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GOLD I Built A Worldwide Business From Broke.

Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by Carol Jones, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Good morning from rural Australia,

    In a nutshell, my partner and I design and make textile products that are simple solutions for difficult problems. We have 400,000 customers in 30 countries around the world who think our products are the best thing since sliced bread. The icing on the cake is that all our products are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. We are renown for our simple solutions that work. When others don't.

    That's the event.

    The process is this.

    In 1992, my partner and I lost everything in Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating's 'recession we had to have'. We closed down two businesses. My partner's 12 year old architectural practice. My market research consultancy. We farewelled 16 loyal and supportive staff. We sold our home of 22 years. Two cars. And our personal possessions. To pay off what debt we could. And made a scheme of arrangement with our creditors to pay off the remaining debt.

    Poor as church mice. We left the city lights of Sydney Australia. For a rural life in a remote village with no internet access. No email. Not even call waiting. But it met our most important criteria. We could live in a farmhouse whose rent we could afford to pay. The village was heavily affected by a severe drought. And the house was not a desirable place to live. But it was our safety net.

    We made a decision to find our way back by utilising simple solutions. Our skills were in design. And research. So we reinvented ourselves as designers and makers of textile products. Our first product didn't capture the hearts of the marketplace. But our second product did. We redesigned the humble ironing board cover utilising a low tech solution to make sure it was firmly anchored to an ironing board. So it never moved. Which is what makes people hate ironing.

    If you make one good product. Customers want more. So we designed 6 more textile products. And today we have more than 400,000 customers in 30 countries. Without any retail distribution. And all done online today. But in the beginning, it was all mail order.

    We've been down dark alleys. Wondered if we were certifiably mad to keep doing what we were doing when ironing board covers are not top of mind with most people.

    But we discovered they are very top of mind with men and women who must iron.

    Even though the subject is not sexy, our products, and our story, have been written about in every major publication in Australia.

    We've been featured on mainstream TV. Interviewed on radio. Included in two books. The latest being 'Hunch' by international best selling author Bernadette Jiwa. I'm the 'Ironing Whisperer' on page 73.

    The process of working every day is what got us to where we are today.

    We did what everyone said we couldn't do. We built a worldwide business from broke. On a remote rural property. Before the internet and email came to our rural village.

    I'm here to mix with like minded men and women. I have 35 years of business experience to share. I've done the hard yards. And would love to be of help to those of you who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    And. I want to travel further along the road to wealth.

    It will be a pleasure to meet you. ~Carol❤
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Welcome & congratulations on your process & your success!
     
  3. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Good morning BrooklynHustle! Thank you! The road to success is never easy. More like a roller coaster. Fabulous highs. And stomach wrenching lows. But as I've just learned from reading 'The Millionaire Fastlane', everyone who is somewhere has been through the process.

    'Unscripted' is next.

    I look forward to getting to know you better. If ever I can help you, please let me know. ~Carol❤
     
  4. Almantas
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    Almantas Nothing to Lose Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Today I had a mentally rough day. I was about to chew a xanax pill and hit a sack before I saw your post. Now, thanks to your post, I am pumped up and looking forward to tomorrow's businesses adventures!

    Your progress has been simply amazing!

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Interesting Life
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    Interesting Life Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Nice job!
     
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  6. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Good morning Almantas,

    Thank you so much!

    Everyone feels like you do some of the time. The hardest thing to do is to keep our spirits high when we're feeling low. I do what you do. Look for stories about people who have jumped over hurdles. Skirted around brick walls. They're perfect triggers for getting back onto the main road again.

    I look forward to getting to know you better. If I can ever help you, please let me know. ~Carol❤
     
  7. Almantas
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    Almantas Nothing to Lose Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Usually I don't post twice, but this is an exception. Just wanted to point out to others that banks and even big brands pulling out of certain market doesn't indicate that market is not lucrative. It usually indicates that old skanks ran out of good product ideas or improvements of existint products.

    Like Carol, many entrepreneurs will be turned down by banks, because the only thing what they see is numbers and statistics. They lack vision that most entrepreneurs have and hence decline many funding requests.

    Guys, be like Carol and her amazing husband, who acted like a King and a Queen in a chess game that defeated bankers.
     
  8. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you once again, Almantas. What superb insight you possess.

    Yes. We've been turned down by every bank in Australia for funding. They can't see ironing board covers as a viable marketplace. Yet 43% of homes in Oz have an iron. And an ironing board. That needs to be covered. In Australia, that's 3,870,000 homes. A big enough market for us.

    Add in the 30 countries around the world where customers find us online. And it's a very viable business.

    We operate without the safety net of an overdraft. Or credit cards. The plus side is the banks can't take our business or home away from us again. Being debt free is liberating.

    We have no expensive toys. All our revenue is reinvested in our business.

    But our lifestyle on our beautiful 54 hectare remote rural property. Set in the picturesque Central Tablelands of NSW. Is the envy of our friends. And customers.

    We have to be very careful with our decision making. Growth is a high priority. And it must be self-funded. So we're always in the marketplace. Getting known. And getting to know others. And how they do business. It's a constant learning process.

    Thank you again, Alamantas, for your words of wisdom. How did you know we've been turned down by every bank? You've read our story? ~Carol❤
     
  9. Almantas
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    Almantas Nothing to Lose Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for your warm compliment. Yes, I've read your story and it's very inspiring! Especially to a guy who has started afresh.
     
  10. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That is amazing, Almantas. Starting afresh. Please stay in touch. We can share stories. And experiences. ~Carol❤
     
  11. The-J
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    The-J Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Welcome Carol. That was an excellent intro. How did you find the Fastlane Forum?
     
  12. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Good morning The-J.

    I'm a member of Peter Voogd's Game Changers Academy. On Wednesday morning this week, Australian time, Peter had a call with MJ DeMarco. They were discussing his new book 'Unscripted'. But Peter and Austin Netzley couldn't stop raving about MJ's first book 'The Millionaire Fastlane'.

    I purchased both books on Amazon Kindle immediately after the call. Have just finished reading 'The Millionaire Fastlane'.

    Found it an absolute eye opener about the road to wealth. And saw much of my story in 'the process'.

    The book talks about the Fastlane Forum. I looked it up on Google this morning. And signed up instantly. And I've been gobsmacked at the number of members I've already met.

    I am so delighted to be here. And hope I get many opportunities to exchange stories and ideas with members about overcoming the depths of despair that are part of 'the process'.

    Thank you for your compliment. And for asking how I found my way here. ~Carol❤
     
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  13. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you Interesting Life. I hope I hear from you again. ~Carol❤
     
  14. Limitless4Life
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    Limitless4Life Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Carol,

    You are incredible! Your story and insights will be very valuable to this forum. I'm glad I get to follow along, thank you!

    If you were to tell your 23 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  15. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    G'day Limitless4Life,

    What a lovely compliment. Thank you.

    I can remember when I was 23 years old. And I would tell you. And everyone else that age. And older.

    That there are two things we need to address.

    The first is that there are no limits to what you can do. Or achieve.

    We put limits on ourselves. And hold ourselves back.

    No one else holds us back. Just ourselves. Lack of belief in what we're capable of doing. That's the big hurdle to jump over. Especially if other people are telling you it can't be done.

    I always tell people that to change yourself, you have to change the story in your head that you tell yourself. It takes practice. But it does happen. Tony Robbins is an expert at that.

    And.

    The second thing is to simply take action.

    Stop thinking. And start doing. Be prepared to make mistakes. Victor and I have made so many mistakes. But we learned from every one of them. And we have a better business because of them.

    Failure is NOT making mistakes. Failure is NOT DOING!

    Setbacks are part of the process. Victor and I just experienced one this week. While Victor was in a state of despair. I told him that every time we have a setback, we find a better way to do something. And we come out the other side so much better off.

    And we did. The setback this week. Although crucial. Made us make a change. And that change has made our business better.

    Have belief in yourself, Limitless4Life. Setbacks. Mistakes. They're part of the process that takes you further along the road to wealth.

    Life is to be lived. And it's never perfect. I hope this helps. Never hesitate to ask me for help. I love giving back. ~Carol❤
     
  16. The-J
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    The-J Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    This place is different from most of the Internet.

    By the way, I found you and some of your stuff, specifically the ironing board cover + the videos. That's a pretty cool piece of handwork.

    I'm not going to lie, your landing page is... pretty unorthodox. But I can tell it works. Why? Because the info on it had me pretty convinced that it was a damn good ironing board cover. And I don't even iron!

    By the way; if you're working on new projects or something like this, open a Progress Thread and let people know how it goes.
     
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  17. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you, The-J.

    Love your comments about the website. It is unorthodox. And is meant to be different.

    I very much appreciate your insight. We have uploaded over 70 A4 pages of unsolicited testimonials to our site. Many of them about our unconventional website.

    You're absolutely right about The Fastlane Forum being different. The members are so amazing and responsive. It's a credit to the people working behind the scenes to make it so.

    Also appreciate the heads up about the Progress Threads. Will keep that in mind.

    I hope we stay in touch. Love your feedback. ~Carol❤
     
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  18. The-J
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    The-J Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Wait until you learn that @MJ DeMarco is the single most active member here, by a WIDE margin; with the other mods having similar levels of devotion to the forum.
     
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  19. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    G'day again Limitless4Life,

    I'd like to add a few more things to what I've said previously.

    Find men and women who share your values. And follow them.

    For instance, I follow Richard Branson. Because he started with nothing. Has been through 'the process' many times. Skirted bankruptcy. Cares about his workers. The environment. And gives back in spades. Those are my values.

    I also follow people who can teach me how to do things.

    I need to cold call businesses. They're not looking for me online. I literally learned to cold call by reading. And executing. Three books by Stephen Schiffman. I not only read. And learned. But did.

    I still remember how stiff I was when I first started.

    Now. I have no trouble picking up the telephone. And starting a conversation with a business by telling them I'd like to do business with them. Can we talk? Tomorrow at 3pm?!

    Not everyone wants to hear from me. Or you. But enough do that I grow my business effortlessly.

    I cover the boards of several 5 star hotels because I picked up the phone. And asked.

    I also make sure I position myself correctly online. Although they're not looking for me online. They will certainly Google me after they hang up.

    This is all part of 'the process'. Following people who can help you. And teach you things. ~Carol❤
     
  20. AgainstAllOdds
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    @Carol Jones Great introduction!

    From your posts it's evident that you're great at copywriting (your writing is extremely readable). Would you mind sharing your top books/resources on copywriting?

    Also, if you don't mind me asking, how do you guys currently generate the most sales? Is it cold calling? And how has that changed? Was it previously catalogs?
     
  21. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That level of involvement and devotion, The-J, on the part of the moderators, definitely shows. Thank you for telling me. ~Carol❤
     
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  22. KaaiFX
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    KaaiFX New Contributor

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    "This is all part of 'the process'. Following people who can help you. And teach you things."

    I strongly believe in this process.
     
  23. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    These are the people, KaaiFX, who make a difference in our lives. ~Carol❤
     
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  24. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    G'day Against All Odds.

    Thank you for your compliment.

    I've been writing since I was 8 years old. When I was at uni, I took a creative writing course. After submitting my first story, my professor asked me to stop taking the class. She said I had a natural gift for writing. And the course would destroy that. So I dropped out.

    I took chemistry instead. After two weeks, my professor asked me to drop out of the course. I was hopeless, he said. And he didn't want me in his class.

    So I dropped out. And signed up for an ethics course. Which I loved. And I was very happy.

    So I can't offer any advice about writing.

    We generate sales from 4 sources. Cold calling. Google. Referrals. Reorders.

    37% of my sales are reorders. 18% of sales are referrals. 33% of sales are from Google. And 12% are from cold calling.

    Much has changed.

    When we first started out, we wanted to stay out of retail. And had no money to advertise. So we had to look at other options. We chose the route of attending field days. Home shows. And other live events. Where we could set up a microphone and demonstrate our product. And how well it worked.

    We did this for 14 years. Drove 60K per year. And collected names and addresses for a database.

    Once a year we mailed out a catalogue. The first year we mailed out 260 catalogues.

    When the internet came to our rural village in 2001, we were ready with a website. Rudimentary. But ready.

    That changed the way we received business. And over the years, the internet started to become more important than the live events.

    We hung up the car keys in 2008. And the wheels of our car did a little jig in celebration.

    Today, we don't mail out catalogues. But email our customers several times a year to stay in touch.

    We also started to receive attention from the press.

    In 2002, The Sydney Morning Herald did an article about our ironing board cover. We sold $25K worth of product from that one article!

    Which led to more interest from the media. Which gave us a presence we didn't expect.

    And it was the first indication we had that our story of how we built a worldwide business from broke was important to our customers. And potential customers.

    We grow every year. Because we pay attention to our business. But I have higher ambitions. Which is why I'm here. ~Carol❤
     
  25. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Welcome, and thanks for your great intro and helpful and patient responses to other forum members.

    What an inspiring story. I love how you've taken something "unsexy" and built a fabulous business from it.

    I love that you don't have any debts.

    I love that your product is so good that people rave about it.

    ... and you've had press coverage about what you've done, not about what you plan on doing (a gentle dig at "startup" world and their bold declarations).



    I also love that you start each reply to forum members with a personal thank you.

    40,000 customers and you're engaging with more people one at a time. I suspect that's a good part of how you've built your business.


    You mention that 33% of sales come from Google. Is that people looking for your brand after touching it via some other channel? I can't imagine people searching for "ironing board covers", but the Google Keyword Planner could prove me wrong.
     
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