The first job I had out of college paid $40,000 per year. It was a marketing position for an insurance agency. I was the youngest person that worked in the office by at least 15 years.
I decided sometime during the fourth month of working I wanted to build my own business. Before leaving my job I secured about $40,000 worth of private consulting work on the side. It was $36,000 to be exact. I didn’t have a safety net or any idea how to run a business. I didn’t care. I would learn.
Increasing my value by 200% in 12 months
During the first year of building my first business I worked with various clients and generated close to $100,000.
Around the one year mark I was approached by one of my clients. He offered me a position that paid $80,000 per year. Two years out of college, I weighed my options and took the job. I thought it would be nice to not worry about securing clients. Who doesn’t like a steady paycheck, right?
I left that job after about one year and went back on my own. Years have gone by. Businesses have launched. Most were failures. Mistakes and good decisions have been made. I now write this post for you.
Failure, meet success
As I built different businesses over the last ten years I noticed a theme pop up each time. Well, I noticed two themes. The first theme was failure. I was really good at failure. At the same time, if it wasn’t for failing so many times I would never have made it to the success I’m having right now.
The second theme: In all of my previous business models I dealt with clients on a daily basis. Meetings, emails, phone calls, and doing work for my clients occupied all my time. I worked more hours than if I had a regular full-time job.
I rarely saw my friends and family. I was constantly doing things for my clients. It was my fault, though. I set up the relationships that way.
This happened because I offered services to my clients. I was paid to do work for my clients. I possess a skill my clients needed so they paid me to perform the skill for them.
In order to grow my business I needed more clients, but I could only do so much in one day. Sure, I can take on more clients and hire people to do the work. That would still leave me stuck in the middle of a business that requires me to be working 24/7 for at least the next few years.
There had to be a better way to run a business. I must be doing something wrong.
My grandfather had many businesses. He actually passed down a different business to each of his four children. After successfully building a suite of companies he moved to Massachusetts and bought an old blacksmith’s house. The house was attached to a general store. It was pretty cool.
My grandfather knew how to teach. He slipped my tiny hands in the soot-stained gloves that were fit for a giant. Clamping down on the piece of metal he told me to roast it in the burning coal embers until I saw blue. Hammer in hand, I would bang away for hours. I probably made 50 “fire-pokers’’ in that coal forge.
My grandfather did not make the fire-pokers for me and say, “Here, this is what the end product looks like.” That would consume all of his time and it wouldn’t teach me anything about the process.
Teach a man to fish
The time came when I wanted to build something more complex than the fire-poker. At that point I already knew how to operate everything on my own. My grandfather and I would have a quick conversation about planning and technique. Then, I would go back to the coal forge and build something unique with my skills combined with his high level advice.
This concept helped me realize something very important. If I were to teach my clients the skills I have it would do three important things: (1) allow me to help more customers, (2) create the opportunity for me to do other work, and (3) empower my clients with knowledge to build their own complex and unique products.
So, I began teaching my skills rather than performing my skills as services. To reference my grandfather and the coal forge: I teach you how to make your own fire-poker compared to making the fire-poker for you.
I already knew I had a skill that was worth money because I get paid for it. I discuss more of this later in the book – but this is important to note.
*If you have a skill people pay for, it means you can turn that skill into a product.*
Quality of life
Once I started building skill-based products my quality of life increased tremendously. I no longer wake up at 6am to sit in traffic and go to an office for 10 hours just to get home, eat, and sleep before doing it all over again.
I work about two to four hours per day as long as I’m caught up on everything. I spend more time with family and friends. I have a flexible schedule. I work on new projects all the time.
One of the benefits of creating products is passive income. First, I spend a few hundred hours creating a valuable product. Then, I sell the product over and over, forever. Customers purchase my products online and I receive an email notification that tells me about the transaction.
Higher paying jobs
I used this method to increase my value in the workforce by 200% in 12 months. I had employers coming to me with job offers. I no longer had to claim my expertise on a resume. My products spoke for themselves.
I use products to educate my customers to the point where they pay me for high level consulting. Rather than me doing work for a client (work they prefer to understand how to do themselves) I use products to teach them how to do most of it on their own. When it comes time to sit down with me we are able to have high level strategy sessions.
Perceived as an expert
I built credibility for myself when I began using the internet as a platform to teach my skills. The very act of publicly teaching my skills to someone else further solidified my role as an expert.
Build a following
I started with zero followers. Actually, everyone starts with zero followers. Teaching others my skills has built a steady flow of traffic to my website and a growing email database of interested customers. I focus on teaching you valuable skills you didn’t have before engaging with me today. I work hard to give you a reason to come back tomorrow.
If you’re waiting for permission or for someone to say you’re “ready” you shouldn’t hold your breath.
I’m telling you right now. You ARE ready. Just the way you are.
You can build your first product in one month or one year. It’s up to you. How much time do you want to invest in your future?
If you want to focus everyday of your life around the every want and need of your customers than you should focus on doing that – my book probably isn’t going to help you.
If you don’t want to get caught in the whirl-wind of madness I went through and you prefer to build a product on your own time then let’s do it together.
If you want to work hard, like nobody else works, you will live the rest of your life like nobody else lives.
Let me show you how. Skilz becomes available for purchase this October, 23rd at 7:00am EST.
The time is now
You may have a job. You may be unemployed. You may run your own company. Everyone has a skill. What’s yours?
Increase your value. Get a higher paying job. Start a business while you work your 9-5. Become financially independent. Plan for the future.
Are you ready?