Category: Blog Posts

How to Avoid Committing the Biggest Entrepreneurial Sins

Why do most young entrepreneurs struggle to make money right off the bat? It’s because they don’t have experience. Experience is what teaches you what to do and what not to do.

But what if you could learn those lessons right here rather than through trial-and-error? Wouldn’t that be a huge advantage?

Today I want to share the biggest sins I see entrepreneurs commit every day. For some of you, this might be the first time you hear about any of these “sins.” Some of you might be making one (or more) of these mistakes right now—which just means you’re on the verge of another spike in growth.

Let’s talk about the things you shouldn’t do as an entrepreneur.

 

Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

You don’t need to spend a ton of time on the color of your logo, or the font of your sign, or the design of your website. Spend it on the stuff that moves the needle for your business instead.

I get it, all that stuff I mentioned is fun to do and easy to knock off your list. But will you really make more money if your logo is red instead of green?

No.

Will you make more money if you concentrate your efforts on your marketing campaigns, your sales copy, and your client retention?

100%.

That’s the hard stuff, but it needs to get done. And the quicker you get it done, the quicker you’ll distinguish the things that work from the things that don’t. At that point, all that’s left to do is to take action on the things that work.

 

Don’t Entertain the “Idea Fairy”

Every entrepreneur with a creative bone in their body has to deal with the “idea fairy” at some point. This is when your problem-solving mind (a good thing) begins to find more problems to solve.

Your have to ignore the idea fairy at all costs.

The reason? It divides your focus. You end up trying to juggle 10 projects at once, but eventually they all crumble and nothing gets done.

Think of it like this: say Dan opens his own dental practice. It starts out profitable, but then Dan thinks it wise to sell toothbrushes on the side. He also tries manufacturing some retainers and inventing a new brand of toothpaste.

What happens? Dan’s business sinks, and none of his side ventures come to anything.

If Dan had just stuck out his main business, taken himself out of it, THEN focused on his next big idea, it could’ve worked. That leads me to the next point I want to make, which is…

 

Don’t Work “In” Your Business

I say this all the time: you never see Richard Branson inside the cockpit of a Virgin Airlines plane.

That’s because he works on his business, not in it. That’s what you need to do too.

The thing entrepreneurs always get tripped up on is how to make that transition from employee to overseer.

Here’s what you do: hire someone who can do your job 80% as good as you can.

You could hunt the globe for the ultimate replacement, but that’s gonna take you forever. Someone that’s 80% as effective as you will eventually become 85%, 90%, 95%, and even 100% as good as you over time.

That frees you up to do the high-level work that will take your business to the next level.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Once you reach a certain level of success, you start getting offers left and right from people wanting to work with you.

It’s tempting to say yes to every proposal you hear, especially if it’s coming from another successful entrepreneur. The truth, however, is you have to learn how to say no.

The last thing you want is to waste your time in a partnership that fizzles out—especially when you could have spent that time growing your main business.

You don’t owe anything to anybody. Don’t feel bad for saying no to distractions, because “no” allows you to say “yes” when the big opportunities come your way.

 

Don’t Hesitate to Part Ways with Slacking Team Members

When your business grows, your team’s forced to grow with it. If they can’t keep up, you can’t keep them around. No hard feelings.

I have two former partners that I had to stop doing business with. Those guys are still two of my good friends because I ended things before our business bled into our friendships.

This is actually a positive because it forces the rest of your team to level up and work on their self-development. You’re no exception. In fact, 99% of businesses scale when their CEO focuses on self-development, when he becomes the leader his/her growing business needs.

And if there are team members that don’t meet expectations, hire a replacement that’s even better until your entire team is filled with fighter jets.

 

Want to dig deeper into this topic? Click here to listen to the full podcast Craig Ballantyne and I recorded about the pitfalls of entrepreneurship.

 

The Power of Pricing

What do a Rolls Royce, a Rolex, and a Louis Vuitton bag have in common?

Yeah…they’re all expensive. But they all symbolize wealth and status.

People don’t buy a Rolls Royce because it’s fuel efficient or because it’s safe. They buy it because it brings them status. And because people value status, they shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get it.

Here’s why premium pricing is actually a good thing for you and your clients.

 

You Out-market the Competition

Fit Body Boot Camp, the fitness franchise I own, is relatively expensive to buy in to for a fitness studio.

Not only do we have a higher buy-in, but we charge monthly royalties to each of our franchisees.

What does that mean? We have more money to out-market the rest of the competition.

A couple of years ago, there was another fitness franchise that started before mine and had about 300 locations. At the time, they were offering a $5,000 buy-in while we offered a $10,000 buy-in plus royalties.

But when the royalties came in, I used the money for our online marketing. All of the sudden, I was outpacing them in ads 10-to-1, so for every ad prospects would see of that boot camp, they’d see 10 of mine.

Not to mention that we have the budget to send our franchisee prospects goodies that give us an edge when we go to sell them.

By the way, that boot camp is now out of business. We’re thriving and growing more than ever.

 

Your Can Multiply Your Income

I’ve talked about my old mentor, Jim Franco, a lot on here before.

One of the most important lessons he taught me was that people don’t buy your time. They pay you for the outcome you give them.

At the time, I was training him for an hour at a time. That was, until he gave me a great idea.

If I could get him the same results in 30 minutes, why not charge the same price for a 30 minute workout instead? That way, I could work with twice the amount of clients and make double the money.

Apply that same principle to your business. How can you deliver the same product or service faster and/or easier? Again, people care about the result more than how that result is delivered to them.

 

You Can Offer a True World-Class Experience

Let’s talk about Planet Fitness. They’re well known for selling $10-$20/month memberships. Our memberships are a lot higher in price (around $150/month on average).

But when you sign up with Planet Fitness, all you get is access to a crowded room full of haphazard equipment. There’s no customization, it’s literally “go and do your thing.”

Do people see results? Some, maybe. But if you know anything about fitness, you know that you keep the weight off when you make lasting changes to your lifestyle.

For that, you need a coach. That’s what we provide: coaches with extensive experience, who educate you on fitness, nutrition, and life.

That extra money we charge goes back into the business, and the quality of our clients’ boot camp experience gets better and better.

A low-priced gym? They won’t be able to afford that same level of service. It’s the sacrifice you pay when you price low, which leads me into the next section.

 

You Won’t Race to the Bottom

What happens when you price your product too low?

Say you’re selling something for $45. Your competition obviously doesn’t want to get left in the dust, so they undercut you and sell at $40. Then, you counter back and sell at $35.

Eventually you’ll both reach  prices that are simply too low to be profitable.

It isn’t scary to price high when you know your product or service is worth what you’re asking for. Make what you sell worth what you’re selling it for.

 

Want to hear more pricing insight? Click here to check out the latest episode of the Empire Podcast that Craig and I just shot.

An Inside Look – Amanda Bucci

You can turn your social media into dollars.

Just ask my friend Amanda Bucci. She’s the queen when it comes to YouTube and IG fitness—she’s got 600,000 IG followers in case you were wondering.

Amanda knew next to nothing about entrepreneurship. But with the right coaching, she tripled her income (twice!) and made the most of her social media following—and you can do the same.

What made Amanda so successful in such a short time? Check out these lessons and apply them to your own business.

 

Create Content That Speaks to Your Audience

When people try to be everything to everyone, they end up being nobody to no one.

Amanda thrives because she creates content for a specific audience. But she doesn’t just see her audience as a demographic. She looks beyond that and asks, “Where are they at in their life?” and “What kind of person are they?”

So use your content to hit pain points, to answer the questions your followers have, to address the specific things they go through on a daily basis.

That’s valuable content to your audience. They then trust you as an expert and begin to buy into what you say (and purchase what you sell).

 

Be Vulnerable

You don’t need a billion social media followers to make money online. What you do need is the trust of your followers.

Before Amanda exploded her income, she built a following on social media. But how did she do it? She did something that 99% of people out there struggle to do: she was vulnerable.

For example, she once posted about her struggles with binge eating. Soon after, people flooded her DMs thanking her for sharing her story.

I’m not saying you need to put your entire life out there. But the first step to trust is being open. And once your clients know, like, and trust you, they’ll want to give you their money.

As Amanda says, humans buy humans, not products.

 

Handle the Hate

The more successful you get, the more people will question and criticize what you do.

Remember that hate comes from a dark place of insecurity. You can’t take what someone behind a computer screen says personally.

That hate can bring anyone down if they don’t know how to handle it. Amanda is not one of those people. In fact, she deals with criticism better than most people I know.

Here are a few of her ground rules to follow:

  • Don’t waste your time and energy trying to get Internet trolls on your side. They’re stuck in their ways.
  • When you get something nasty and vile on your timeline, just block them.
  • If you do get constructive criticism, even if it doesn’t come from a friendly point of view, you can respond with a “Hey, thanks for your opinion. Sending you love.”

What’s the best way to counter hate? Be successful. That’s it.

 

Get the Right Mentor

Coaching is huge. In fact, it’s a time saver.

Amanda’s big on this one. Her argument? Why waste your time and energy figuring out everything yourself when there’s someone out there with the answers you need?

Plus, we tend to see things only from our perspective. Sometimes you need someone else to look at your business from the outside. They might find opportunities that you missed.

I have people like Joel Wheldon, Joe Polish, and Craig Ballantyne as my mentors. They each coach me on specific areas of my business, and that increases my chances of success and takes a ton of stress off my shoulders.

That’s how you’ll feel when the right people are coaching you up.

 

Want to get more high-level social media insight? Click here to check out the full conversation that Amanda and I had on this week’s Empire episode.

How to Grow Your Business Through Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for selfies and likes.

I leverage it to bring in leads and make money. Craig Ballantyne does the same thing.

The best part? You don’t need to have millions of followers to make money.

Whether you have 4,000 followers, 40,000 followers, or 4,000,000 followers, you can  use Instagram to reach new leads and close big time sales.

It’s not that hard either. All it takes is a little effort and a lot of value.

 

Who Has My Customers?

No, it’s not Facebook or any other social media platform you’re on.

It’s other human beings. Influencers. The key is to add value to these people’s lives to get them to talk about you on social media.

For me, guys like Gary Vaynerchuk, Andy Frisella, and Lewis Howes speak to my target audience every day. Imagine the leads you could get from having one of those people share your message with their fanbase.

That’s why I bought 250 copies of Andy’s children’s book to pass out at my kids’ school. Before you know it, Andy reaches out to me, we connect, and I eventually speak on his podcast (and gain 10,000 new followers in a few days).

Those followers are leads that you get to close. Now how do you do that?

 

Your Instagram Is Your TV Network

People love two things: consistency and predictability. Heck, everyone’s got a routine because humans like routines.

Ironically those are the two things the best TV shows get right. They’re on at the same time, on the same day, every week.

What message can you deliver over and over again that’s reliable, that’s predictable, that’s consistent, and that gets your followers to want to buy your product or service?

My buddy Craig Ballantyne has a full 7 day posting schedule that he recommends to his high-level coaching clients. Click here to catch Craig breaking down every day of this plan.

The gist is this: when you add consistent value to your followers’ lives through Instagram, you earn the right to pitch and sell them.

 

A Trick I Use to Capture Leads…

So you have the followers and you give them great content. What now?

You need to make that personal connection with your followers. I use a simple trick to do this…

I’ll go ahead and take a picture of a stack of books, or a protein bar, or something else. I’ll post it with a caption like “What are you reading?” or “What’s your favorite protein bar?”

That’s engaging stuff that gets people to reply back.

Now let’s say they answer back with something like “I’m reading some Hemingway” or “I’m fond of X protein bar”. That’s your cue to segue the conversation.

“I  see. Just curious, what kind of business are you in if you’re reading that book?”  And once they tell me that much, I then ask, “Well, do you have any problems with your business that a business coach like me can help you solve?”

See what I’m doing? I’m helping them understand that I have a solution to their problems and frustrations.

With this method you can sell high-priced product or service bundles. It makes all the follow-up worth it.

Bonus Tip: Craig likes to send direct video replies to the people who reply to these engaging posts. It adds a personal touch to his conversations with them.

 

Want to hear more money-making Instagram tips and tricks? Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Empire Podcast now.

An Inside Look – Aaron Hinde

Is your entrepreneurial focus in the right place?

So many entrepreneurs think that getting their product on the shelves is the holy grail, that retail is where the money’s at. But when the industry is crowded with options, your business is either a household name or nothing.

My friend Aaron Hinde, Co-Founder and President of LIFEAID, found a smarter way to grow his fitness drink brand without shelling out top dollars on marketing. His formula can also work for you if you apply it to your industry.

Check out the lessons Aaron’s learned on his way to success—you can use them to grow your own business!

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Why You Have an Obligation to Relentlessly Sell

Ever pitch something and thought you sounded too “salesy”? Or maybe you’ve heard pitches like that somewhere…

Because of that, the word “selling” is taboo to many entrepreneurs.

Look, you need to reframe the way you think: selling is NOT sleazy (unless the seller tries really hard to be).

In fact, you have an obligation to sell your product or service if you truly believe it’s better than anything else out there.

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An Inside Look – Sharran Srivatsaa

From $300 million to $3.4 billion—in just 5 years.

My friend Sharran Srivatsaa did that. He 10x’ed, and you can too.

Why settle at $500,000, $5 million, or $500 million when your business has plenty of room to grow? You just need two things: the right mindset and the right game plan.

Today I want to dive into what makes Sharran a top-tier entrepreneur—and the strategies you can use to achieve the success he has.

 

Make Your “Why” Urgent

Simple question: why are you in business?

That answer will tell you a lot about where your business is headed.

As a kid in India, Sharran was told that his future depended on getting to the United States. But he had a problem: he needed to get good at something in order for his passport to process.

So he resorted to tennis. Mind you, he’d never played tennis before, and now he had to get good enough to earn a college scholarship.

Sharran knew that tennis could open the doors to financially secure his family, so he made it a priority. He ended up getting so good that he actually went pro!

The lesson? As Sharran says, sometimes your “why” needs to be bigger than yourself. He played tennis for his future and for his family.

Do you want to succeed in business so you can support your family? Or to retire at an early age? Or to buy that car you’ve wanted since you were a kid?

Well, you’ll work your ass off to get it when your “why” is meaningful enough.

It’s ok to feel like quitting—but it’s not ok to actually quit.

 

10x the Low-Hanging Fruit

Getting wins is so important. Your success in one area of your life bleeds into everything else, including your business.

Succeed in something you do well. Sharran likes to call this “hacking your way to 10x”.

Having a slump in sales? Go get in a great workout to remind yourself what it feels like to win.

It’s amazing how much of a mindset boost you get by simply succeeding, even if it’s at something trivial.

 

Have Singularity of Focus

Sharran and his team faced their fair share of issues 10x’ing. They lost market share, they experienced issues between partners, etc…

But they relentlessly zoned in on their goal of 10x’ing. In fact, they broke that goal down into achievable chunks so they would know what they needed to get done every day, every week, every month, every quarter, and every year.

Identify your goal and cut it up into manageable deadlines. Get coaching to keep you accountable for those deadlines too so you can stay on track.

You can find that immediately in our Empire Mastermind—click here to apply.

 

Position Yourself to Sell Your Business

Say you’re ready to sell your business. What do you need to do to secure the best sale possible?

Sharran boils it down to two things.

First, you need to act as if you don’t need to sell. Don’t come off as desperate, but make sure you communicate that you have options.

Second, you need to get in the head of the buyer.

By the time Sharran sold his business, he knew his buyer’s value proposition better than they did. That’s because he took the time to understand where they were coming from and why it benefitted them to buy his company.

Know the terms of the deal better than even the buyer does.

 

Know Everything About Your Business 

I know entrepreneurs that love to go to conferences and summits just to look cool on Instagram. I know even more that actually go to these conferences to learn, yet never apply any of it to their businesses.

Then there’s people like Sharran that know their business like the back of their hand. When they learn something, they immediately use it to their advantage.

That’s the secret. The knowledge you gain is only valuable to the extent you can apply it to your business.

Once you learn a new tip or strategy, figure out how to use it to boost your profit margins and maximize your success. How can you specifically change your systems or services to 10x your income?

 

Want to hear more 10x talk? Click here to listen to the full-length Empire Podcast that Sharrand and I shot—it’s a good one!

Why Your Morning Is the Prime Time to Build Your Empire

The greatest empires are built in the morning.

If you want to grow your business to massive success, you have to focus on the stuff that matters. And you have to do it when no one is around to bother you.

My man Craig Ballantyne is a master of the morning. We recently chatted about crushing your morning routine and winning the day before it begins. Here are a few of the takeaways you can use to do just that.

 

Environmental Exposure

That sounds funky, right? Really it just means you should hang out with people who are already where you want to be.

When my morning habits sucked, I hung around Craig. I learned his high-performance tactics firsthand and elevated my routine as a result.

But had I never met Craig, it would have taken me much longer to break out of my old ways: eating dinner late, working late, and struggling to wake up early.

Find a friend or a mentor who  has their morning routine dialed in. They’ll help you recognize exactly what you need to fix in your life to level up.

 

Prepare the Night Before

What you do at night affects how productive your morning will be.

Craig has this trick he calls the “reverse alarm”. He turns off all electronics by 10 PM, so he doesn’t have to deal with any Debby Downer emails or texts before he falls asleep.

You have to protect your sleep. All you have to do is shut your phone off before anyone can bug you. You’ll get better sleep and wake up ready to crush your to-do list.

That’s another thing: I map out my to-do list ahead of my mornings. Put the most important things you need to get done on the top of that list. That’s what you want to use your deep work time for—the stuff that will move your business forward.

 

Don’t Hit Snooze

You know what hitting the snooze tells the world? It tells everyone that that person values 10 minutes of extra sleep—low-quality sleep, at that—over accomplishing and surpassing their business’s mission.

But when you wake up and ignore the snooze, you start off your day with a big win.

So find that setting in your phone where you can disable the snooze button. Don’t tempt yourself one bit.

And if you still have trouble getting up and into the zone, do something to wake yourself up. For me, it’s taking a shower, drinking an egg white protein shake with coffee and water, and playing fetch in the backyard with my dog, Cookie.

Figure out the activities and resources you need to be alert and focused and form a routine around those things.

 

Silence Your Phone

Phones can trick people into thinking they’re doing productive work. when in reality, all they’re doing is scrolling their Instagram feed.

Before you start your deep work in the morning, put your phone away. That takes a lot of discipline, but you’re capable of doing it.

If you want to build an empire, you have to go extreme in everything you do. So if you need to put your phone in a locked drawer on the other side of the house, do it.

Don’t let anything get in the way of your vision.

 

Want to learn more? Click here to listen to the full-length episode that Craig Ballantyne and I shot about honing in your morning routine.

An Inside Look – Matt Wilber

How do you turn your business into an empire?

Matt Wilber certainly knows how. He runs 5 Fit Body Boot Camp franchises in Michigan, and several of those locations make a million dollars a year.

What makes your business scalable? Let’s see what he does differently—and what you can steal for your business.

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How to Have Habits of Self-Made Millionaires

You can become a self-made millionaire right now (if you want to).

You don’t have to come from a rich family or have a fancy degree to make seven figures. I didn’t have either of those things when I started my first business.

But it’s also not just about hustle and grind either. You need to take the right action steps to get there.

If you can master a few new entrepreneurial habits, you’ll see your income explode like never before.

 

Be Relentless

This is when you operate from that fire-in-the-belly, chip-on-the-shoulder mindset.

There is no “What if I fail?” It’s just, “I’m gonna make it, it’s just a matter of when, or I’m gonna die trying.”

Make it your life’s mission to become a multi-millionaire. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Take responsibility. Follow the clues to success.

You’ll either become a multi-millionaire or you’ll die. I’d be willing to bet that you’ll hit seven figures.

 

Believe in Yourself

You know, I can talk to an entrepreneur and immediately tell you if they’ll make it or not.

Self-made millionaires believe in their vision even when others don’t. They see path to success unfold before it actually happens for them.

In fact, I see these people get angry when they’re NOT where they want to be! When I only had 3 Fit Body locations, I was angry that  wasn’t already a massive franchise. That’s what drove me to make it happen.

 

Follow the Clues

Success leaves behind clues.

There are people in your industry that have made the money and achieved what you want to achieve. They’ve already made the mistakes so you can learn from them.

Don’t reinvent the wheel—study the people who have been there, done that. Hire a coach who knows the blueprint to success in your industry.

You’ll realize that reaching seven figures is a lot easier than you think.

 

Provide a Solution

I used to waste time doing stuff that was out of my zone of genius. Building personal trainer software, constructing a billing service for personal trainers—that wasn’t in my 5%.

Then I asked myself, “Well, what am I good at?” That’s when it hit me: “I know how to start and systematize personal training gyms!”

Isolate your solution. Use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube—use it all to build a following of people that will benefit from your solution. Once those people are on your email list, make them an offer they can’t refuse.

 

Turn Your Followers into Leads

Look, it feels great to get all those social media likes, loves, follows, and comments. But why stop there?

Why only focus on followers when you can get followers AND make money?

In fact, it’s not even about your follower count. It’s about how successfully you can turn those followers into paying clients.

Every like and follower is a lead that you can monetize on. That happens when you add value and deliver content to your followers.

 

Want to learn more? Click here to listen to the full-length episode that Craig Ballantyne and I shot about millionaire habits.