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A few months after graduating from undergrad, I was offered a job at an advertising agency in a small town in Iowa. My offer was for $13.25 per hour.
That was ten years ago, and now I make hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit every year. If that doesn’t show you just how much life can change when you go after your big crazy dreams, I don’t know what will!
I spent a year at that agency, then moved on to other agencies, and after working in advertising for three years, I decided that I wanted to be a CPG Brand Manager.
A CPG Brand Manager is a Consumer Packaged Goods Brand Manager, and a packaged good is just something that you see in your household and use every day — so think of brands like Tide, Hershey’s or M&M’s.
You need to have an MBA to be a CPG Brand Manager, and on top of that, I wanted to make $100,000 per year by the time I was 30.
So I made the decision to go to business school.
I’m not going to lie, going to business school was one of the best things I ever did and I absolutely loved grad school.
I loved it not only because of the experience but also because of the lessons I learned. Even though an MBA is focused on helping you have a very successful corporate career, a lot of the lessons that I learned in grad school I’ve applied to my own business.
One of the best things I learned in business school
One of the best things I learned is that there is no right answer — and no one knows exactly how things are going to turn out.
When a business launches a new product they can’t predict with 100% certainty that it’s going to be a hit or if it’s going to be a total flop.
When a financial analyst on Wall Street is picking stocks to buy, they’re just making their best guess. They don’t know with 100% certainty whether those stocks are going to skyrocket or completely tank.
We learn in school that there is no in-between, that everything is black and white, and that there’s a right answer or a wrong answer, but that isn’t how things work in life or in business.
But because we have been taught that there is a right way and a wrong way, and we can’t predict the future, we end up staying stuck.
I see this all the time with people who want to start or grow a business.
We’re so scared that we’re going to choose the wrong answer that we choose to do nothing at all. We just stay stuck. We stay “comfortable” even though we want more. We find ourselves saying things like:
- I want to grow my business to $100,000 next year!
- I want to start my own business!
- I wish I could buy a first-class ticket!
- I wish I could take my whole family to Disney World
You say I want and I wish and then you do absolutely nothing to make it happen!
That’s because you don’t want to make a mistake or choose the wrong answer…but the thing is in life and in business, you don’t know if what you’re doing or choosing is the wrong answer unless you actually choose something…
And you’re not going to learn anything or make any progress if you just stay comfortable.
This is especially prevalent when entrepreneurs are spending money and investing in things for their business.
I hear it all the time, whether it’s from clients or from people who are thinking about joining our programs:
“Can you guarantee that I’ll get results? Can you guarantee that I’ll get clients?”
And my answer: absolutely not! Because no one can guarantee anything!
Oftentimes we don’t make decisions or go after what we really want because we’re scared, but using data can help you overcome your fears and overcome that doubt, and that’s because data takes the emotion out of it.
You can’t totally predict the future, but you can use data to make really good predictions
Part two of one of the best things I learned in business school is that you CAN use data and reasoning to make really good predictions on how things are going to perform or how things are going to work out.
I had this marketing professor in MBA School who was a little intimidating and had a reputation for calling out people’s bullshit.
If you showed up late to his class he would call you out on it. If you gave an answer in class and you had zero justification on how you got to that answer, he would call bullshit.
And you know what? His class was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken in my entire life! Every first year MBA student was so afraid of him, but he taught us more lessons that we could apply to our entire lives than any other professor I ever worked with.
Yes, he taught us marketing skills, but the best thing was that he taught us how to justify our answers and make really good predictions using data — and that skill is something that has been extremely valuable in my business.
Using data to help make predictions and investments in your business helps you take the emotion out of it.
Oftentimes we don’t make decisions or go after what we really want because we’re scared — and I get it, doing new things is scary! But using data can help you overcome your fears and overcome that doubt, and that’s because data takes the emotion out of it.
You’re not going to learn anything or make any progress if you just stay comfortable.
How using data has helped me make huge investments in my business
Oftentimes when people invest in their first coach or course, they choose a $99 course, but to be honest, you’re not going to learn shit from a $99 course.
Typically the bigger the investment, the more value you’re going to get out of it, and the more you’re going to want to put in the time and energy to learn from that program and make your investment back.
The very first course and coaching program I ever invested in was $10,000 — and that was only for 10 weeks of coaching — and I did this while I was still side hustling and in my full-time job.
I was scared. I was investing more than a tenth of what my take-home pay was annually at my job, but using data helped me realize that this could be huge for my business and took the emotion out of it.
This program was put together to teach me how to land and retain more clients, build out an entire agency, and run better Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns for my clients so they would get better results.
I realized that if I landed one client during my ten weeks, charged that one client $2,500, and worked with that client for at least four months, I would make my entire investment back. On top of that, I would also gain a ton of knowledge that would help my business grow exponentially in the years to come.
Now did I know for sure I was going to land a client during those 10 weeks? No.
Did I know for sure that I was going to charge that client $2,500 a month? No.
But going through the numbers gave me a pathway to make that investment back.
You can’t predict exactly how it’s going to go, but an investment isn’t just a particular time period; all of the knowledge that you’re going to gain you can apply to your business for the years to come.
That initial investment can be scary, but it will pay off in the long term
I didn’t make my $10,000 back during those 10 weeks of that program, and I also learned that I didn’t want to build out an agency.
Even though I didn’t end up forming an agency or making my $10,000 back in those ten weeks, that investment and all the knowledge I gained, all the people I connected with through that program, has turned into almost $2 million in revenue over the past three years for our business.
You can’t predict exactly how it’s going to go, but an investment isn’t just for a particular time period; all of the knowledge that you’re going to gain you can apply to your business for the years to come.
I 100% believe in taking courses and programs because they’re going to save you time, you’re going to learn from people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish, and they’re going to save you money in the long run.
I invested in another coaching program this year and that coaching program was $24,000 for 12 months.
Now again, that might sound crazy, but I used data to figure out a game plan on how to make back my investment.
I learned a lot in the program that is going to help our business go to the next level — and by the next level, I mean multiple seven figures a year.
So even though that initial investment is really scary, the return on investment — not just your monetary investment — can be so invaluable.
How you can start investing in your business and hit 6-figures
Now the last example that I want to give you is our own program, Successful Solopreneur School.
It’s a $5,000 program, but it’s put together to give you everything you need to grow your service business as a solopreneur to at least $100,000 per year — if not more.
And I hear this all the time:
I’m just not quite there yet, I just don’t think I can make that investment.
With a $5,000 investment, if you make $100,000 from it even in just the first year, the ROI on that is huge! And not only that, but you’re literally going to build your business in a way that is going to help you continue to hit 6-figures or more year after year.
Even if you land one client for $2,500 after joining Successful Solopreneur School, and they work with you for two months, you’ve already made your investment back — plus you have a new client and all the knowledge to exponentially grow your business!
The bottom line
Use data! Take the emotion out of your business decisions. Take the emotion out of the decision to even start your business because here’s the thing:
No one can predict the future — but using data can help you make really good predictions and take the emotions, the fear, out of your decisions and really help you launch and create the business and life of your dreams.
You’re never going to do that by making decisions out of fear!
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