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What My Business Looks like (a peek under the hood)

business marketing Jul 27, 2017

Today, transparency is more important than ever. Bold headlines touting "six-figure launch" or "7-figure business" sound great, but they never tell the whole story.  

I'm not saying people are lying (although some are!), but we rarely hear about the oh-so-important details behind those big results. 

Some people talk about "generating 7-figures," and they are describing TOTAL REVENUE COLLECTED over several years.

Others tend to leave out BIG EXPENSES...

...or fail to mention failed payments or refunds. 

I've seen entrepreneurs mislead others about  "how long their journey took" (The overnight success... that really took 10 years in the making)

And others leave out exactly where that revenue came from (sometimes a big corporate gig somehow doesn't get mentioned).

There is a lot of BS out there, I get it. But at the same time, there are a HECK of a lot more people starting and rapidly growing successful online businesses. (Like, this stuff actually works!

But often all the outsider sees is what's above the surface, not the rest of the iceberg below the water.  

That's my attempt here.  To give you the "headline," and back it up with the full story. If you continue reading, I'll open up the hood, and simply show you how I've decided to structure my business, how it runs and why it runs this way.

I will consider this an "open document," as you may have questions or I may make future changes, and I'd like to update and reflect that here.

So, let's get started first with a "fancy headline."

"Broke Bartender Builds Multiple 7-Figure Online Business"

 That's my "headline."

Yes, during (and after) college I was a bartender. And I was broke.  And today, I do run a +$2 million/year company, and we are currently pacing +$3M for 2017.

BUT... from "bartender" to "7-figures" there is a GAP of almost 10 years.  Which means it wasn't overnight.  In fact, by my second year (2009), I only made about $20,000 for the year.  I was living in my parents house at the time so my costs were low.

Then, I doubled revenue about every year until 2014. That year I triple revenue (about $220k in 2013) and surpassed that elusive $1 Million Revenue mark.  

But so what?

Sadly, so many people create meaning around these "milestones." They aren't even milestones, they're just friggin' numbers!  And as we run around comparing ourselves to others, we go into a total tailspin because someone is making more.  So...what?

The biggest lesson I've learned here: 

Be The Tortoise.

You remember the story.  The hare lost.  Why? Cockiness? sure.  But I also think it ws something else:  competition. The hare was focused on beating someone else... winning! (which means someone else loses!) The tortoise focused on one thing: putting one foot in front of the other.

Consistency.  

The Tortoise kept his head down. He was patient. Confident. Detached.  And he knew he was building something that lasts.  The hare is looking for that flash-in-the-pan success.  And for me, I would take the $100,000/year with 20% increase every year for 10 years than the dude that can someone manage to make a home run launch of $500K and never repeat it.  

You see, while everyone is comparing bank account sizes, and launch numbers, we tend to ignore one of the most valuable factors: TIME.  

...as in TIME in the market.  Sustainability.  Creating something that lasts. 

So How Exactly Does My Business Look Today?

Before I actually lift up the hood, I want to share the gas that I put in the tank: My Passion.

What you have to understand is that I absolutely love what I do.  Every part of it. And I'm not just talking about "video" or "marketing."  No. I love every part of running a business.  

And I firmly believe, whatever you give 100% of your heart and soul to, will "succeed."  This is ultimately why I believe I'm successful, why I've continued to grow and why I didn't burn out like a dying star.

Let's start with my Passion:  Teaching. Coaching. Strategy. Business. Marketing.  I love all of it. And my business is an outlet to express my passions. 

Skills: I went to one of the top film schools in the country and focused specifically on creating commercials. So out of college, I had a basic understanding of visual storytelling, copywriting, branding and marketing.  

Makin' Money: Anytime you can solve problems and provide value to others, you have the chance to make money.  When you find a way to solve problems using your skills and passions, you put your money-making abilities on overdrive.

In short, as an entrepreneur you have the opportunity to find the intersection between what you love doing, what you're good at, and what makes you money.  

 

 

Ok, So How Do I Actually Generate Revenue from That?

 The short answer is: leveraged content.  This includes anything from online courses to group coaching and membership sites. 

And the reason for this, is key: long time ago I made RULES, or rather...

COMMANDMENTS FOR MAKING MONEY

We all have some rules (most are unspoken) for how we will go out to get money. Chances are, one of those rules would include "don't do anything illegal, like rob a bank." (I hope so).

But we can also have other rules or agreements for how we decide we'll make our money or hit our goals. 

JW Rule #1: Don't Do Anything That Doesn't Have "Leverage Power." 

This basically means I don't do any one-on-one coaching or consulting. I don't do anything that doesn't allow me to leverage my time or my value.  And when it comes to scaling and working less, this rule is essential.  

JW Rule #2: Don't Do Anything That Sacrifices Your Happiness

I think we've been sold on the idea that to get something you really want, you must be willing to sacrifice the things that are most important to you.  Perhaps some sacrifice is in order (hey! you gotta cut out ice cream if you want to lose weight), but I believe the things that are MOST IMPORTANT to you, should never be sacrificed.  My happiness, inner-peace and general well-being will never be traded for money. 

I have more, but those are two biggies for me!

What are your rules? Having a goal of "6-figures/year" is great, but what are your non-negotiables? What are you NOT willing to do?  What is essential you are doing?

With some "rules," you can begin to say "no" to more opportunities.  This gives clarity. 

Today, I focus primarily on three types of leveraged offers:

  • Online Courses
  • Group Coaching
  • Masterminding

And that's because, as an authority, there are really three ways in which we can bring value to the table:

  • Teaching: a transference of knowledge from one person to another
  • Coaching: guidance, support, and facilitation of breakthroughs
  • Mastermind: an environment of collective support and accountability 

It's essential that you know the difference between the three.  As you may also notice, each of these three "styles of value" follow a linear progression.  First someone must learn a subject, then the person needs coaching on how to execute on the subject, and in order to gain mastery, the individual must surround themselves with like-minded individuals.

When you discover this, you realize you have the opportunity to create an entire product suite (not just that "online course") that follows what we call: The Ascension Model

 

Starting at the bottom of the pyramid and moving up, here's the opportunity you have...

First, your audience and prospects can consume free content from you on your platform. At which point, some will want to invest in a course or membership that will give them more training.  Some of those customers will want to achieve results quicker and easier, so they'll want coaching.  And some may look for ways to master the subject, and will want to surround themselves with like-minded individuals in a mastermind-style environment. And yet still, there is an opportunity for "YOU" to be at the top of the pyramid reserved for your highest of high-end offers. 

Here's a quick look at how my "product suite" and Ascension Model looks.

 

 

Let's break this down a bit, shall we?

1. The Mind Your Business Podcast - This is my platform for sharing content with my audience.  Every week I post at least one new episode, and there are always invitations to "opt in" for additional training or content. It's list building and relationship building.

2. Business By Design - This is my $2,000 "online course."  I put course in air-quotes, because it's more of a plug & play manual for running your business, then just a "learn how to" course. This serves as my Signature Program.    Yet still, some students of Business By Design, seek more...

3. BBD Next Level - This is my 12-month group coaching program available only to members of Business By Design who are looking to accelerate their results and be surrounded with the right people.  

4. The Inner Circle Mastermind - My mastermind is reserved for those who are doing multiple six-figures of revenue in their business, and I only have limited seats.  So, for obvious reasons, it's application only, very expensive ($25k for the year) and we only open it up a for a few days at a time each year. 

5. JW VIP Day - For the high level entreprenuer looking to get laser-coaching and breakthrough results FAST, I do have a VIP Day. But I try and avoid this like the plague.  Although it's a lot of money, taking a day away from me is very costly to the rest of the business.  

...I don't share these to promote these offers.  But rather to share full transparency how I've created my business and my profit centers so you can begin to see a more full picture.  

 So... how do I generate revenue from that?

 Unfortunately, creating a course and putting an "add-to-cart" button on your website doesn't mean you're in business.  In fact, this is where most people fail.  They have zero sales or marketing plan.

In a moment, I'll show you mine, (and you'll discover just how simple it really is), but first we must start with  

 The Big Picture Strategy:

Traffic, Leads & Sales

Every online business needs Traffic. Leads. & Sales. 

Thus, you need a system or a strategy for both. In essence, this how I created a plan for getting TLC:

Let's break this down...

 On the left, you have your plan for attracting new prospects and converting them into leads.  I do this in two ways.

First I have a platform. Your platform is simply a place to get your message out to others.  Then, I use paid advertising (such as Facebook Advertising) to reach people.  

On the right, we have a "Sales System." This is something to help take prospects from "lead" to "happy customer."

This can be done in numerous ways, including...

  • Strategy Calls
  • Webinars
  • Video Launches
  • Funnels
  • Email Campaigns
  • Applications
  • From Stage
  • ...and probably a dozen more!

So, here's how this plan looks for my business:

I'm sure you wanted something a bit more complicated, but I like to keep things simple.  

I use a combination of my podcast and Facebook Advertising to invite my audience to free video training and/or free webinars that deliver free content then offer my program Business By Design.  

I use the LEFT Circle to get traffic and generate leads, and the RIGHT Circle to convert leads into "happy customers." :-)  

But... I'm not doing this all day every day. I use a promotional calendar to map out schedule out launches for the year.  

First, you'll want to break your "12 month" calendar out into four equal quarters:

 

To begin, you'll want to focus on ONE profit-center every quarter.  In other words, you focus on one launch or promotion per quarter. This way, you don't spread yourself too thin.

For me, we like to do TWO Big Launches a year (for Business By Design), 2 smaller promotions, and run some evergreen promos the rest of the year.

It would look something like this...

 

This should all be pretty self-explanatory.  However, I won't be discussing "evergreen" too much here (that will need it's own post!),  other than to tell you that we have funnels and promos that run 24/7, 365 without me.  New leads and sales are being generated everyday on autopilot.  And having this in place is ESSENTIAL if you want to truly scale and have an actual life!

So... what else?

I've covered a lot here. The intention was to show you how I see my business, how we structure things, and what I do. I know it's still high-level, but that's to keep it clean and simple.  What else would you like me to expand on here? Let me know in the comments below so I can add to this "living document."

Thank you :)

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