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Mark Byrne

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 10, 2017
9
6
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42
South Yorkshire, England
Update #1: 23/01/18 - New project added!

This was my first post here at the forum:

I've read the book, and a re-read won't hurt either. After being a passenger in my own life, and evaluating my life after a family trip to Disneyland Paris, I decided that certain things can't happen any more. I've had no time or patience for my children, and my businesses are running me. Fastlane has delivered so far, and I hope to update with some huge news some time in the near future!

After I posted this, I began looking at what I was doing to really push for passive income. I do understand that my present responsibilities require me to get up and run our eBay business (with my wife), and I can't just take a few weeks out to plan my new ventures. So most of my research has been done (very) out of hours, and on a shoestring budget.

Some background...

I have six kids, and one grandchild. I run an online business on eBay, and this is a manual business that requires 6 - 8hrs of our time Monday to Friday. I'm not getting any younger, and a previous life of manual labour and also some health problems led me to evaluate just how long I can keep working over a laser engraver and sticking my hands in printers. 'Not very long' was my answer.

I've run passive businesses before. Kindle publishing, teaching internet marketing courses, selling wholesale digital items; I've done plenty of passive. But when we REALLY needed to know where the next meal was coming from - when the passive stuff dropped off due to poor management in part - I bought a cheap Canon printer, sat in front of Photoshop for a week, and launched an eBay business that is now delivering about £50k pa. We sell handmade products - some printed, some laser cut - and it is all manual work. The problem is, I know I cannot scale without hiring staff, lending money for premises etc. etc. An expansion on a manual business will eat profits. Less profits means my grand retirement plan is going to take longer. And I don't (and won't) accept that.

What's going on now?

MJ hit a nerve when I read about selling software and digital products. This is something I have experience in, and with better management, I knew I could create something bigger, better and sustainable. And then retire on the sale of an empire. Although, how many of us really retire? :) I know I'll keep my hand in, in some way...

Anyway, I got to thinking about two or three business ideas I had a few years ago. I tried to mesh them with new, exponential & scalable advertising methods like FBA and Instagram influencer marketing. A few of them held up.

Right now I am in the process of starting two businesses. One is a crossover between the gamer & adult industries... and the other is a research tool that will highlight products I can sell immediately to very specific markets using Facebook Ads & Shopify (plus some free ad methods). My time at the moment is spent refining code, building a front end and tweaking everything ready for launch.

Both should be 90% passive, and the remaining 10% shouldn't need me sat at my PC for more than a few hours a day. That's the plan. Right now it's looking rosy.

UPDATED 23/01/18:
I have now added a third project, as I have aligned myself with an incredible lead generation company and mentor. I will be creating a course in the "Craft" niche, and after a short discussion, it just seems like the perfect joint venture. Again, once the product is created, it will be passive & hands off for me.

To be honest, Fastlane came at exactly the right time. I don't think I'd have actioned it years back - and I've now got the humility to know I have been a bit of a dick when it came to running passive businesses. I've also positioned myself so that even if I cannot get certain aspects of these businesses to work, I will have tangible assets to sell and fund something different. So I know if anything goes tits, I'll have a fallback.

I created this thread so I can check in on my own progress. I feel this is the best way for me to validate the steps I'm taking. So, here goes...

Jan 22nd 2018
Project 1 (Gaming/Adult): Spent: £11.60 | Earnings: £0 (Pre-Launch Phase)
Project 2 (Shopify Niches): Spent: £6000 | Earnings: £0 (Pre-Launch Phase)
Project 3 (Course): Spent: £0 | Earnings: £0 (Content creation phase)

Now, I'm no longer a passenger. I'm taking the wheel.
 

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Last edited:

Mark Byrne

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 10, 2017
9
6
16
42
South Yorkshire, England
Thanks for the reply.

I have some traditional plans, such as posting on Facebook and getting eyes on a promotional ad - but my more unorthodox methods are what I'd term as a growth hack. I have never liked traditional advertising or marketing, as I think most people are blind to the majority of ads they see. I know I am. So I always ask myself - as a cynical old fart - what I would respond to. Invariably, I get a better response, if I think outside the box.

For Project 1, this is a brand new type of site and business, so I was immediately faced with the fact that I can't expect people to understand it without using a full sentence. This meant I would either have to use long form marketing, or just think about a different way of getting my message out. Eg. If it were a new type of toothbrush, it would have been "A faster rotating head for cleaner teeth", but in my case, it would be more along the lines of "A solar powered, sonic cleaning toothbrush that leaves teeth cleaner than any toothbrush ever made". That's how different my business model is.

I will be going to public communities such as Reddit and gaming related forums, and offering interviews for a specific type of gamer. I will be paying a fixed fee for a full interview, with a list of preset questions and some ad-hoc questions too. When the applications come in for this interview, I will give them a list of questions so they can decide whether the interview is suitable/applicable to them. Right there, in plain sight, is the link & information about my website.

This does two very important things:-
a) It prequalifies visitors for my business. These are only people in a certain demographic that will be applying in the first place. So I know the applicants are going to be laser targeted. It would cost my a lot in PPC just to laser target like this, and take much longer in terms of whittling down an ad campaign.
b) It puts the reader/visitor in a different mental state before they hit my site. They are already thinking "I'm gonna get paid", so they are more receptive to my offer.

There is no upfront cost associated with my business model for these people either, so its a risk free click.

Project 2 is a joint venture, and luckily all the heavy lifting in the marketing department is done by my partner. They are master list builders, sales funnel architects, and also have a crazy Facebook Ads skillset. So I will most likely take a back seat, and let the traditional methods of marketing take over. I hope to learn a lot from this process too. i will be adding my Reddit marketing expertise, and I'll be using Instagram influencers too.

Hopefully this answers your question!
 

Mark Byrne

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 10, 2017
9
6
16
42
South Yorkshire, England
You're welcome. I have updated the main thread, as I have added another project! Seems like I'm spinning a lot of wheels, but to be honest, I am managing my time well, and everything is running well so far.
 

Mark Byrne

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 10, 2017
9
6
16
42
South Yorkshire, England
Quick update...

Well, spinning a lot of plates is a bad idea, it turns out :)

I decided to focus on ONE project right now, and that is actually Facebook Ads, and our current business. We create laser cut and engraved products, which do well in lots of different niches. The main reason is that I think I will need the skills on Facebook Ads for the future, and whatever passive model I decide to stick with. It will be in the niche I know and love, too, which will help me find good suppliers & know when people are taking the piss. There were other decisive factors. I was let down by two developers, and that stalled two projects.

I have been running ads from March 1st to March 5th, and I'm in profit. I realised that spreading myself too thin was literally the worst thing I could do. I learned a lot about myself as I juggled daily tasks... it's that I need to be 100% focussed on ONE thing, and make it work. Re-reading some of the book helped. My wife is also running the ad campaigns and the business with me, and I realised I wasn't asking for help as much as I should. With both of us on this, we'll make it a huge success, I believe. I'm really positive, and looking forward to making it work like gangbusters in 2018 once again!

I'll be back with a proper write-up once (if) I get some time. Right now I'm up to my ears in orders (so that should tell you how well things are going!).
 

p0stscript

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Feb 7, 2018
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I'll be back with a proper write-up once (if) I get some time. Right now I'm up to my ears in orders (so that should tell you how well things are going!).

Wishing you well with the venture, I'm going to follow with interest since I've gained a lot from you already. All the best.
 

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