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EXECUTION My journey to $1m / year income

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
Hi all, I’ll be using this space to host my overall progress as I transition into the fast lane. My hope is to collect feedback on my work and on specific problem areas / questions I have, and to keep myself accountable to hitting progress milestones… also just share generally with the community.

My overall goal is to earn $1m / year within six years (wealth is a process, not an event!), and only from fast lane sources, no slow lane salary, bonuses or equity included.

November 2019 Update:

I have two things in the works at the moment, and a longer term vision for a third.

#1 Music Genre Niche Blog & Apparel Shop

First, the lowest priority. It has its own thread (here), but I’m going to stop updating that one in favor of collecting all updates here. It’s a music niche website that focuses on culture, media, blog posts and artist interviews. The monetization is intended to primarily move through apparel sales, which are shirts my wife and I design (we have art backgrounds) and fulfill through a print on demand & drop shipping company. In all transparency, I’m in love with the genre but it’s tiny compared to most other music types, and I know it’s not going to scale up to anything close to life changing. I wanted to launch it anyways as a way to get some experience with a few things:
  • Drop shipping / E-commerce
  • Advertising (google ads, facebook, instagram)
  • Growing / cultivating an online social following
Progress so far:
  • ~200 instagram followers (via follow / un-follow). Usually hit a 10% “like” ratio on my posts.
  • One T-Shirt sale to date. Yipee!
  • One instagram campaign started for my latest shirt design, set to a modest $35 budget (just to take advantage of a free $20 marketing offering I received).
Next steps:
  • Add more shirt designs as time allows (overall low priority)
  • Interview some music artists from the genre to grow traffic to the site (low priority)
#2 B2B digital service company in the architecture niche

Since last May (well before I discovered MJ’s Millionaire Fast lane book which was in Sept '19) I set actions in motion to start a B2B service company with a business partner. The partner is absolutely essential in this and we also work really well together professionally speaking. He’s the backend guy (CTO) whereas I am the frontend (CEO) of our little operation. By the nature of the niche we’ve entered and the service we provide, this endeavor will likely not be an easy candidate for the fast lane. Scaling up would require hiring a staff of account managers, and taking on employees is something I’m not a big fan of doing... But I would still do it if we have the clients coming in. What it will give us is additional income on the side, which I personally plan to re-invest in other truly fast lane style businesses. But more on that in item #3. I won’t go into much specific detail on this biz, but we leverage external talent to fulfill the services for our clients, so happily we’re in an arrangement where we’re not trading 1:1 time for money. We handle quality assurance to make sure client gets a top service level.

Progress so far:
  • Marketing is in a great place. Domain, website, business card, insta / facebook / linkedin are looking great.
  • Accounting and etc. in place
  • External talent secured and ready to roll
  • Google advertising for a week, now turned off (about $1 / click but no leads generated)
  • Facebook advertising now in place (much better $0.30 / click, but also no leads yet)
Next steps:
  • Clients, clients, CLIENTS is what our business needs right now. As soon as we can get 3-5 clients we’ll be in an excellent place since the nature of our niche encourages recurring revenue and business.
  • Planning to keep Facebook advertising alive for the time being since its inexpensive.
  • Also attempting to reach out to potential clients myself through LinkedIn, but not sure how to do this without looking scummy. I'm a total newbie to sales. Approach right now is to strike up conversations with CEOs (or similar) of architecture companies asking them where their business pain points are vis-a-vis our service. Would like to be as organic and relationship building as possible, but I can't think of anyway to approach these folks without mentioning something about my biz. Open to feedback here!
  • Have been reading this thread by @EarlOfChina but haven’t quite figured out what my initial pitch / contact message should be... (or what I would put into a short video)
#3 Purchase of online SaaS (or similar) businesses… or something else

My third initiative is what I’m considering to be my fast lane vehicle. It might change in the future but at the moment I am planning to follow in @richardd 's footsteps and the excellent precedent he has set in his execution thread.

Unlike Richard I don’t have the ability to generate huge sums of cash quickly via consulting in my slow lane job (unless I cash in stocks, which I'm unwilling to do). I’m paid well, but most of it funds living expenses and lifestyle. I am able to save about $1000 / month however. Combined with an existing $20k that I have set aside already, and also with anticipated income from the B2B startup, I should be able to begin purchasing some small businesses in the near term. With at least one business purchased I will be able to increase my savings rate to purchase more businesses that complement the existing ones. From there, gradually step up and up... Sounds easy—I know it won’t be.

Progress so far:
  • $20k in saving
  • Desire
Next steps:
  • R&D on the process of purchasing a business online
  • Contemplation on the type of “empire” I want to build. I.e. what businesses should I target?



More to come... Open to your feedback. Thanks for reading.
 

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JWM

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Great post and all the best with your goals.

A couple of points I am interested in keeping an eye on during your journey is firstly how you are going to secure your B2B clients in project #2 that isn't cold calling/emailing. Secondly I'm interested in the SaaS particularly in the research phase once you've found the industry you want to enter, how will you muscle in on the clients that your competitors have secured? What is your plan for researching the industry and finding your point of difference and market needs?
 

lowtek

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Love the concept and that you're already in motion towards making this happen.

Only thing that I would add is to perhaps set additional milestones along the way.

Set a deadline for hitting $10,000, $50,000, etc... to keep yourself on track. Otherwise it seems like it's too easy for the goal to slip off into infinity. $1M is and isn't a lot of money, and you can't get there without passing through the lesser milestones first.
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
Only thing that I would add is to perhaps set additional milestones along the way.

Set a deadline for hitting $10,000, $50,000, etc...
Thanks for your reply. Agreed. I actually have a spreadsheet that I'm using to plan this stuff out- it goes month-by-month through the next 6 years- making some assumptions about acquired businesses and what that will mean for Fastlane income, when my wife and I will be able to quit our jobs, how much we need to set aside, some assumptions around lifestyle updgrades... it's a work in progress but I'll share it here if there is any interest.

But to speak to your comment, right now I've plotted my milestones by year, and following an exponential growth curve after year 1 elapses (assuming things will be slower to start, and then radically take off when more money flows in and more businesses can be rapidly purchased. Those yearly milestones look like this (all figures are net):
  • Year 1 = $0 / Year
  • Year 2 = $60k / Year
  • Year 3 = $105k / Year
  • Year 4 = $325k / Year
  • Year 5 = $560k / Year
  • Year 6 = $1m / Year
The decision to go with 6 years for my overall plan was somewhat arbitrary, but I tried to find a balance between having enough time to realistically execute (especially since I'm still stuck in a slow lane 9-5), and my own impatience (more than 6 years feels demotivating to me).
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
Great post and all the best with your goals.

A couple of points I am interested in keeping an eye on during your journey is firstly how you are going to secure your B2B clients in project #2 that isn't cold calling/emailing. Secondly I'm interested in the SaaS particularly in the research phase once you've found the industry you want to enter, how will you muscle in on the clients that your competitors have secured? What is your plan for researching the industry and finding your point of difference and market needs?
Thanks for the interest.
  1. Also no clue how I'll do this without cold-emailing. :) I'm getting my head around the inevitability of this. Right now my outreach is taking place on LinkedIn- finding decision makers (CEOs, etc) at architecture firms but it is sloooow going since this is me reaching out on a one by one basis. An option here is to automate it with a service but I'm a little skeptical of doing that since it will by nature require an impersonal ice breaker. Since I'm trying to get people to hand over four figure sums to my company it seems self defeating as there is no trust being built that way. Open to suggestions. Until I think of something better I'm going to continue and assume that after we eventually handle our first 3-5 gigs and treat our clients like royalty the growth will start to become a bit more organic (word of mouth).
  2. For the SaaS acquisitions questions, that's the beauty of this approach. The businesses purchased are already operationally sound and financially healthy assets, so there is less of a concern for me on those points—however, my approach towards managing these assets will not be entirely passive and I will be investing some of my time in each to grow them (although, important to note that in my overall roadmap to $1m/yr income after six years, I am assuming no growth- just flat income... that's just my mindset, I would rather be pleasantly surprised by growth performance rather than disappointed over flat performance).
P.
 
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JWM

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 14, 2018
55
105
132
Australia
Good to see you've put some thought into it.

One big thing I learned was to go into the place of business you are targeting, let them see your face and be warm and friendly. Myself and a business partner did this for a few weeks at the start of our business, just going around on foot to the businesses that were a reasonable fit and introducing ourselves. It didn't necessarily lead to work from them, but we developed our confidence and communication. That was the hardest stage of the business development process, once your name is out there and you're providing value things will start running smoothly.
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
Good feedback. To that end I've started to think about attending some meetup and networking events. Hopefully I can start to reach out to people who may at least know someone else who could use my companies services. Totally agree that once we get things warm it will be easier. Right now it's like trying to turn over the engine of a car in the dead of winter with a low battery!
 

Boychamp

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 13, 2019
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63
110
  1. Right now my outreach is taking place on LinkedIn- finding decision makers (CEOs, etc) at architecture firms but it is sloooow going since this is me reaching out on a one by one basis. An option here is to automate it with a service but I'm a little skeptical of doing that since it will by nature require an impersonal ice breaker. Since I'm trying to get people to hand over four figure sums to my company it seems self defeating as there is no trust being built that way. Open to suggestions.
A potential suggestion here that I've actually been debating doing. Film your work process - I use things like Loom as it screen records and records yourself - step by step of how you would go about doing this. Then, hire a VA to do this for you. It kind of creates an intermediary between automated and you doing it. It still feels personal and is done the way you want but it saves you the time of doing it. Then you step in for the follow-up should they respond/show interest/ whatever it is you're looking for.
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
A potential suggestion here that I've actually been debating doing. Film your work process - I use things like Loom as it screen records and records yourself - step by step of how you would go about doing this. Then, hire a VA to do this for you. It kind of creates an intermediary between automated and you doing it. It still feels personal and is done the way you want but it saves you the time of doing it. Then you step in for the follow-up should they respond/show interest/ whatever it is you're looking for.
I like it... thanks for the advice. Which VA service would you recommend, if you’ve used one yourself before?
 

zblundell

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 2, 2019
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15
Internet security is a quick Fastlane business to me if you can protect patient information. There have been so many recent hacks at companies that have access to patient records and businesses will pay big bank not having to worry about this issue.
 

Boychamp

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 13, 2019
56
63
110
I like it... thanks for the advice. Which VA service would you recommend, if you’ve used one yourself before?
I haven't gone down this route so I don't have any suggestions. I'm sure a quick google search will find you plenty though and then you'll simply have to train/weed out the good from the less capable.
 

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awsamro

New Contributor
May 28, 2019
10
2
12
Hi all, I’ll be using this space to host my overall progress as I transition into the fast lane. My hope is to collect feedback on my work and on specific problem areas / questions I have, and to keep myself accountable to hitting progress milestones… also just share generally with the community.

My overall goal is to earn $1m / year within six years (wealth is a process, not an event!), and only from fast lane sources, no slow lane salary, bonuses or equity included.

November 2019 Update:

I have two things in the works at the moment, and a longer term vision for a third.

#1 Music Genre Niche Blog & Apparel Shop

First, the lowest priority. It has its own thread (here), but I’m going to stop updating that one in favor of collecting all updates here. It’s a music niche website that focuses on culture, media, blog posts and artist interviews. The monetization is intended to primarily move through apparel sales, which are shirts my wife and I design (we have art backgrounds) and fulfill through a print on demand & drop shipping company. In all transparency, I’m in love with the genre but it’s tiny compared to most other music types, and I know it’s not going to scale up to anything close to life changing. I wanted to launch it anyways as a way to get some experience with a few things:
  • Drop shipping / E-commerce
  • Advertising (google ads, facebook, instagram)
  • Growing / cultivating an online social following
Progress so far:
  • ~200 instagram followers (via follow / un-follow). Usually hit a 10% “like” ratio on my posts.
  • One T-Shirt sale to date. Yipee!
  • One instagram campaign started for my latest shirt design, set to a modest $35 budget (just to take advantage of a free $20 marketing offering I received).
Next steps:
  • Add more shirt designs as time allows (overall low priority)
  • Interview some music artists from the genre to grow traffic to the site (low priority)
#2 B2B digital service company in the architecture niche

Since last May (well before I discovered MJ’s Millionaire Fast lane book which was in Sept '19) I set actions in motion to start a B2B service company with a business partner. The partner is absolutely essential in this and we also work really well together professionally speaking. He’s the backend guy (CTO) whereas I am the frontend (CEO) of our little operation. By the nature of the niche we’ve entered and the service we provide, this endeavor will likely not be an easy candidate for the fast lane. Scaling up would require hiring a staff of account managers, and taking on employees is something I’m not a big fan of doing... But I would still do it if we have the clients coming in. What it will give us is additional income on the side, which I personally plan to re-invest in other truly fast lane style businesses. But more on that in item #3. I won’t go into much specific detail on this biz, but we leverage external talent to fulfill the services for our clients, so happily we’re in an arrangement where we’re not trading 1:1 time for money. We handle quality assurance to make sure client gets a top service level.

Progress so far:
  • Marketing is in a great place. Domain, website, business card, insta / facebook / linkedin are looking great.
  • Accounting and etc. in place
  • External talent secured and ready to roll
  • Google advertising for a week, now turned off (about $1 / click but no leads generated)
  • Facebook advertising now in place (much better $0.30 / click, but also no leads yet)
Next steps:
  • Clients, clients, CLIENTS is what our business needs right now. As soon as we can get 3-5 clients we’ll be in an excellent place since the nature of our niche encourages recurring revenue and business.
  • Planning to keep Facebook advertising alive for the time being since its inexpensive.
  • Also attempting to reach out to potential clients myself through LinkedIn, but not sure how to do this without looking scummy. I'm a total newbie to sales. Approach right now is to strike up conversations with CEOs (or similar) of architecture companies asking them where their business pain points are vis-a-vis our service. Would like to be as organic and relationship building as possible, but I can't think of anyway to approach these folks without mentioning something about my biz. Open to feedback here!
  • Have been reading this thread by @EarlOfChina but haven’t quite figured out what my initial pitch / contact message should be... (or what I would put into a short video)
#3 Purchase of online SaaS (or similar) businesses… or something else

My third initiative is what I’m considering to be my fast lane vehicle. It might change in the future but at the moment I am planning to follow in @richardd 's footsteps and the excellent precedent he has set in his execution thread.

Unlike Richard I don’t have the ability to generate huge sums of cash quickly via consulting in my slow lane job (unless I cash in stocks, which I'm unwilling to do). I’m paid well, but most of it funds living expenses and lifestyle. I am able to save about $1000 / month however. Combined with an existing $20k that I have set aside already, and also with anticipated income from the B2B startup, I should be able to begin purchasing some small businesses in the near term. With at least one business purchased I will be able to increase my savings rate to purchase more businesses that complement the existing ones. From there, gradually step up and up... Sounds easy—I know it won’t be.

Progress so far:
  • $20k in saving
  • Desire
Next steps:
  • R&D on the process of purchasing a business online
  • Contemplation on the type of “empire” I want to build. I.e. what businesses should I target?



More to come... Open to your feedback. Thanks for reading.
I thought you already made 1 million dollars was so excited to read.
 

knowledgebeast

New Contributor
Sep 22, 2019
5
2
11
Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland
Hey,

Your vision and strategy are very clear and I think you're on the great path to be successful. The thing that will make the biggest difference in your situation is to really learn how to sell. You have to sell your services, expensive services, and you also have to sell the vision of company to your employees (culture is important), so you gotta be really persuasive to do that. The book 'The Little Red Book Of Selling' can be a good start. Learning deeply how to get the prospects to trust or even like you will entirely change the way you approach all the various parts of your business. Regarding that I'm especially thinking about the strategy of preeminence that Jay Abraham explains.
A practical idea, when going to various events, meetups, etc, is to try going with the intent of getting close to people who call the shots in their company, try to develop relationships, become friends with them or at least establish trust and credibility. Talking to people in person already greatly increases your chance of closing them. Then with testimonials you can go online.
Anyway enough of my rambling, I should get to sleep. But stick to it man you got the vision locked down and from what you say I feel like you can really handle this. Push through!

ps: learning how to sell can really make the difference between success and failure. I would put it first in a business mba. Every entrepreneur should learn about sales.
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
Thanks for the input @knowledgebeast, I've went ahead and gotten a copy of the little red book and will check it out. Totally agree with you that sales is the number one priority right now. I'll also have a look through the Jay Abrams material.

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
pumpking

pumpking

Contributor
Sep 14, 2019
36
20
39
December 2019 Execution Update:

Architecture Niche B2B update:
  • Attended two local networking meetings. It was fun to chat with people about the business and introduce myself as a CEO. And it led to one meaningful connection which has turned into an appointment (scheduled for mid-December). We could be on our way to securing our first customer.
  • Experiments with google and facebook advertising didn't yield any results. Take-away: until we get some actual clients with testimonials and sites we can link to we will hold off on this strategy.
  • Call/meeting with Growbots. Cool service—probably going to hold off on that for the same reason as above for now.
  • Learned about CRM and joined Hubspot. Literally did not know that that type of service existed, I was planning to track everything with google sheets (LOL!)
  • Learned about inbound sales marketing. Love the idea, but I'm torn on spending so much time writing blog posts versus doing more direct marketing. Maybe I will pursue a bit of both.
  • Going to read 'The little red book of sales', per the recommendation above.
Biz Purchase update:
  • Have saved $25k towards this effort so far. I can afford to put $1000/month towards this from slow lane income but it's way too slow, so that's where I'm counting on the architecture biz to help.
  • Other than that, continuing to monitor listings.
  • Considering pulling the trigger on a business at the 25k range if I can find one I like. But honestly I'm a little too busy with the architecture biz to think too much about it.

Personal update:

I thought it would be worth writing a little blurb each month about my personal experience as I go through this journey. All change—even positive change—can be stressful. So my hope is that sharing reflections on how I've dealt with this long term plan is of some benefit to others (if not just for myself).
  • This past month has been a frustration for me. It's become evident that I don't know enough of sales to be dangerous yet, there is some slowdown in the overall marketplace due to the holiday season and I'm also time constrained as I continue to work full time. We just need 3-5 recurring customers to recoup invested cash and to start feeling like we're actually doing something rather than talking and thinking (and spending).
  • Also for reasons that I am partially to blame for, I'm not certain that I will be getting an annual bonus this year from my 9-5, which I had been counting on having to accelerate my business purchasing plans. This is hugely frustrating to me since it slows me down, but also illustrates so clearly how I am not in control of my own financial destiny. I will look back and chuckle some day I am sure. In the meantime it's a stark reminder (and motivator).
  • As a result I am feeling impatient and thinking about ways I could possibly become a consultant on the side and get more money rolling in faster. I've reached out to some people in my network to discuss exactly that actually. But I worry that between a full-time job, wife & family, architecture biz & thinking about purchasing businesses that I won't be able to sustain it without one of them dropping hard. Something for me to continue thinking about. (Open to any creative suggestions, how could I hustle $1000-2000 on the side each month with minimal time investment?)
thanks for reading all, and have a happy holiday. As always, open to your feedback and comments.
 

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