was world class. Now we certainly weren’t at that level (yet), but that was the ambition.
Over 3 years and $30k was invested in education learning about gamification and how to make learning impactful and fun. Over 4 years, tens of thousands of dollars were invested learning how to create impactful marketing and how to generate leads for my own business at the time. Thousands upon thousands of hours spent learning, refining and executing marketing and sales strategy.
Generating leads, dialling prospects, dealing with their tantrums and lash-outs as I tried valiantly to help them with their teenagers.
I’d always been well accomplished with the technology side of the business - having double degrees in software engineering and telecommunications engineering - the technical aspects of business was always easy for me. I’d spent years honing and building those skills. But when it came to what to actually SAY - and how to put that into a coherent strategy for my business, that would work for MY specific situation - that was the challenge.
But now I knew how to do that. I now had that in my tool-belt.
My early goals of 200 leads in a year was surpassed by 2000 leads in the following year. Now, my team and I generate on average 200 to 500 leads, per month - for each and every client.
There’s a reason we do things differently here.
There are 1001 people out there telling you their way is the best. I know what it’s like because I’ve been in all those situations. I’ve run that business. I’ve been on the other side of that sort of marketing. It’s not fun. But it doesn’t have to stay that way forever. You certainly don’t have to take the years took for me to pivot and change direction.
It’s not going to be easy - but if you want to go after a higher level, more affluent client - it never ever is. Nothing worthwhile is EVER easy. That’s why I’m here to help.
To help you level up your impact in your market.
To help you articulate what you know in your mind by having difficulty expressing.
To help you cut through the wanna-be's and imitators in your marketplace.
So that you too can have the business that rewards you for the effort you put in - so that you can transition to something better, more profitable with more freedom - just like I did.
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