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Gradual Unscription - Ten years on the sidewalk

Ricko

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Following ten years of working for a global corporation in Canary Wharf (the financial district of London) I have decided to become unscripted .

Thus far I have;

Started saying F*** you
Quit my job (see above) and set up my own brokerage
Read unscripted
Stopped consuming so much
Stopped using the PS4 and the TV as a way to unwind

The brokerage is going well. Clients love the service and the value that it adds for them, having a former Underwriter fighting their corner can save them a lot money and life tokens. I have managed to earn the same amount of brokerage during my first year trading as I was paid in my final year scripted. I see this as a major success as I am now my own boss, work shorter hours and do not spend three hours a day commuting in and out of London. I also haven't had to attend any bullsh*t internal meetings.

I have joined the forum to find out a little more about why MJ doesn't recommend starting a brokerage. I'd also like to try and pick up some tips on how to scale the business to supplement my own ideas. Perhaps also pick up some ideas on how to make the business more passive. I'd also like to hear some FTE stories as those are always entertaining.

In terms of what I'd like to give back to the forum. I'd like to help others avoid spending ten years in the slow lane or on the side walk until the penny finally drops.

My own FTE for anyone interested was when I closed off the year with £7,000,000 in gross premium and no losses and was then given a pay rise in line with inflation and a bonus of £12,000.
 
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Ricko

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I'd really like to pick the brains of any service providers in the forum. I've searched the forum to find some tips that are right for me but there isn't anything applicable.

My business is a brokerage service which solely provides clients with access to a specific financial product. Clients typically require these products between 1 and 20 times per annum and the amount that I am paid is based on the fee that the client pays to the bank or insurer that provides the product to my client. At the start of the year I received $100 for providing one unit of product for a specific client and this month I received $50,000 for providing one unit of product to the same client.

The facts;
  • The brokerage adds a lot of value for its users. It saves them ten of thousands on each product and hours of time.
  • Clients love the service and recommend it when they get the opportunity but my clients tend to be competing with each other so word of mouth isn't very common.
  • Once you sign a client, they will keep using the service indefinitely, the business will not suffer any additional cost of sales.
  • 90% of clients were aware of me and my skill set before signing.
  • New new clients are hard to come by.
  • Cold calling, the website and word of mouth are my current sales tactics but all of them are performing poorly.
  • To sell the product you need to get in front of the CFO or CEO of large businesses. This isn't easy.
I'm in the process of creating hard copy marketing material in order to send to the CEOs and CFOs of targets. At least this way when you call them they might be more likely to take your call and be aware of the claimed value of the service.

I'm cold calling regularly and am improving this skill. I am currently considering obtaining additional training in this space.

I have a lot of knowledge on my particular niche. I'd be willing to present at trade shows in order to share my knowledge with the masses and teach them how this product can improve cash flow, profitability and turnover.

All of my strategies either cost a lot of money or time, they also produce a lot of white gum balls (very little feedback).

Does anyone have any tips for scaling my business?
 

Gary

Elevatin' the Celebratin'
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@Rick Phillips, I'm not in your industry, but I wanted to say Welcome to the forum. Your specificity is appreciated and will weed out bogus advice givers, but it might take a while for TFLF members in your industry to login and see your request for advice.
 

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
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Welcome to the board and thanks for the intro.

I have joined the forum to find out a little more about why MJ doesn't recommend starting a brokerage.

Wuh?

I never said this. Not sure how (or where) you came to this conclusion.
 
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Ricko

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Wuh?

I never said this. Not sure how (or where) you came to this conclusion.

Sorry MJ, my mistake and hands up, I'm not so sure either and meant to edit my original post.

I read unscripted back in February of this year before joining the forum in July. I either took this opinion from Peter Thiel's Zero to One and incorrectly attributed it to you. Alternatively I applied the Control and Time principals to my business and assessed that it couldn't lead to a productocracy and jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Apologies for misquoting you Sir.

I've since read Unscripted two further times as well as TMF and now see that a brokerage is very different to consulting and that I can create a productocracy if I keep working at it.

I shall quote the book directly in future to make sure that I don't make this mistake again.
 

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
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I shall quote the book directly in future to make sure that I don't make this mistake again.

No big deal, I just get a little miffed when someone says (or posts) "MJ said this!" and I'm like "Wuh? When? Where did I say that?"

No worries, thanks for the clarification. :thumbsup:
 
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Ricko

Bronze Contributor
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Jul 20, 2018
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I must admit that I am not a valued member of the forum. I don't visit too often and I don't post very much but I do see the Fastlane forum and the source material as hugely valuable and I treasure my copy of unscripted .

I have been trying to write a post on here for a long time in order to provide an update on my own position in the hope that it inspires someone else to take the first steps towards an unscripted life.

A quick recall of the facts;

The facts;
  • The brokerage adds a lot of value for its users. It saves them ten of thousands on each product and hours of time.
  • Clients love the service and recommend it when they get the opportunity but my clients tend to be competing with each other so word of mouth isn't very common.
  • Once you sign a client, they will keep using the service indefinitely, the business will not suffer any additional cost of sales.
  • 90% of clients were aware of me and my skill set before signing.
  • New new clients are hard to come by.
  • Cold calling, the website and word of mouth are my current sales tactics but all of them are performing poorly.
  • To sell the product you need to get in front of the CFO or CEO of large businesses. This isn't easy.

In the last five years, I have tried almost everything to find new clients. Advertising, expensive brochures sent via direct mail, google ads, popular blogs, high SEO ranking, social media, trade shows. You name it, I have tried it.

My first tactics of cold calling, word of mouth and the website, whilst poorly performing, have performed and gradually I have added more and more loyal clients to our books. Getting in front of CFOs or CEOs is really tough but after hearing / seeing your company name 7 to 10 times, they can reach out if a problem arises and will give you a chance to wow them with your value adding offering.

Once onboard, our clients are really loyal and we haven't lost a single customer. This has led to increases in annual revenue between 30 - 50% per year. Year on year on year.

I am now earning 5x my scripted salary whilst also maintaining the majority of the company gross profits within the business for investment and growth. My scripted position was quite senior and took me ten years to reach, working incredibly hard and very unsocial hours. It paid roughly 3x the national average so I am very fortunate to be able to then increase that by a factor of 5x.

I'm not sure what to do at the moment as I am still relatively young but I have been offered an eight figure sum for the business.

If you have an idea for a business and it stacks up and a few big hitters show an interest in the concept then I would recommend going for it. Five quick tips off the top of my head;

Maintain 100% ownership.
Improve your health so that you are physically and mentally able to endure the ups and downs.
Keep pushing the snowball around. Slow, compounding growth, is growth.
Get a good accountant / tax advisor.
Understand financial statements and have good systems in place from the get go.
 

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