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Does what you do make CENTS?

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A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

MJ DeMarco

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You quit after 1 year thinking the whole doesn't need more RE agents.

On the other hand, someone who is a hustler, becomes an RE agent. Kicks a$$, finds her clients awesome deals, is super detail oriented, closes every time. She gets referrals like crazy, makes $200,000 a year and now has an assistant, etc...

You're describing EXECUTIONAL EXCELLENCE which overcomes weak entry in an industry that boasts NEED, but has many problem solvers.

2 Es beat 1 E.

Can you do one based on options trading?

@theag posted the analysis from the inside. Rep+ to him.
 
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Jake

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Control - I control my brand but not my factory. I could produce elsewhere but then it's new headaches that I've already spent nearly a year taking care of. I'm relying less on Amazon these days and making more sales through my website and retailers
Entry - Not much of a barrier. Quality and brand building not so easy
Need - Yes. Not an absolute need but an underserved strong want.
Time - It's still early days so I need to push but some of my best days have been while I'm sitting at the pool. As I get more retailers onboard time will continue to increase
Scale - Could be big but I'm pretty much making my market. Target small then continue to increase the market size from there.

Overall score? 2-2.5?
 

Yoda

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Blogging (3.5/5)

Control (.5) - I can control my website, and all its content. I can control prices of my offer. I can't control where Google puts me.

Entry (1) - Actually getting good and understanding everything about blogging is not easy. Many come, many leave. Few win.

Need (1) - In the niche I chose, it's evergreen and there is absolutely a constant need which I could never fulfill.

Time (.5) - Can I do nothing and keep profiting? Yes, for a while. Is it persistent? Not really. I'll always need to keep publishing, even though the work itself is hired out.

Scale (.5) - This was the hardest for me to look at with an unbiased eye. In scaling my own site, there is a 'peak' to some degree. In acquisition of other sites, though, there isn't. I'm leaning much closer to 1 than 0, but I'm not going to count tenths.

-----
Overall, I could technically move Time and Scale closer and closer and closer to 1 (hiring more processes out, acquiring more profitable blogs in other niches with different traffic sources). However, not being able to control traffic directly is a huge detriment to my space ever becoming 100% CENTS.

Even if Entry, Need, Time and Scale were flawless, my search engine traffic could drop to minimal amounts pretty quick.
 

MJ DeMarco

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MARKED NOTABLE -- this is really interesting to see how our businesses shape up and where we hold our weaknesses.
 
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eliquid

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@theag @MJ DeMarco @biophase

This has helped a lot in my understanding of it.

Sometimes I think I am the only one that doesn't get "it" sometimes. What people see as crystal clear, I sometimes look at muddy and from another angle which throws me off some and causes me to sometimes question what I thought/know.

Has hurt me in someways, but many times it has also leveraged me higher than the others and into a better position seeing something they "don't"

Good to know how this is suppose to look now and how it fits in.

Thanks
 

eliquid

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devine

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Business production consulting.

Need - 10.
99.9% of entrepreneurs and businesses are:
fa5.jpg


Entry - 1.
Good luck and amen.
Control - 0.9.
As long as human beings are allowed to communicate, I have full control over this business.
Government was a significant barrier, but as we integrated DASH into our business our lovely government can kiss my a$$. When I move completely off-shore I'll give it a full point.
If you live in a first-world country, your Control is about twice as low as you imagine it to be.
Time - 0.7.
Even though I work less than 30 hours per month, it's not passive income. My main focus is to make it less time consuming, yet increasing profits, as I have a whole lot of other things to do besides doing business.
Scale - 1.
Both, service-based and product-based opportunities are great.
4.6/5.
This business makes me appreciate life.

Niche commerce/ecommerce.
Need - 0.6.
The keyword is 'niche".
Entry - 0.8.
Good luck and amen.
Control - 0.4.
We don't manufacture the substance.
Time - 0.7.
We collectively spent half of a year on everything: product, business name, branding and website, retail stores, security, personell, traveling to meet with manufacturers, I was doing customer support myself a lot, was working as a consultant at my own stores, hired personell, I even signed personal cards myself. My Woman has done an insane amount of work as well.
But today, when everything is done and delegated, I only spend time on my development in related areas.
Scale - 1.
Not simple and definitely not easy, but opportunity is great.
3.5/5.
If it wouldn't be our common passion with my Woman, with tremendous amount of talent, pre-existing skillset and assets, I wouldn't even touch the area like this for God's sake.

Music licensing library.
Need
- 1.
Undersupplied market with a shortage of quality.
Entry - 1.
Unless you have top-notch library of hundreds of tracks with excellent production quality + contacts with right people, your success is not on the roadmap.
Control - 0.6.
BMI/ASCAP get more and more corrupted with years.
Time - 1.
I haven't spent an hour on this business in 2 months.
Scale - 0.6.
Scaling is very complex and I can't see a lot of ways to do it efficiently without spending too much time.
4.2/5.
A perfect example of a hobby translated into profession, then into business.

Overall, I don't depend on my business. Less than a year ago it was totally the opposite.
I focused on quality for many years and have surpassed 10k hours mark in multiple fields before I was introduced to CENTS.
CENTS is a powerful strategic principle, if understood correctly - it translates a full-time business that makes $50k/year into a business that makes $50k/month.

On such a beautiful note I say thanks to @MJ DeMarco for introducing his principles in his book, and depart from TFLF for a while to focus on my family and my new activities.
It was a great time, this forum has improved me as an entrepreneur and as a person.
I wish success to those who actually deserve it, tremendous luck to those who are lost and great enjoyable life to everyone.

J
 
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Florian

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Sure, I'll go.

Ecommerce - 2.8/5

Control - Yes and No (.3) Giving it a .3 because yes I have my online stores, but Google still controls its traffic and a huge chunk of my sales are from Amazon, so that's a big No.
Entry - Yes and No. (.5) While it's certainly easy to open a store, list on Amazon, contact a factory and import similar things. It's not that easy to replicate the brand I've built.
Need - No. (0) I'm going to say no to this because people don't really need what I sell as evidenced by it being a niche. Small percentage just seem to want it.
Time - Yes. (1) A huge yes to this.
Scale - Yes. (1) A huge yes to this. These last 2 make the absence of first 3 all worth it.
You could go more into social media in order to create more control about who'll see your website. If you give enough content and here and there sprinkle in some hooks, you are good to go. But I'm just a newbie so feel free to ignore me :)
 
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mindfulimmortal

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I would like to comment on the subject of need. The concept of need is itself highly subjective. What one person considers a need is for another person, even in the same demographic, a luxury.

Once, after 3 1/2 years in B2B selling I was obliged by my next employer to take an in-house sales course. Lesson #1 was: 'Establish The Need!" This was correctly interpreted by the instructor to mean that sales people should find out if the prospect saw the product or service as a need, and if they didn't, the next step was to convince them that they did need it.

Having previously had an extremely successful 3 1/2 years as a technical sales representative, (800% increase in sales in the first 3 years) I already knew that and had successfully applied it. A good sales person can persuade a person to feel the need without resorting to unethical methods, but after Lesson #1 the sales course became boring and the instruction was heading into sleazy and unethical territory so I quit. That's when I started my first business.

I appreciate that B2B selling is different to online B2C sales because you don't often get to personally interact with the potential customers. To overcome this, I suggest research into the reasons why the customers who have that "need" are convinced that they need the product or service.

Once you know that, the world is your oyster. What you will sell online is: The reason/s why your product or service meets their need, whether or not they originally believed that they had that need.

Having said all that, I would like to make it clear that convincing a person with no feet that they need trainers/sneakers/running shoes/ballet shoes/steel capped work boots, is not what I have in mind.

Walter

I struggle with the need part also. The theory of Jobs To Be Done make it much clearer to me. Basically the concept is to focus on the customers struggle to make their life better and how customers imagine their lives being better once they have the solution. You focus on the customers motivation vs the solutions and technology that fulfills those needs. Two good examples of this are:
- What job to be done are people buying cars? there are many reasons such as they want to get from point a to point b. they want a car that gives them "status", they collect them as an investment. Purchasing, leasing, renting, sharing, taxi's, Uber all provided solutions for the Job to be done.
- Why do some people buy milk shakes on their way to work. The first thought is they were thirsty but when interviewed it turned out that many bought them because they took a long time to drink and occupied their desires during traffic congestion.
A Job To Be Done (and need) describes why (motivation), not how (functionality)
Once you look at needs as "is there a job to be done" it makes it easier and clearer to focus on solutions.
 

Late Bloomer

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Thanks for the heads up! I missed this thread, will add my little summary here!

Helping local Mom & Pop restaurants with online marketing
(full details in my Speedway thread: local sites plus a lead gen portal inspired by Limos.com)

Need
: 8/10
Restaurants need to find diners. Diners want to find restaurants. Online's a great way to do this. Online's a mystery to Mom & Pop. Presence of competition proves it's a valid business model.

Entry: 5/10
Basic sales and web skills needed, then basic management skills to scale with other people using my checklists.

Control: 8/10
I can control my sites, I can control my portal, I can control my sales process, I can control my tech process, I can control my hosting. I can't control quality of the restaurants. I can't control social media services that might be used for advertising.

Time: 9/10
After the initial setup, let Mom & Pop email me a weekly update, otherwise it's hands-off for subscription renewal income.

Scale: 9/10
The more the merrier when it comes to a portal.
 
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Gepi

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Wow, cool thread. This really gives some insight into different kinds of business models.

I will throw mine in here:

3D design, 3D modeling, 3D printing jewelry expert with some occasional graphic design going on. -> Phialo

Need: 4/5
My clients need what I do. While some are very oldschool and don't understand it yet, more and more jewelers see the opportunity of 3D modeling (that is, costs less time + money, lets you easily replicate something, gives you the ability to show customers pieces before making them real in photorealistic quality, and so on). The fact that I have graduated as the best traditional goldsmith in my state makes this a good niche for me.
And so I expect rising demand.

Entry: 3/5
It is possible for anyone with the right effort and mindset to learn the program and gather experience in 3D printing. On the other hand, to apply this to jewelry from start to a successful finish is not so easy. You need to know the ins and outs and also the crafty part of creating it in the real world. And of course, you need an eye for aesthetics, design, fashion and wearability.

Control: 5/5
I have my own website, I contact my own clients, I sell my time for money. This gives me all the control I want over it. I also sell some of my models in online marketplaces, but this is minor compared to the main thing.

Time: 1.5/5
Yeah...this is where it gets slow. No hours worked, no money made. While it has potential, my models on the marketplace do not make nearly anywhere enough. I would have to focus on launching my own jewelry line. While this is something I have pondered often enough, so far something kept me from it. Designing the models for other jewelers was something that gave immediate positive response and so I focused on that. On the other hand it would be a way to scale my business beyond outsourcing the occasional thingy.
Another idea was to make instructional videos and online courses. Have no idea if people would pay money for that, though.
I guess I have to get more information about some of the above. But at the moment getting bills paid and growing the main biz is priority.

Scale: 1.5/5
See Time.

Nice insightful exercise.
 

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