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EXECUTION Trust Your Gut - Seriously!

MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
Hello everyone,

This will be my progress thread going forward.

A little background on me - Graduated from university back in 2016 and started a sales role at a large tech enterprise company. Really enjoyed it early on until I read the Millionaire Fastlane, which ruined everything for me haha.

From 2016 to 2017, I pushed myself and learned everything you could imagine about business development. The goal? Securing a meeting with as many decision makers/c-level executives as possible. I got quite good at the role and got to the #2 spot out of 3,000 reps each quarter.

It was then expected that we move on to a "closing" role, where we would not only set the meetings but also close deals. I decided to quit before that to start softwareslate.com as I was bored. We failed miserably and I spent $20k + on living expenses. I didn't know what the fu** I was doing back then and teamed up with my brother (quit after two days) and someone in medical school (part-time = big mistake).

I needed money for rent so I joined a startup to do business development and hated every second of it. Decided to leave after 4 months as I made enough to sustain myself for a few weeks and got an offer to return to my previous employer.

I did nothing for a few months and actually had an incredible morning routine (miracle morning + sleep smarter = domination) so I was able to close a few large deals early on. I paid off all my loans/debt and had a good amount of cash leftover. I took a step back and realized that making $300-500k was possible for me this year. However, I knew the path forward was going to brutal as I found myself getting micro-managed by a new manager on day 1. The plan was to bounce after closing a few more deals, but I had no idea how bad things would get.

It was only one week after I closed these deals that I got food poisoning and went to the emergency room. I was prescribed a ton of antibiotics to recover and it was hell from there - I could no longer eat food without having pain and didn't know what was going on. I ignored the pain and continued to push myself past my physical limits - I achieved #1 pipeline growth throughout the division and set myself up quite nicely for Q4 (large discounts provided to customers). I ended up with so many opportunities that the VP of Sales passed these deals onto my colleagues for a 25/75% deal split - I knew the money was right there for me, but I needed to last for another 3-5 months to make it out alive.

Throughout all of this, I tried doing a side business and knew how dangerous this was for me at the time. We found success early on but started to slow down a lot after multiple weeks of staying up late into the night.

My body had given up on me and I felt like a complete moron for allowing this to happen to me. I couldn’t Sh**, think, sleep, or deal with my fluctuating anxiety. I would talk to a CIO one day just fine and wake up with terrible panic attacks the next. I learned later on the importance of gut health and how destructive antibiotics were to the gut - I needed to fix this problem ASAP or I risked doing long-term damage to my body.

I came home on Thursday (1/17) and knew that I was going to put my notice in the next day. It all happened in a couple days and I was so disappointed in how it all turned out. I couldn't justify staying any longer and didn't even think about taking medical leave - I just wanted to GTFO of there. I took my health for granted, but I'll never do it again.

I have 6 months before my lease runs out and I move in with my parents. I'm going to be on this journey for another 1-2 years so my first goal is to make enough to pay my rent.

I'm going to be relentless in achieving my health goals, as well as creating my first fast lane business. I've partnered up with an "IBM-Fellow" equivalent from my last company and a top field rep to start this business so I'm in a much better spot than before.

Wish me luck. We have already made a ton of progress so I'll be providing updates on a weekly/bi-weekly basis if anyone is interested in following. I can add more details later.

End of Rant...
 

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MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
If you can do deals like what you were doing... you'll be fine on your own.
Thanks but I'm starting to realize that it doesn't always work that way haha. Having that big corporate logo behind you can be really helpful.

Good luck. Take care of yourself. Let us know how it goes!
Thanks and yes, I've been healing quite well so I'm very happy on that front.
That's quite a story, good luck!
Thanks bud!
Good luck mate, how’s your health been since you quit? Have you seen improvements?
It's been much better since I left the company so I am very happy as I continue to make progress - funny because all I needed to do was eat a ton of fermented foods/drop bread, sugar, and a few other things.
 

MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
Another update down below and sorry for the late response as I've been working like a freak to get our first deal. I love these execution threads because it's a nice way to log where we stand and make changes along the way (Edited this because I forgot to end the sentence lol).

I would say that things are just ok right now but we're so close to our first deal. We're in an emerging industry with a ton of demand and thousands of different technology vendors, but the problem has been finding consistency with our current partners/technology providers.

What we're trying to do is become the customer engagement platform for the industry - so connecting enterprises/businesses with these technology providers in order to close deals, start partnerships, and even begin pilot projects. An example would be Avnet (Avnet: Quality Electronic Components & Services) but for our industry. The tough part about all of this is that we're setting the meetings, selling the solution, and implementing it. Doing the last two allows us to get the highest percentage on closed deals.

We also have referral agreements in place, but getting 5% on a 1 million dollar deal just doesn't entice the other members of my team as they currently work bigger deals in their day jobs and the sales cycles aren't exactly short. More importantly, we have no faith in their sales reps to get the job done and I guess it's because we have 40 years of consulting/sales experience at the enterprise level that we have this attitude. Another reason is that we heard them try to sell and it went terribly - why waste good opportunities on sales reps who can't close?

We managed to find an opportunity with a fortune 10 company that would probably make us anywhere from $1-3 million depending on how many users they end up expanding to. That deal is currently at 80% in the pipeline but we're competing with another consulting team for the deal. Also, a few of our devs managed to come unprepared for the call so chances are we screwed ourselves but we will find out in about 7 hours haha.

For the first time in months, my focus has been mostly been on setting meetings and I've been having quite a bit of fun with it. We have about 12 opportunities right now in the pipeline and I need to bring that to 30 somehow by the end of this month. I'm pretty behind on getting meetings but there's a lot of other bs in place at the moment that hasn't allowed me to focus purely on meetings.

One thing that worried me was towards the end of reading "unscripted" where MJ talks about optimal money systems was the difficulty with living an unscripted life and creating a consulting firm - I know he mentioned how magnitude can have a huge impact as well on a person's wallet but I do worry at times on what the end goal is for this company. Will I end up being stuck in this company for 10 years + because that's not what I'm looking to do. 3-5 years sounds like a better plan.

I guess what makes the most sense is just to get a few deals first and build our brand up as much as possible afterward.

Only time will tell but we're aiming for our first deal to close by early April or May.

-- END OF RANT
 
Last edited:

BigDaddyKane

Contributor
Jan 19, 2011
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Excited to see this develop. And good on you for focusing on your health. That's so important. I've been getting in road work daily between 1-4 miles and it feels incredible. What are your health goals exactly that you mentioned?
 

MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
Excited to see this develop. And good on you for focusing on your health. That's so important. I've been getting in road work daily between 1-4 miles and it feels incredible. What are your health goals exactly that you mentioned?
Health goals are purely to recover from my gut issues, which I have for the most part. I'm annoyed at the amount of research required to fix the problem, but I'm on the path to getting healed fully so I'm grateful for that.

Update

Unfortunately, things have gone downhill since my last update and I didn't think it would get so bad this quickly. There are three co-founders and I'm not on the best terms with one of them (CEO). Essentially, we found ourselves spread too thin and not having enough resources to take care of our current 9 partners. This was something I warned him about 4 months ago but we pushed onward as he is quite convincing. I am currently the only one going full time but as I mentioned before, I sort of did it to save my health and happy I left the S*** environment I was in before so no regrets.

Again, we are a full consulting group that finds opportunities, closes them and implements the solution. We were on a team call this week and almost everyone realized that we just don't have the time to do all the training for a certain partner to implement their solution. The other option was doing their referral model - we pass them deals and get 5% on any deal. I talked to my other partner without the consent of our CEO (My mistake) about contacting them to boost it to 10% and was able to pull it off. We no longer have to do the training as the referral model brings us enough cash. Again, we still had a massive deal with a fortune 10 company waiting on us but we were at each other's throats throughout the week so I was drained. By the end of it, I just wanted to leave and start this all over again under my terms and as CEO. I know how much demand there is so I'm going to stick to this space for a while - I enjoyed almost everything outside of the internal bs.

I don't know yet if it's over, but we will find out on Monday. I just want to turn off my phone and get to work again. I will say this - even the best sales reps, programmers, marketers can turn out to be terrible CEOs. I'll probably update this thread in another month or so as I want to get to work and not be distracted for a while.
 

Ernman

Silver Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Feb 8, 2019
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I will say this - even the best sales reps, programmers, marketers can turn out to be terrible CEOs.
Being a good CEO is not easy, especially if you have other humans in the mix. MJ notes that "human systems" can be the hardest. He's spot on. Humans are messy, so leading them can be a challenge. I've also worked for CEO's who couldn't stop being the engineer, program manager, etc. In small companies this get very complicated because there usually aren't enough people to go around. But CEO's MUST see the big picture. If they get down in among the trees, they lose the forest. Try to remember all this when you're the boss. And it sounds like that day will come for you.
 

MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
Being a good CEO is not easy, especially if you have other humans in the mix. MJ notes that "human systems" can be the hardest. He's spot on. Humans are messy, so leading them can be a challenge. I've also worked for CEO's who couldn't stop being the engineer, program manager, etc. In small companies this get very complicated because there usually aren't enough people to go around. But CEO's MUST see the big picture. If they get down in among the trees, they lose the forest. Try to remember all this when you're the boss. And it sounds like that day will come for you.
Appreciate the guidance here bud and yes, it is a tough job indeed. I am excited to either get past this or start again - I'm going to be relentless in whatever is next so I never have to work a 9-5.
 

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MrYoshi

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 15, 2017
112
193
150
Michigan
New Update

It's been a few weeks and things are going well. Still no revenue but at least we have no issues internally and have dealt with all our past problems. If nobody has guessed yet, we are in the emerging tech space - IoT, blockchain, AI, etc.

I have been struggling to get a consistent stream of opportunities in front of us but have been doing better in the past week and a half. Because I only target c-level executives at companies with revenues from $100M plus, it can be tough at times to find any consistency.

Either way, I am averaging about 2-3 meetings a week with c-level guys, but I need to get to 7-10 and know it's possible. I've taken a big step back this past week to reassess everything and continue to make iterations to my process. I know that I'm close to a breakthrough as we are now focused on 3 partners only so I have been able to familiarize myself with their offerings - this has led to a better understanding of the industry and how I can pitch their products over email, LinkedIn, cold-calls, etc.

We did end up losing about 13 opportunities because it's taking our dev team time to create a front-facing demo for one of our partner solutions - I've never seen more demand for a product in my life so we are moving quickly. It looks really bad on our end because we've delayed some of these meetings 3 - 4 times before just giving up - we are taking our time now to really learn this dev environment and pitch it to customers afterward.

I'm realizing now that our business is not going to be bringing in thousands of opportunities anytime soon as we rely heavily on providing services to companies. It's like MJ has said in the past, the "magnitude" of your business can still be a Fastlane approach and I think we're doing just that.

We currently have the following real opportunities:
  • Fortune 20 company (200k - $1.2M +) annually - this is by far the most important opportunity that we have in the pipeline at the moment as the sky is the limit here. The amount we get totally depends on the number of users. That 1.2M mark is only for 10k users and they have over 200M users worldwide - I know, this sole opportunity might be enough for all 5 of our team members to retire on but we still haven't closed the deal yet. Contract discussions are starting this month and hopefully will end by EOM or in early June.
  • Marijuana Producer/Distributor ($300k) - we have provided them with the ROI and done an entire business case for them. We are waiting now to see what is possible and if it's enough for us to do a final presentation in front of their c-level team.
  • POC for cloud tech deal ($30k+) - the deal has massive potential because we're starting them off with a POC. With this specific partner, we are actually their first official partner so they've provided us with 12 free POC licenses to hand to customers. We're trying to onboard as many customers as possible and allow them to buy more as they go.
  • POC cloud tech deal #2 ($30k+)
  • POC cloud tech deal #3 ($30k+)
  • POC cloud tech deal #4 ($30k+)
  • Development API deal 1 - $20k
  • Development API deal 2 - $15k
  • Development API deal 3 - $15k
Hopefully, we're able to bring in a few of these in but I know that we need to do more to bring in larger deals.

I'll provide an update in another month or so.
 

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