The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

GOLD! From 0 To $240,000 Per Year PROFIT In 18 Months

OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
UPDATE: maybe not my progress, but others that have reached out to me on their own journeys. I won't name names, but 2 people that have PM'd me have closed or are closing on deals like mine, graciously telling me what they read here in this thread and in our PMs had direct impact on their process and action. I'm super proud of them. You know who you are.

Everyone, keep going! It's not as hard or impossible as you may think it is.

And stop offering me money for my help. I won't take it. But I will give you whatever help I can.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

jon11

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 3, 2019
13
6
15
Where do you think the balance is between doing due diligence on a deal and just going for it?

To an extent its always going to be unknown so I'm trying to decide on my personal threshold for when to stop analysing and pull the trigger. It seems to be a fairly fine line.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Where do you think the balance is between doing due diligence on a deal and just going for it?

To an extent its always going to be unknown so I'm trying to decide on my personal threshold for when to stop analysing and pull the trigger. It seems to be a fairly fine line.
I think you're talking about "analysis paralysis". In business as you allude to, there will always be unknowns. In the end you have to be willing to lose all of your investment. That is a tough sell. For me because of what I went through when I owned a commercial printing business years ago, I went through an even worse case scenario. Not only did I lose my initial investment, I also went into severe debt with the business operating at a significant loss each month (in the thousands of dollars) with long-term liabilities like office and equipment leases. It changed my life in so many ways, bad and ultimately good. My acquisition search criteria is fundamentally built from not wanting overhead that can sink you. If any of my businesses fail completely, I ultimately just lose some of my initial investment, and of course my time. That baseline helps me not to have analysis paralysis when I'm evaluating a business. Therefore, now I do not fear failing in business like I did before.

Getting back to your question, when I am evaluating a deal, I look at ROI, and based on the verified financials, if they appear strong (2+ years of consistent profitability and 50%+ ROI), I pretty much automatically pull the trigger, assuming it's the best deal that's on the table currently. I'm almost like a computer in a sense. Emotion and fear have very little affect on my decision making. And believe me, I have plenty to be anxious or fearful. I have a stay-at-home wife and two kids, one- and two-year-olds. Plenty of bills, etc.

It may not be fair to compare where I am at now with where I was 18+ months ago. My company is now successful with plenty of discretionary income. After all bills are paid like mortgage, utilities, car payments, and of course business operating expenses, we clear a good $20,000 a month now. But 18 months ago, as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, we were living paycheck to paycheck. Actually not even, since I had lost my job, and had no income. Maybe that's the secret sauce that someone earlier mentioned. When you are so down, and you've pretty much lost it all, your perspective on life and business changes. You get to that point where enough is enough. Playing it safe gets you a "secure" job and a mortgage payment. But that "secure" job is really not that secure at all. And that mortgage payment will eat you alive.

When I rebooted my life and started investing earlier this year in April, I had my search criteria, found a software business, did due diligence the best I could (verified all their bank statements, P&Ls, merchant account statements, talked about their software products in detail, got copies of their US drivers licenses, scoured the internet and their web site, obviously met with them a few times, spent 2 full weeks drilling into the business), and then pulled the trigger.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
UPDATE: This is turning into probably the best month for sales. We are on target to make about $27,000 in sales. Expenses will be around $2000. Separately, consulting income will be about $14,000 with no expenses.

All businesses are firing on all cylinders. Only negative is that my web hosting business is taking way too much time right now since I haven't offloaded the work to my team. I'm handling all the tickets, but documenting them so that when I do transition, my team will be able to refer to my documentation to handle most of the tickets. Helpscout is awesome!
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
NEED ADVICE: I'm struggling with a decision. I am targeted to quit consulting by the end of the year. Total instant gratification. Except that I recently met with another consulting client yesterday. It can add another $10,000 a month. So if I kept going balls-to-the-wall for another 3 months until April of next year, I can get that online business I want so much and pocket the extra $7000 a month from that indefinitely.

It is such a great buy. Better than all the other businesses that I've acquired this year. BETTER! It satisfies all my 11 criteria, again better than any of the other businesses that I own. Downside is total shit life for 3-4 months. I really wish I had a clone.

YES, I struggle with making some business decisions.
 

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
YES, I struggle with making some business decisions.
Your reasoning sounds pretty good for taking on the consulting. I'd just caution that this type of work (1:1 time to money trade) has a potential opportunity cost associated with it. If you really believe that there won't be a greater opportunity in terms of where you allocate your time- you should do it. But also remember that time is the most valuable thing on Earth- even if you're not using the time to grow other businesses, you could spend time doing other things you enjoy.

It's not an easy decision either way. I'm also (already) debating this- with my slow lane job I am rewarded a fair chunk of equity each quarter, and I truly believe that the stock value will be somewhere around x6-x8 in the next 5-7 years. Meanwhile, I've mentally resigned myself to following my dreams into the fastlane which has nothing to do with my current career. So where do I draw the line? The answer is when I start to "lose" money with my startup because I'm not putting my full attention onto it. But I know it won't be easy to quit regardless (security + equity opportunity).
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Thanks, @pumpking. You are right about considering opportunity costs. From a business perspective, it will not significantly impact my current business. I have no plans to scale my businesses over this timeframe. My current goal is to run them as is, basically keeping them stable while providing a baseline. Then once I get through each of their business cycles (1 year seems like a good duration for sample size), I'll use my baselines to improve them dramatically. Till then I have time to put the finishing touches by raising as much capital as possible for the final huge cherry on top.

From a personal perspective, this is where opportunity costs come into play. My quality of life will go to hell for those extra months. Stress will go up considerably. We're looking at 100+ hours a week of work again. BUT, for those many extra weeks of hell, this would set us up for life in my opinion. It will supercharge our fast lane.

I thought about getting an assistant. But then I'd have to work with someone all the time, and that's time I feel like I don't have. Although, long term, that might be a great idea.
 

pmaloneus

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2017
146
171
148
US
NEED ADVICE: I'm struggling with a decision. I am targeted to quit consulting by the end of the year. Total instant gratification. Except that I recently met with another consulting client yesterday. It can add another $10,000 a month. So if I kept going balls-to-the-wall for another 3 months until April of next year, I can get that online business I want so much and pocket the extra $7000 a month from that indefinitely.

It is such a great buy. Better than all the other businesses that I've acquired this year. BETTER! It satisfies all my 11 criteria, again better than any of the other businesses that I own. Downside is total shit life for 3-4 months. I really wish I had a clone.

YES, I struggle with making some business decisions.
First question is - do you think if you said no and focused entirely on your portfolio or adding new products/companies, do you believe you could recoup the money your turned down or even the majority of it? Give up money now but for greater money later...
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
First question is - do you think if you said no and focused entirely on your portfolio or adding new products/companies, do you believe you could recoup the money your turned down or even the majority of it? Give up money now but for greater money later...
I wouldn't be able to recoup the consulting dollars. On the contrary, I'd potentially lose the $7000 a month in earnings by not being able to expand my company by acquiring that business asset that I do highly desire.
 

1milclub

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 27, 2014
143
114
86
US
... I'd potentially lose the $7000 a month in earnings by not being able to expand my company by acquiring that business asset that I do highly desire.
Haven't you answered your own question? And just to make it clear, you are making 10k from consulting, but will lose 7k on business, so you will make net 3k from consulting? In that case, it's a no brainer, forget the consulting assignment, anyways, it's just a matter of 3-4 months. I think you are at a stage where you need to (laser) focus on your business, grow it to an extent that not 3k, but even 10k looks like peanuts!
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Haven't you answered your own question? And just to make it clear, you are making 10k from consulting, but will lose 7k on business, so you will make net 3k from consulting? In that case, it's a no brainer, forget the consulting assignment, anyways, it's just a matter of 3-4 months. I think you are at a stage where you need to (laser) focus on your business, grow it to an extent that not 3k, but even 10k looks like peanuts!
Let me clarify. If I work the consulting, and earn an extra $10,000 each month over the next 4+ months, I will be able to acquire the new business that earns $7000 a month. If I don't take the consulting gig to make that extra capital, I won't be able to raise the money fast enough. Probably take me 7-8 months. By then, the business may be gone.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

1milclub

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 27, 2014
143
114
86
US
Let me clarify. If I work the consulting, and earn an extra $10,000 each month over the next 4+ months, I will be able to acquire the new business that earns $7000 a month. If I don't take the consulting gig to make that extra capital, I won't be able to raise the money fast enough. Probably take me 7-8 months. By then, the business may be gone.
Ah, got it. In that case, my 2c, yes, go ahead and take up that assignment. Again, it's just a matter of 4 months, but it accelerates your acquisition which is your highly desired target so you should do anything to acquire it as soon as possible and do whatever needs to be done.

EDIT: It's a win-win situation. You earn money from consulting which will help you start earning 7k sooner from the business. If you don't take consulting assignment, you lose about $40k and delay earning $7k by, let's say 4 months, losing 28k, so overall you are making ~$60-70k by taking up the consulting assignment.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Ah, got it. In that case, my 2c, yes, go ahead and take up that assignment. Again, it's just a matter of 4 months, but it accelerates your acquisition which is your highly desired target so you should do anything to acquire it as soon as possible and do whatever needs to be done.

EDIT: It's a win-win situation. You earn money from consulting which will help you start earning 7k sooner from the business. If you don't take consulting assignment, you lose about $40k and delay earning $7k by, let's say 4 months, losing 28k, so overall you are making ~$60-70k by taking up the consulting assignment.
Thanks for your input. Letter of Intent to purchase has been submitted for seller review!
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
PROGRESS UPDATE: Yesterday my blog just eclipsed it's previous daily record of ad sales! $206. Who said blogs can't make decent money? Well, I did.

My target this month in total ad sales is $5000. I'll see if I can do it. I'm going to start accepting sponsored posts soon. I'll see if it's worth it. Another $1000 a month there would make it worth it to me.

I had a deal in place recently to take over an educational business that I was going to hook into my blog, but that fell through. But in 2020 I'll build it as a startup.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
UPDATE: My blog/online community is doing very well the last 3 months. Yesterday set another daily record for ad sales of $208. So I started getting my Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram posting done with more automation. I've been using Facebook to schedule posts on our Facebook page, but it is somewhat unwieldy. And I've neglected the other social media channels. Therefore I've decided to research some of the SaaS tools to solve this issue for me.

Looks like Hootsuite does everything that I want. It centralizes my social media campaign, and it allows me to configure my posts the way I want them. Pretty excited about that.

Also, I did submit a letter of intent to buy that business that I've been coveting. I offered $60K down, and $45K seller-financed for 18 months. Let's see what the seller has to say. $7K monthly profits. But the owner uses AdSense which brings him in $300 a month for 400-500K page views. My online community does this volume, and I get $10 CPM, or roughly $4000-$5000 a month in income. So I think I can get the same return especially since the seller's web site has high domain authority, and the demographics are business/corporate/institutional customers.
 

Tom A

New Contributor
Jul 11, 2018
6
9
14
California
Looks like Hootsuite does everything that I want. It centralizes my social media campaign, and it allows me to configure my posts the way I want them. Pretty excited about that.
There is another SaaS that helps you to manage your social media posts. It is called "Later". I am not sure which one would be the "better" option tough...
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
UPDATE: Man, another super day of ad sales! Yesterday was the third day in a row that we eclipsed our daily record in ad sales for my online community. We reached $217 for the day. I think my Hootsuite automation may be paying off due to its efficiency in our social media campaign. On a side note, even though I had a deal fall through to take over an online tutoring agency that was going to be a flagship tied to my online community, I pivoted and am now in pursuit of doing one better. I found an actual private school that is for sale in my general area. I'm working with the broker now to see if a deal can be had.

Speaking of deals falling through related to the online tutoring, I also had a separate deal to purchase the domain etutors.org. I have plans on going global with this business model, and that domain would have been perfect. Unfortunately, the owner of that domain backed out. These are examples of things not going smoothly with business. But the lesson for the day is to learn to pivot. Being discouraged is acceptable and normal, but once you get past disappointment, you need to be able to regroup to advance.

Back to my online community. Today I can already tell based on Google Analytics that we may break our daily record set just yesterday.
 

WillHurtDontCare

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2017
214
374
190
28
USA
NEED ADVICE: I'm struggling with a decision. I am targeted to quit consulting by the end of the year. Total instant gratification. Except that I recently met with another consulting client yesterday. It can add another $10,000 a month. So if I kept going balls-to-the-wall for another 3 months until April of next year, I can get that online business I want so much and pocket the extra $7000 a month from that indefinitely.

It is such a great buy. Better than all the other businesses that I've acquired this year. BETTER! It satisfies all my 11 criteria, again better than any of the other businesses that I own. Downside is total shit life for 3-4 months. I really wish I had a clone.

YES, I struggle with making some business decisions.
It sounds like you need to set a target "daily hours free as of this date" goal in addition to whatever your annual profit goal is. You could easily get stuck on the "make more money to invest more money" cycle because you're on a roll now, but you obviously don't want to spend your life working yourself to death just to keep getting more money that you don't have the time to enjoy.
 

WillHurtDontCare

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2017
214
374
190
28
USA
We're looking at 100+ hours a week of work again. BUT, for those many extra weeks of hell, this would set us up for life in my opinion. It will supercharge our fast lane.

I thought about getting an assistant. But then I'd have to work with someone all the time, and that's time I feel like I don't have. Although, long term, that might be a great idea.
Can you hire additional developers on a contract basis to help with the extra work? You might be able to improve your effective hourly rate from consulting by successful delegation.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
It sounds like you need to set a target "daily hours free as of this date" goal in addition to whatever your annual profit goal is. You could easily get stuck on the "make more money to invest more money" cycle because you're on a roll now, but you obviously don't want to spend your life working yourself to death just to keep getting more money that you don't have the time to enjoy.
I totally get this. There is a fine line where obsession comes into play. I'll describe my determination based on a recent PM that I had with another forum member:

My issue is about financial escape velocity. If you think of investing in general and the concept of compound earnings, the key to early retirement is to invest early. Year over year, your earnings theoretically grow exponentially. Even small changes in financial performance early make huge deviations in the future. So, although I have achieved escape velocity since my business (non-consulting) income exceeds my expenses, the growth curve will be slower than what I'd like. With a "small" positive change in the growth curve, namely consulting for a few more months and then taking on that new business, I'd achieve the escape velocity that I want.

For example as this thread discusses, going from 0 to about $250K in profit over 1.5 years is proven and scalable. I've already done it. What I don't discuss much is what it basically took to get here outside of hard work. Before acquiring businesses starting in April, I was making roughly $340,000 annually as a consultant. Simply put, if I can get my non-consulting businesses to do approximately $340,000 a year moving forward, then I can grow my non-consulting business holdings over the next 1.5 years by approximately $250,000, just reproducing what I've already done.

Do I need any of this? No. But what I want is to end this slow lane chapter once and for all. And I guess since I am still considering doing consulting work for the reasons laid out, apparently that slow lane chapter is not finished for me, at least in my mind.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Can you hire additional developers on a contract basis to help with the extra work? You might be able to improve your effective hourly rate from consulting by successful delegation.
I am in the process of doing this soon. I'll be interviewing a colleague of one of my current contractors. Hopefully, he can work out, and it will save me a lot of time.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
UPDATE: That online community just dominated yesterday. It eclipsed both daily traffic and ad earnings records. Over 25K page views for the day resulting in a whopping $303, blowing away the previous day's record. I'm not gonna lie to you, but I got to stop watching my Google Analytics throughout the day. It is addictive. Reminds me of when I used to invest in the stock market where I'd track my stocks every 5 minutes.
 

WillHurtDontCare

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2017
214
374
190
28
USA
I was making roughly $340,000 annually as a consultant. Simply put, if I can get my non-consulting businesses to do approximately $340,000 a year moving forward, then I can grow my non-consulting business holdings over the next 1.5 years by approximately $250,000, just reproducing what I've already done.

Do I need any of this? No. But what I want is to end this slow lane chapter once and for all. And I guess since I am still considering doing consulting work for the reasons laid out, apparently that slow lane chapter is not finished for me, at least in my mind.
Do you need to make $340,000 before you quit consulting? Could you fundamentally change some of your businesses to generate that extra profit? That could vastly exceed what you earn through consulting.

One of your holdings might be an undiscovered absolute goldmine that will net you more profit than acquiring several new holdings.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
180
888
302
United States
Do you need to make $340,000 before you quit consulting? Could you fundamentally change some of your businesses to generate that extra profit? That could vastly exceed what you earn through consulting.
I don't need to get to that somewhat arbitrary annual profit number before quitting consulting. I've already started to modify my businesses to generate extra profit. That will take time, but is the long-term focus. That is what I have been debating recently. In the end, consulting will end shortly whether at the end of the year or in the first half of the next calendar year.
 

Patrick Hughes

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 29, 2018
39
57
110
Nashville, TN
From 0 to $240,000 per year profit in 18 months

I've been a follower of this forum for about a year now, had read the Millionaire Fastlane book, and finally have decided to tell my story. About a year and a half ago, I found myself unemployed and with near zero savings, two house payments, and a second baby on the way. Things were so dire that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I had just lost my slow-lane job with one of the original big three TV network companies. Worked there for about 3 years making the mistake of transitioning away from my career in computer consulting thinking that having a job would bring a certain level of security. It didn't. Man, those were dark days.

I decided to go back to consulting. But this time instead of taking on just one client full-time, I took on a second, and then a third, and then a fourth. A couple of them, I was billing 40 hours a week, working at the client site for 1, while telecommuting for the other. Clients 3 and 4 were part-time, billing 10-20 hours a week for each but at higher rates, also remote. FYI if you haven't heard, businesses more and more are allowing the telecommuting way. So, if you hate going into your job, look for opportunities to work from home. They're out there.

Well I did this for the past year+, and life has been shit busy, but I saved up a ton, about $200,000 in a year. That felt good. I felt secure with a lot of savings, I had multiple income streams, and the second baby now walks and can feed herself. My wife suggested we invest the $200K in money market funds or CDs. Sounds good, right? Earn 2.3% APY resulting in a whopping $383/mo.! I love my wife, but not for us.

Investing in low-yield financial instruments, and working for someone whether consulting or full time. These are strong characteristics of the slow lane. I've always had an entrepreneur’s mindset. I wanted financial freedom from the daily 9-5 grind, or for me this past year, the 5am-1am grind, including weekends. Even though I had the high-paying clients, if you think about it, it's never good to have all your nuts in very few baskets. And you definitely don't want your schedule dictated to you as consulting can often times do. Besides, money was still tied to my time, and this current work schedule was unsustainable. So having a business seemed like the way to go.

How did I start a business that gives me the financial freedom and time freedom that I so desired? Funny thing. I didn't. I didn't start a new business. Oh, I created a new corporate entity initially for my consulting. But I'm just not creative enough, nor risk averse with family and kids to take a chance there. And besides, burning a year of my life working my a$$ off to roll the dice on a new venture. Nah. So did this mean that I just wasn't going to pursue financial freedom, and maybe instead continue the 100 hours a week work load? No.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at buying software/internet businesses. Why reinvent the wheel? The number of businesses sold on the internet is growing rapidly. Sure there's a ton of scams, get-rich-quick opportunities offered by fake sellers. There are a lot of businesses that the seller just wants out because of failing operations. There are businesses that are a dying breed tied to the old world, pre-internet. For example, consider commercial printing companies which as a side note I was an owner of one about 10 years ago. I'll get back to this in a moment. There are businesses that run in a saturated space like many ecommerce, dropship/Amazon businesses that may have once been profitable, but have lost their edge due to the marketplace. Oh, and blogs, need I say more. Lots of bad opportunities!

So let me quickly detour farther into the past. 10 years ago, I was the owner of a print shop. We had lots of B2B customers looking for printed material on paper. They were all local customers, who often times paid late since we invoiced at NET 30. We had employees running the machines to print and cut and collate and staple. We had leased printers and other equipment. We had leased store-front space. We had a lot of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), namely the paper itself. Ultimately we failed, and went out of business. Simply put, sales decreased over time, the business didn't scale, the cash flow was shit due to late payers, the overhead was horrendous, and having full-time employees was expensive and such a burden.

Years later, I tried blogging. Tech centric since I'm a programmer. That was a waste of time. AdSense brought in a few hundred bucks a month. But since I don't like writing (even this posting is painful to me), it turned out not to be worth it. I tried ecommerce, AliExpress/Shopify drop shipping of apparel. Did OK for a few months, but then the sales dried up, and I had difficulty coming up with new products to sell. Hated that as well. Definitely not sustainable. So ultimately I failed.

Which bring us back to now. I say I failed, which I'm sure many of you reading this have done so as well. But I say that to make a point. Failure is not truly failure when considering what it really is. As humans, we all fail, probably every day in one form or another. Most of our failures are inconsequential. We break something. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We buy some product that doesn't live up to our expectations. But guess what? We adjust our behaviors to mitigate risk so that next time, we do better. Business should be treated the same. Choices that you make in business can be driven by experiences, good and bad. I have a ton of that, especially the bad.

So based on my past failures, I came up with criteria for what my next business acquisition would require. Here they are:

1) No full-time employees. Didn't want the headache.
2) Profitable. Of course.
3) Years of proven profitability.
4) Digital/software products or services. No inventory. No drop shipping.
5) Scalable.
6) No physical location. Allowing work from home without need for leasing office/store.
7) Flexible business. Caters to expanding product and service line beyond current offerings to customers.
8) Low weekly hours necessary for owner operation.
9) Instant credit card sales, vs NET30 or other delayed payment processing.
10) Minimal marketing.
11) Full control. No partnerships. Limit dependencies with external entities.

So, I'm sitting on my $200,000 nest egg from all that hard work. I'm researching businesses for sale. And I find one that is a software company that sells proprietary accounting software. Promising! I'm a programmer with tons of experience in accounting. The business has been operational for 30 years, with recurring clients going back 10+ years, and has been run by this one couple who are well into their retirement years but hadn't pulled the trigger. And guess what? This software business satisfies all 11 of my requirements above. Well, I send their broker an offer of about $200K with half of it owner-financed for 5 years. They accept. Done deal. The profit annualized is $70,000 with an initial investment of $100,000. ROI = 70%. Nice! Since taking over, I'm happy with the performance, and I only spend maybe a couple hours a week on it. I outsource the programming.

Why stop there? I know MJ preaches monogamy. But I feel you can scale your company multiple ways. 1) expanding your sales in your current product/service line, and 2) buying existing businesses to generate more revenue. The only limiting factor of the second is that you will hit a limiting threshold in time when managing and marketing your multiple business holdings. Hopefully by then, you have gotten to a point where you can hire managers to offload that work. In any case, I next took over... a blog. I laugh when I write that because as mentioned before, I hated blogging. But I'll give you a little secret. You can hire writers, which I have a whole staff of them.

The blog is more than just a blog with hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. It has an online Facebook page with a quarter million followers, and a Facebook group with tens of thousands of passionate people whose lives revolve around my niche. And I am one of them, also passionate towards the content that we generate. So, I placed an offer, and got it, trademark included. $80K. We make money working with an advertising agency that deals with handling ad fill. Profit after paying our writing staff has been about $3500/mo. So annualized is $42,000 profit/year. ROI = 52.5%.

Next acquisition. I bought a web site backup service. We have hundreds of customers that we perform nightly backups of their sites as well as make sure their sites are operational 24x7. I outsource that work to offshore for cheap, but excellent labor. I love the guys who keep this business going strong day to day. I barely do anything but accounting for this. Maybe spend half an hour a day. I got it for $35,000. And annualized we make $30K in profit. ROI = 85%.

And most recently I've assumed a web marketing business. This too has a team of contractors that do the heavy lifting. Premium one-word, business-specific, domain name that garners 30K organic traffic a month. Very little ad spend. We generate about $8000/mo. in profit, again annualized to $96K profit for an ROI = 240%. I haven't figured out why the previous owner sold this other than he didn't want to do it anymore, and wanted to concentrate on his other business. He's got rep. I did my research.

So here's the grand total annualized profit:

Accounting Software Business: $70,000
Blog and Online Community: $42,000
Web Site Backup Business: $30,000
Web Marketing Business: $96,000

Total Annualized Profit: $238,000

Mind you, since these ventures take up maybe a total of a couple hours a day for me to run, I am free to focus on marketing for growth, while keeping a couple of my consulting clients. I quit the one client where I had to go into the office, and the other remote client, I just quit because I didn't have time for them. So I work from home now. The consulting dollars gets me to $400K a year, but I will most likely stop consulting next year to completely focus on my businesses. And my family and I are planning on moving to Central America this winter, because we love it there, and hell, I can work from anywhere that has internet.

One last note on being a serial entrepreneur. I look for synergies between my businesses and any future acquisitions. Each of the four ventures that I now have complement one or more of the other businesses, so I can leverage/cross-sell amongst the lot of them. This specific business model is starting to gain traction. But one challenge for me is branding when cross-selling. I haven't figured out how to consolidate the brands most efficiently. Each has their own distinct brand that current customers trust. And future customers may gravitate to the current branding. So not sure yet, but it's a good problem to have.
I just want to say, thank you!

I'm 24 years old and I read The Millionaire Fastlane at 22. I have tried blogging, day trading, drop shipping, retail arbitrage, and have tasted a little success but ultimately failure in all of my ventures. Nothing seems to stick and my motivation dies out when I'm losing all my money I saved to start the venture with. Mind you, I was trying to create startups solo, so that may be part of my problem.

I was really low on morale and reading this has really helped. It helped in the sense of, I know it's still possible, I still have hope. I know I can create more cash flow and freedom while benefiting others. I just have to keep trying.

Your list of criteria is extremely helpful. I've been trying to pinpoint what best suited me and this really helps.

Thanks a lot.
 

Honey_Syed

New Contributor
May 12, 2016
1
2
14
26
I loved the read. Thanks for sharing :)

I am in a similar boat, just not successful yet. My background is in media buying and got into eCom in late 2012-13 and been making good money with that but was never able to do right investments.

SaaS always intrigued me so we launched our first SaaS [removed by MOD] which helps dropshippers with product research (One of the issues you faced in your dropshipping journey).

But Super-Ali hasn't been the kind of success we hoped it to be and I'm the one to be blamed. I have multiple ventures going on and eCommerce being the biggest money-making one so we couldn't focus on Super-Ali. I thought I would be able to take care of everything by investing money but I failed. I tried hiring people in-house to market it but it didn't work. I tried outsourcing it to reputable agencies but it didn't work.

I'm trying to figure out a way to turn it into success as I totally believe in our product and we successfully use it in our business. I am thinking of raising funds so I could get everything in line and make it work.

For those of you interested in investing in SaaS, there is more than one way to find deals. When I was doing research for my SaaS, I got to know about a software company where I could invest and get a bunch of cool software that I can use and sell and also got revenue shares in the company (Wouldn't name the company as I'm not here to promote it)

I initially invested in that company as an investment and was expecting to break even in 3 years but it's been a year and we are nowhere close to our goal so I decided to start promoting the softwares I have access to.

Yesterday a friend of mine who generates 20-30k leads per week posted that He is facing delay while emailing his list. I suggested him to use SMS instead and gave free access to one of the software which will help him do that. Now He is testing our software and if it works, He will promote it as an affiliate.

Note: While investing, I try to invest in things that I understand and are somewhat related to my existing businesses. I created super-Ali because I needed that in my eCommerce business. Then I invested in another software company so I could grow another revenue stream and apply the learnings to Super-Ali. Hope it helps :)
 

Fly master

New Contributor
Jul 8, 2015
4
1
15
39
From 0 to $240,000 per year profit in 18 months

I've been a follower of this forum for about a year now, had read the Millionaire Fastlane book, and finally have decided to tell my story. About a year and a half ago, I found myself unemployed and with near zero savings, two house payments, and a second baby on the way. Things were so dire that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I had just lost my slow-lane job with one of the original big three TV network companies. Worked there for about 3 years making the mistake of transitioning away from my career in computer consulting thinking that having a job would bring a certain level of security. It didn't. Man, those were dark days.

I decided to go back to consulting. But this time instead of taking on just one client full-time, I took on a second, and then a third, and then a fourth. A couple of them, I was billing 40 hours a week, working at the client site for 1, while telecommuting for the other. Clients 3 and 4 were part-time, billing 10-20 hours a week for each but at higher rates, also remote. FYI if you haven't heard, businesses more and more are allowing the telecommuting way. So, if you hate going into your job, look for opportunities to work from home. They're out there.

Well I did this for the past year+, and life has been shit busy, but I saved up a ton, about $200,000 in a year. That felt good. I felt secure with a lot of savings, I had multiple income streams, and the second baby now walks and can feed herself. My wife suggested we invest the $200K in money market funds or CDs. Sounds good, right? Earn 2.3% APY resulting in a whopping $383/mo.! I love my wife, but not for us.

Investing in low-yield financial instruments, and working for someone whether consulting or full time. These are strong characteristics of the slow lane. I've always had an entrepreneur’s mindset. I wanted financial freedom from the daily 9-5 grind, or for me this past year, the 5am-1am grind, including weekends. Even though I had the high-paying clients, if you think about it, it's never good to have all your nuts in very few baskets. And you definitely don't want your schedule dictated to you as consulting can often times do. Besides, money was still tied to my time, and this current work schedule was unsustainable. So having a business seemed like the way to go.

How did I start a business that gives me the financial freedom and time freedom that I so desired? Funny thing. I didn't. I didn't start a new business. Oh, I created a new corporate entity initially for my consulting. But I'm just not creative enough, nor risk averse with family and kids to take a chance there. And besides, burning a year of my life working my a$$ off to roll the dice on a new venture. Nah. So did this mean that I just wasn't going to pursue financial freedom, and maybe instead continue the 100 hours a week work load? No.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at buying software/internet businesses. Why reinvent the wheel? The number of businesses sold on the internet is growing rapidly. Sure there's a ton of scams, get-rich-quick opportunities offered by fake sellers. There are a lot of businesses that the seller just wants out because of failing operations. There are businesses that are a dying breed tied to the old world, pre-internet. For example, consider commercial printing companies which as a side note I was an owner of one about 10 years ago. I'll get back to this in a moment. There are businesses that run in a saturated space like many ecommerce, dropship/Amazon businesses that may have once been profitable, but have lost their edge due to the marketplace. Oh, and blogs, need I say more. Lots of bad opportunities!

So let me quickly detour farther into the past. 10 years ago, I was the owner of a print shop. We had lots of B2B customers looking for printed material on paper. They were all local customers, who often times paid late since we invoiced at NET 30. We had employees running the machines to print and cut and collate and staple. We had leased printers and other equipment. We had leased store-front space. We had a lot of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), namely the paper itself. Ultimately we failed, and went out of business. Simply put, sales decreased over time, the business didn't scale, the cash flow was shit due to late payers, the overhead was horrendous, and having full-time employees was expensive and such a burden.

Years later, I tried blogging. Tech centric since I'm a programmer. That was a waste of time. AdSense brought in a few hundred bucks a month. But since I don't like writing (even this posting is painful to me), it turned out not to be worth it. I tried ecommerce, AliExpress/Shopify drop shipping of apparel. Did OK for a few months, but then the sales dried up, and I had difficulty coming up with new products to sell. Hated that as well. Definitely not sustainable. So ultimately I failed.

Which bring us back to now. I say I failed, which I'm sure many of you reading this have done so as well. But I say that to make a point. Failure is not truly failure when considering what it really is. As humans, we all fail, probably every day in one form or another. Most of our failures are inconsequential. We break something. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We buy some product that doesn't live up to our expectations. But guess what? We adjust our behaviors to mitigate risk so that next time, we do better. Business should be treated the same. Choices that you make in business can be driven by experiences, good and bad. I have a ton of that, especially the bad.

So based on my past failures, I came up with criteria for what my next business acquisition would require. Here they are:

1) No full-time employees. Didn't want the headache.
2) Profitable. Of course.
3) Years of proven profitability.
4) Digital/software products or services. No inventory. No drop shipping.
5) Scalable.
6) No physical location. Allowing work from home without need for leasing office/store.
7) Flexible business. Caters to expanding product and service line beyond current offerings to customers.
8) Low weekly hours necessary for owner operation.
9) Instant credit card sales, vs NET30 or other delayed payment processing.
10) Minimal marketing.
11) Full control. No partnerships. Limit dependencies with external entities.

So, I'm sitting on my $200,000 nest egg from all that hard work. I'm researching businesses for sale. And I find one that is a software company that sells proprietary accounting software. Promising! I'm a programmer with tons of experience in accounting. The business has been operational for 30 years, with recurring clients going back 10+ years, and has been run by this one couple who are well into their retirement years but hadn't pulled the trigger. And guess what? This software business satisfies all 11 of my requirements above. Well, I send their broker an offer of about $200K with half of it owner-financed for 5 years. They accept. Done deal. The profit annualized is $70,000 with an initial investment of $100,000. ROI = 70%. Nice! Since taking over, I'm happy with the performance, and I only spend maybe a couple hours a week on it. I outsource the programming.

Why stop there? I know MJ preaches monogamy. But I feel you can scale your company multiple ways. 1) expanding your sales in your current product/service line, and 2) buying existing businesses to generate more revenue. The only limiting factor of the second is that you will hit a limiting threshold in time when managing and marketing your multiple business holdings. Hopefully by then, you have gotten to a point where you can hire managers to offload that work. In any case, I next took over... a blog. I laugh when I write that because as mentioned before, I hated blogging. But I'll give you a little secret. You can hire writers, which I have a whole staff of them.

The blog is more than just a blog with hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. It has an online Facebook page with a quarter million followers, and a Facebook group with tens of thousands of passionate people whose lives revolve around my niche. And I am one of them, also passionate towards the content that we generate. So, I placed an offer, and got it, trademark included. $80K. We make money working with an advertising agency that deals with handling ad fill. Profit after paying our writing staff has been about $3500/mo. So annualized is $42,000 profit/year. ROI = 52.5%.

Next acquisition. I bought a web site backup service. We have hundreds of customers that we perform nightly backups of their sites as well as make sure their sites are operational 24x7. I outsource that work to offshore for cheap, but excellent labor. I love the guys who keep this business going strong day to day. I barely do anything but accounting for this. Maybe spend half an hour a day. I got it for $35,000. And annualized we make $30K in profit. ROI = 85%.

And most recently I've assumed a web marketing business. This too has a team of contractors that do the heavy lifting. Premium one-word, business-specific, domain name that garners 30K organic traffic a month. Very little ad spend. We generate about $8000/mo. in profit, again annualized to $96K profit for an ROI = 240%. I haven't figured out why the previous owner sold this other than he didn't want to do it anymore, and wanted to concentrate on his other business. He's got rep. I did my research.

So here's the grand total annualized profit:

Accounting Software Business: $70,000
Blog and Online Community: $42,000
Web Site Backup Business: $30,000
Web Marketing Business: $96,000

Total Annualized Profit: $238,000

Mind you, since these ventures take up maybe a total of a couple hours a day for me to run, I am free to focus on marketing for growth, while keeping a couple of my consulting clients. I quit the one client where I had to go into the office, and the other remote client, I just quit because I didn't have time for them. So I work from home now. The consulting dollars gets me to $400K a year, but I will most likely stop consulting next year to completely focus on my businesses. And my family and I are planning on moving to Central America this winter, because we love it there, and hell, I can work from anywhere that has internet.

One last note on being a serial entrepreneur. I look for synergies between my businesses and any future acquisitions. Each of the four ventures that I now have complement one or more of the other businesses, so I can leverage/cross-sell amongst the lot of them. This specific business model is starting to gain traction. But one challenge for me is branding when cross-selling. I haven't figured out how to consolidate the brands most efficiently. Each has their own distinct brand that current customers trust. And future customers may gravitate to the current branding. So not sure yet, but it's a good problem to have.
Where did you look for businesses for sale? What resources did you use?
 

John_Wick

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 1, 2019
18
29
20
UPDATE: maybe not my progress, but others that have reached out to me on their own journeys. I won't name names, but 2 people that have PM'd me have closed or are closing on deals like mine, graciously telling me what they read here in this thread and in our PMs had direct impact on their process and action. I'm super proud of them. You know who you are.

Everyone, keep going! It's not as hard or impossible as you may think it is.

And stop offering me money for my help. I won't take it. But I will give you whatever help I can.
I hope this may somehow help others by sharing my experience from listening to the book, to finding this post, trying Richardd's strategy and getting advice from the OP himself.

It's funny I actually read Fastlane about 5 years ago. But, I never bothered to check the forum. Maybe I just wanted to act on it instead of discussing it. And, my trust for online forums were (still) low. That was a mistake of course.

Anyways, so I thought of picking up this book again for a refresher in October. But, I have already read it. So, this time I tried listening to it, which makes my NET time more productive.

Then, I realized that I have been trying to hack the slowlane equation by changing jobs. I decided to never repeat that mistake again. So, I created a poster and put it on my wall (attached). The pivotal moment came when I opened the book for reference and realized there was actually a forum with like-minded people. Great, maybe I can benefit from others' experience, too. So, here I came.

I found this OP in about mid-Oct. I got really inspired because I have been trying to create side businesses while working full time. It really hit me because it shows there is actually another alternative for people who feel they are stuck in the middle.

Then I started trying Richardd's strategy. I started reading the thread from the beginning. I created an index with captured images that serve like a playbook - where to look, what to ask, how to DD, criteria to use, how to operate, etc.

Then I started looking for deals and doing DDs. I experienced the same analysis paralysis someone mentioned here in the thread, too. And, just when I thought I was really close to finding a deal (a VPN business), the seller decided to keep it for himself. Then the next one (social media analytics) was bought outright while I was bidding. Disappointed but somewhat validated. I thought maybe I should look into other places, too.

Then, Richardd finally showed up replying on this thread and offered help to everyone - "please PM me if you have any question." I wasn't sure. But, I reached out anyways. I explained what I have tried and asked for advice. So, that led to me increasing my budget to $10k~$20k range for a first purchase. Then, I found a directory business. The ROI was okay (45%), but the site is really simple and has strong organic traffic. At least it seemed like a real performing asset.

So, I sent that listing to Richardd, and asked his view. I felt uncomfortable because it felt like asking someone to do my homework. He wrote: "Now we are talking." His simple rely made me day because it validated my pick when I was about to give up on this business acquisition strategy.

The process wasn't all smooth but that's as it should be. For example, I was almost outbid last minute. That got my ROI dropped from 45% to 40%. But, I can live with that. It's a simple business with lots of upside potential that can actually help me learned how to build things that add value while getting paid.

Before the S&P was signed, I negotiated a trial period of 20 days to test the asset. I wanted that because I was scared of buying a scam. Richardd helped me check the traffic. And, I'm seeing AdSense revenue everyday. So, it seemed real.

Today I signed the S&P agreement. I think the chance of seller walking back on this deal is close to zero now. So, I consider this a great milestone for myself.

This isn't a success story at all. But, it's a process story that shows this strategy works and Richardd really does offer help for free (but please do your homework too). Keep in mind that this is on top of his consulting jobs and many businesses.

So, that's amazing.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

jon11

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 3, 2019
13
6
15
This is the same stage that i am at, I'm actually considering going abit higher than the 10-20k mark if the right thing comes along. Also 40% ROI would be ok for me.

I was initially drawing up a shortlist, but I think you probably don't have enough time if the deal is one you want to take so I'm doing practice run DDs across EF/Flippa etc. Want to squeeze rather than jerk the trigger.
 

Galacticum

Contributor
Nov 3, 2019
23
27
17
This isn't a success story at all. But, it's a process story that shows this strategy works and Richardd really does offer help for free (but please do your homework too). Keep in mind that this is on top of his consulting jobs and many businesses.
Of course it works. You are arbitraging assets. That's not a new concept ;)

Congrats on taking the step and putting in the work!
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
-- HALLOWEEN SPECIAL STARTS TODAY! Get any of my courses at Udemy's current best price through Friday! Use code: HALLOWEEN Use any of the links...
Top Bottom