Momentum Podcast: 188

Breaking Through
One Million Dollars

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Many entrepreneurs I speak with see opportunity everywhere. To be honest, I do too. The challenge becomes when you start to dilute what you do and things become less clear than they would be otherwise. Deliverables become ambigous and expectations amongst your team can be confusing. What can you focus on right now to break the ceiling?

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so we can bend them, break them then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution and we always will be.

Breaking through one million dollars. Yesterday I shared with you the third level of the billionaire code, promoter, that 100 to $300,000.00 entrepreneur, 1.7 million of them in the United States. This is that entrepreneur that's constantly asking the fallback question, "How do I get ahead?" And the challenge for so many entrepreneurs at this level of finally getting some traction, is that instead of going down the path of simplifying and exploding, they start seeing everything as an opportunity and taking on too much. So if you right now are in this place, I want you to think about how much are doing, how many different avatars are you serving right now. Because what happens to a lot of entrepreneurs between a hundred and 300,000, is that their still taking a lot of different types of work or they're doing one thing for one person and another thing for another person.

I see this all the time and if you're really good at that type of work where you can do contract work or different types of deliverables for different people, it's almost like they're running a very small [inaudible 00:02:23]. Everything they deliver is different, all the pricing is different, all the deliverables are different, but they're making enough money to get to a hundred or 300,000. If you're there, you know how crazy hard this is and the challenge is a lot of entrepreneurs around this time, if they're not doing that ... Some of them are not ... They're doing it online, some are doing it in person, some are doing it through consulting, some are doing it through coaching, some are doing it through products they're trying to create. And I've seen people who have start up companies at the ... When my family and I go to the farmer's market, I've seen people with start up companies that have 40 or 50 varieties of stuff, like deodorant companies with 40 or 50 varieties of stuff. And I've asked them like, "What are your annual revenues?", and they're usually between a hundred and 300,000 or less. And the reason is when you dilute your focus at this level when you're serving too many different avatars, when each product you deliver has a different process, a different system, it is near impossible to start standardizing what you do as an entrepreneur.

It's near impossible to start really making what you do clear and what happens is, it's near impossible to get help and a lot of entrepreneurs go out and start trying to build the team around the time that they're doing this. And the problem is the team can't read your mind and so because every deliverable is different, they can't help you. But the second that you figure out what deliverable it is that you create that will work over and over again, you have to focus on that deliverable and getting to a million dollars is as easy as one funnel, one avatar and one offer for as long as you can.

Now this is to a million dollars and beyond, but if you're under a million I can near guarantee you it's because your efforts are diluted somehow. You don't really have a clear funnel that gets people from wherever they are to understanding who you are, understanding that you can solve a problem they have and then understanding that you're the best solution for that problem, because that's what funnels do, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are online, some are offline, I have friends that do both. I have friends that make a fortune with direct mail. I have friends that make a fortune with funnels.

In fact, Russell is a ... Amin Russell's in our circle and I just spoke at Funnel Hacking Live for him, and this is what he espouses as well. This is Russell's content, one funnel, one avatar, one offer for as long as you can. But it's something that I know first hand because that's exactly what Cadey and I did, because here's what happens and I'll take you through my CDP journey so you can see step by step why this is so crucial. And if you're over a million, I want you to just make sure that you have enough of a clear avatar that has gotten you enough of a beach head where you're really moving forward, where you're driving the movement of the business you're creating. Because between 300 and a million is where you are starting that movement, you're clarifying it. You're getting people excited about something that they're part of and when you only have one avatar, what happens is you can improve everything across the board. Because the five core functions of a business are lead generation, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and then upsell, and so in any business, those are the five core functions. It doesn't matter what business. I've coached hundreds of businesses. It's lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell. I did an extended podcast on it, just look for the five core functions podcast.

But here's what you have to understand is under a million dollars, you have to do lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell with a skeleton crew 'cause you don't have a lot of money to go out and hire a bunch of people, and you're gonna be doing a lot of this work. And so the more you can simplify and create one funnel, one avatar, one offer, you get to the place where you actually can gain traction, and start a following and start really delivering value. Because under a million, it's near impossible to do lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell for even two avatars.

If you dilute yourself as much as two ... If you have two products and they're part of a funnel where somebody buys an immersion product and then buys your continuity product or somebody buys the razor and then buys the razor blades, that makes sense. But if you two products for two different avatars, then what you're actually saying is your first product can't get you to a million, you need the second product to get there and then you shouldn't be in that product. It's too niche, it's too small. You're not doing something that's big enough. If the product you choose can't get you to a million, then you already are in a major stumbling block because if you have to go after two different avatars, then you have to do lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell for two different avatars. However, they each want it with a skeleton crew so you're gonna have 200% as much work to do as the company that's competing against you and is only going after one avatar.

There's so many other reasons. You have this clarity of conversation when you're going after one avatar. In fact, if you do anything in groups with one avatar, if you talk to one, what happens is you ... the questions they ask you will clarify for everyone who is following you, for everyone who's considering buying your product. They have similar issues so when you resolve something or fix something, it helps all of them. And as you sell more of them and you show them that you're selling them all together and they're all buying the same thing and you can communicate to them that they're part of this group who's buying the same thing and succeeding in the same way around your product and you can do that in a coaching group, you can do that with retail products, you can do that with a restaurant. All you do is transparently share with your clients what's been going on. I fully believe that one of the reasons this podcast is so successful is that we transparently share every time we hit a milestone, we show the [grasp 00:08:56], we show how many downloads we're getting. I think that matters to people.

And so if you do that, if you start showing to your clients what success they're all having together, if you show them what's going on, if you show them what's happening, how they have similar issues, they will pull together and they will become a movement, and that movement will compel your business forward. It will cause your business to explode and so every time I hear someone who has more than one product, more than one offer, more than one funnel and they're under a million dollars in sold product, I wonder why. It makes me nervous for that entrepreneur and if you're there, I wanna tell you why I'm so nervous for you, because if you're trying to double the amount of work you do for lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, resell and upsell, it means that you are going to be half as good as any entrepreneur your competing against. And what's going to happen is you're not gonna get the traction you want, you're not gonna have the business you want, you're not gonna see the success you want and then you're gonna doubt yourself instead of doubting this one major decision you made a mistake on, which was to pursue more than one avatar before you've sold a million dollars in goods. Because what happens is around a million and for some, it's even bigger than a million, but a million, sometimes you see a sub avatar.

Like in our real estate when we went after a certified ... when we were doing CDP ... So our real estate designation that Cadey and I launched, I wasn't a real estate agent. I had to find an avatar within real estate agents that I could learn everything there was to know about and if I had tried to do two, it would've killed me. So when we started, our avatar was hyper clear. They were in the upper percentage of real estate agents, they sold a lot of properties ... They had sold a lot of properties in the prior year. So we were going after somebody who had been in the business for a longer period of time. We wanted someone who's an experienced agent. They had sold to a lot of people 'cause they cared about getting our designation and helping people that were calling them. And so I interviewed them and then I sold the same avatar over and over. So I was in front of classes of exactly that real estate agent and they would say, "Hey. Here's what else is important to us and here's why we have a question, and then here's where we all think you made a mistake." And I would think, "Holy cow. How grateful am I that they told me where my issues are and where my opportunities are?", and so I would continue to improve.

And if you have a restaurant or a ... if you have a retail product or if you have a gym or whatever it is and you go after a consistent avatar, up until you hit seven figures, you're going to see your business explode because everything becomes the same. Your delivery's the same, the questions are the same, the avatar's the same, the issues are the same, you can improve the product in the same way and it will help you explode. And here's what happens, if you go through one avatar, one funnel, one avatar, one offer for as long as possible, you'll see that the movement you create puts you firmly in place of leadership even if you have nothing to do with the avatar you're pursuing right now.

Let me tell you how I did it. So with the certified distressed property expert, I wasn't a realtor, I had to learn it. So before we got to ... For us to get to a million dollars, I actually went and sold every single person in person. We couldn't afford the HTML coding and everything else you needed to sell stuff online. We had a landing page, but we didn't have what today is called a funnel. We had a really bad landing page that I copied from somebody else 'cause we were in bankruptcy. I didn't even ... like I think I left the copyright and stuff in the HTML code. I'm so glad that thing's not up anymore. So we had a landing page but I went out and sold every single one of the realtors directly and I targeted specific agencies because I knew that they had more experience agents who did a lot of closings.

So I went to a lot of RE/MAX offices and I went to them because they by far had the highest closings per agent of any other real estate company. Eventually we partnered with every real estate agency 'cause what we realized was they all had their strengths. But at the very beginning, we wanted the agents who had been in the business the longest and had closed the most per agent and that was RE/MAX. And by targeting them, we heard the same ... I heard the same issues over and over again, that propelled us so fast to our first million dollars, that Cadey and I were liquid millionaires within 12 months of our bankruptcy being discharged and we did that through one offer, one avatar and really one funnel, which in our case the funnel improved.

At first, it was me standing in front of real estate offices and getting registration sheets and then coming home and Cadey and I would type them into our credit card machine and we would put people I think Constant Contact. And then over time what happened was, we kept doing it more and we sold the same avatar and then we started figuring out how to do things in a better way. And we ... And I started learning the avatar at this place where we started a movement. We started ... It was a designation, we told people they were working together. We ... Our battle cry was one home ... we're solving the foreclosure crisis one homeowner at a time. And when we hit a million dollars, we added a couple sub avatars, we added an interesting one. One, the real estate agent that became a real estate agent to save their home. We actually found out that a big percentage of agents who had applied to be agents after the real estate crisis started, were trying to save their own home or their parents' home or somebody else's home.

So we started marketing to that sub avatar. We also found that a lot of newer agents wanted to learn how to do short sales because if they were brand new, they didn't know how to make money otherwise because almost every homeowner they encountered that needed to sell once the crisis was really in full swing, needed to get out ... needed to ... almost every homeowner that needed to sell was in a distressed situation so they needed help. And up to a million, we only targeted that high end realtor, then we added a couple sub avatars, but I want you to know, we still kept the same offer, the same funnel. We kept building on the same sales process and we rode that sales process to where in our first year, we sold 1,500 real estate agents. That's when I was in person. Then we made enough, we were able to make some investments and in our second year, we sold 5,000 real estate agents and in our third year, we sold over 10,000, in our fourth year, over 15,000. And the reason was we kept focusing on the real estate agent, on the realtor.

At first, we interviewed, then we put systems in place. As our company grew, we made sure we got feedback in every single class. Every time somebody took our course, we got feedback. Over time, we were able to make corrections so that we were the absolute best information in the market and we knew we had the absolute best solution out there because we had one avatar, one process, one deliverable. The certified distressed property expert was better than any designation in the market and here's what's interesting. Over time, we sold 50,000 units of the CDPE. If you had combined all of our competitors, they may not have gotten there. They might not have sold total volume to us all together. We took over that market.

We owned that market because it was the same offer over and over again, the same avatar. Expanded a little bit, but the same avatar over and over again, and we kept going back ... Here's what happened. When I started in the real estate industry, I was completely unknown. I was known as an investor in south Florida and that's it. I had to go out and speak and I had to go out and learn the avatar and I interviewed so that I could answer questions that I knew this person was going to have. And then as our business grew, I started becoming known to many as an expert, like almost right away in south Florida, I was known as an expert.

We started getting calls and people started asking us questions and I got calls to speak almost immediately, right after we started. There was that high a need and such a high demand. And then over time, I was known to ... as an industry expert. Within about a year and a half or two years, I was speaking at some of the largest real estate conferences and this was all by driving offer, one ... essentially one expanding funnel, with one avatar and sub avatars. We got all the way to where we ... I was not just known as an industry expert, I was known as a market expert because not only did I speak at real estate conferences, but for a period of time, I was on CNBC and Fox News talking about the real estate crisis representing realtors more often than anyone in the real estate industry. I talked about realtors and their part in the crisis more than anyone else because I got to know this avatar so well, we started such a strong movement through the clarity of who we called on, that that movement propelled me to the place where we had enough attention and enough people were talking about us and there was enough traffic and enough recognition and enough revenue that I became known as a mainstream market expert in foreclosures and finance.

In fact, here's a funny story. There was a year where I was invited to be the keynote speaker at a financial seminar on the mortgage crisis and the first speaker was the chief economist for Freddie Mac. And the second speaker was one of the chief ... I can't remember what his title was but similar position, different title for Fannie Mae and the first guy had two degrees, he shared both of them. The second guy had three degrees, he shared both of them. I got up, I was the keynote speaker in a finance conference and remember, everything I was sharing was built by the system we created to understand our avatar better than anybody else. I remember my opening line was, "Hey. Did you hear the two guys before me? I mean the first one, two degrees. The second one, three degrees. I mean these guys are impressive. Between the three of us, we have five degrees." 'Cause I'm a college dropout and I was the keynote speaker in a finance conference. I've never had a finance course in my life. I think I might've had one, I don't know that I finished it. But because I focused on one avatar, one offer for as long as I possibly could, it put me in this place of leadership where I was all the market heard.

So if you're doing it any other way, I want you to know breaking through a million dollars happens before you know it when you focus on one funnel, one sales process. That doesn't mean I'm saying everyone has to be on Click Funnel. Some sales processes are in person processes especially at the very beginning. But as fast as you can, start automating that and get on Click Funnels and focus on one funnel, improve every conversion everywhere. Make sure that it really works, make sure that people are sticking with it because you're talking to one avatar and refine that message over time. Keep talking to people, listening to them, understanding what they want, understanding what they need and then have one offer for as long as you can. That will get you to a million dollars, don't get to a million and go crazy. Unless you need to, don't add a second avatar, just keep going, improve your conversions, improve how much you spend online and you will see your business explode. And because you have such a tight community around it of people who all look at the same things similarly, are in the same place, need the same things, can solve issues for each other, can share with each other, can support each other, you will build a movement that will drive your company forward in ways you never thought possible.

Because here's what happened to Cadey and I, not only did we become liquid millionaires after ... within one year of our bankruptcy discharge, but we also made the Inc 500 list in 2011. We were the 21st fastest growing company in the United States and when we got interviewed by Inc Magazine, they found out we were bankrupt and it was the first time they ever could remember in any interview for someone in the top 25, that a company had been bankrupt because we were bankrupt and then we were on the list in our first year of eligibility after bankruptcy. So you have to run a business for four years and in the fourth year after our bankruptcy, we were accepted on the Inc 500 list at number 21, and we kept our business there for another two years. And in 2013, after several different appearances on our network ... We actually had a broadcast network we ran out of Austin, all to individual realtors on computers, but we used to do live broadcasts of anywhere from 2,000 people on a small one, up to 30 or 40,000 people on a big one. And in 2013, Laurie Maggiano the director of foreclosures at the U.S. treasury at the FHFA, came in on a live broadcast that we recorded, said that our organization pulled forward the foreclosure crisis five to seven years, and mathematically we knew saved around seven million homeowners from foreclosure.

That came from our members knowing exactly what they had to do, but that wasn't my genius. That was the system of one avatar, one offer for as long as you can and keeping things hyper focused. Every time I meet an entrepreneur that has 45 skews at the farmer's market, I think of Apple computer. And when you look at their entire product line would fit on a conference table, and how many industries have they absolutely reshaped, how many different things in your life today have changed because of something that Apple computer originally innovated. And how many ways we experience the world have been completely modified by what Apple computer put into the world, and the fact is look at how hyper focused that organization is.

So at any level, it doesn't matter where you are in the billionaire code, you might even in the next level up from promoter, which is builder, that's 300,000 to a million and I'll discuss that tomorrow. But if you're under a million, my biggest suggestion to you right now is to look at what you're doing and ask yourself how do you get to one offer, one avatar, one product and one funnel or process through which you bring them in, and focus like crazy and you will see your business explode. You'll see a movement start underneath the products that you are selling and it will support you and show you where you need to go, and you will see everything in your business suddenly get easier because everything you're doing will be similar.

Thanks for listening and if you're in that range, that 300,000 to a million range and you need help and you want to grow forward, we have a new beta program launching right now where you can get in at a reduced rate. It's a coaching program directly with me and my team and if you go to, answer a few questions for us, we will make sure we get in touch and give you all the information on our new billionaire code leverage program. The program that will get you from 300,000 to over seven figures faster than anything else in the market.

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