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This episode is a business coaching course that talks about the process of getting started on developing a business.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Action Step : Determine what your cost of living is.
  • Ask Yourself: What am I willing to go without?
  • Action Step: Determine how much profit you can make per transaction.

Tulsa Community College Continuing Education powered by Thrive15.com

-Figure out what is your true cost of living, and what are you willing to go without to start this thing? Melissa, welcome to the Thrive studios, my friend. How are you?

-I'm doing well. How are you?

-I am doing great. Now, I want to ask you, because you were the Thriver of the month, which means that you are a studious student of entrepreneurial success--

-I try to be.

-What was your strategy? Where you watching just a little bit every day or where was your plan?

-Oh, wow. Seriously, my strategy was to get 250 points a day.

-OK. Yeah.

-And the best way to do that is to share it with others. And sometimes people just are slow getting the idea or it's not the right time in their life. So I made up for that by watching videos, which was perfect because I learned what I needed to know.

-Awesome. Awesome. Well, I am honored to be here with you today, and I'm super excited because you are working on a pen and paper, long form writing business. That's what you want to do. And you ask the question here, you had said, "is it right to think we should form our own publishing company?".

And I just want to ask you in your mind, what do you mean when you say publishing company? What are you looking to do?

-Well, my husband and I both enjoy writing, and that's just not going to stop or change. Like, when we have free time that's what we're doing besides raising our family. And so we want to make a living doing what we love, and I just tend to think that we're going to do better to be able to publish our own in a high quality fashion.

-Do you like Whole Foods?

-Yeah.

-You like Whole Foods, OK? Does it meet your standards?

-Yes.

-OK. The reason why I ask is because my wife loves Whole Foods. She's on to the organic, healthy food. And now, organic has become, like, a thing. It's not just a flash in the-- it's now kind of a movement towards an established-- it's not a crazy idea anymore.

I mention that because publishing, self-publishing in my mind, is kind of doing what organic food used to be. When someone said, you'd say, when someone said, I'm eating cage free eggs today. You would go, what?

And they'd say, if chickens ran free, are chemical free, and you kind of went, you're kind of weird. And now, it's sort of accepted as though that's normal. Self-publishing is kind of the same thing, where it used to be if you didn't have your book published through a big publisher, you were crazy or people assumed that you weren't very good or whatever the reasons,

But now, there's a ton of people self-publishing. And so what I wanted to go over with you on as far as it relates to this and the business model and helping you, is really helping you kind of think through what that means. And is it the right time to make the jump? Is this the right thing for you?

So I'm going to go to my board here, and I'm going to break this down for you. And basically, just some things I'd like you to write down and just think through, is you and your husband-- you don't have to answer the question-- but you and your husband are going to have to figure out, what does it cost to maintain your cost of living?

Like, what does that cost? You don't have to answer that, but I would just encourage you to write that down, and really, really, really think through that. And I'll just give you an example that other people watching this maybe think it's crazy.

I like to reduce the cost of living for my life. I'm a big-- I'm not a small carbon footprint guy. I drive a Hummer, and I'm not probably good in that regard. But I am very much into like, hey, let's have a minimalist lifestyle.

Let's spend money on the things we need, not what we don't. And so most entrepreneurs I know when it comes to raising funds, you have these options here. You have one where you raise capital. And I can teach you how to do that, and I will teach you how to do that.

But raising capital is hard. It's much harder than people think. It's doable, but it's hard. Or you can cut expenses, which is hard. And it's doable but again, it is hard.

And so really, you can look at it like, are you going to raise capital or are you going to cut expenses or maybe do both? I would highly recommend that you guys would get to, that you and your husband talk about it, and figure out what is your true cost of living. And what are you willing to go without to start this thing?

So like with my wife and I, when we started our business we realized that we needed roughly $2,300 a month to live on as a married couple, no kids at that time. And so that was without air conditioning in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and that was there in an apartment. There was no cable.

There was no cellphone for her, one for me. That was one car. That was our cost of living.

But we were able to take the difference and really invest in our business. And so if it's something that you really, really, really are passionate about, we first need to figure out our cost of living... Tulsa Community College Continuing Education.

Now, the second thing we need to figure out is how much profit can you make per transaction? So in your business, would you help people publish their book or would you sell books or how would you get paid? Like, what would you do?

-Well, for starters I think we would focus on our writing because we don't want to have employees or have-- we want to learn the foundation of the business first. There's a lot of freelance work that we could do to earn some money on the side.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Ask Yourself: What is a need that exists in the marketplace that I can fill to make extra revenue?
  • Action Step: To prove a market exists for your potential business, make a list of 100 experts in your chosen industry and pitch your service to them.
  • Editor's Note: Google AdWords lets you choose where your ad appears, set a budget you're comfortable with, and measure the impact of your ad.
  • Lesson Nugget: Running Google AdWords before you build your company can be a great tool to see if there is a need for your product or service.
  • Notable Quotable: "Do not wait: the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along."
  • Notable Quotable: "You only need one percent of the market to like your idea for it to work."

Tulsa Community College Continuing Education powered by Thrive15.com

[MUSIC PLAYING]

-So let me just give you an example of maybe some low hanging fruit for you. If you are going to help people publish-- so I'm just going to say this is like a publishing service. I'm just going to give you a whole bunch of leads real quick to help you. Most dentists, doctors, lawyers, they want to publish a book. Fitness trainers, I'll just call these people experts. They want to publish a book.

And if you went to them as a turnkey solution and said, hey, speaker of note, my husband and I will help you publish your book from beginning to end. And we'll help you either ghostwrite it, or you write it, we'll edit it, however you want to do, from beginning to end as a turnkey service. I'm just making up the number. But you might say, we'll do the whole thing for you for $5,000. Well you could probably make some considerable money doing that, and I know people that do that. So you could definitely do that. But what you have to do though is you got to figure out, what is a need that exists in the marketplace, and then how are we going to fill it?

I mean you can do it. If you're Elon Musk, or you're Steve Jobs and you wanted to create a product or an industry-- people can do that. But I would recommend most entrepreneurs, myself included, I would find a need and then fill it. Does that make sense?

So I would identify a list. This is homework for you. So one is cost of living, figure that out. Two, is I would make a list of 100 experts-- dentists, doctors, lawyers, people you know, maybe a dentist you've gone to, maybe a lawyer you've gone to. And I would actually pitch your service to them before your company exists.

Just to see if they'll buy it. And if they buy it, then you go, hey, we got a market here. And if they don't, then you go, yeah I'm glad we didn't spend all that money. Make sense? So I would definitely make a list of 100, and I would try to go for it.

And see where the need is. And then if the need isn't good there, then you've got to go, well, OK. What else am I going to do? This is the next strategy. Item number three here for you is I would go ahead and run Google AdWords campaign. Are you familiar with Google AdWords?

-I don't think so.

-Basically Google has an ad service, where if you Google, let's say, Tulsa publishing, or Denver publishing, or Miami publishing, you could make it so you get the ad-- the display ad that comes up. It's the pay per click. You could actually run ads for a company that doesn't exist, and when they click the ad you get data as to how many people today are searching for it. How many people clicked it?

And if you and your husband run an ad you might go, look, there's 100 people a day who are clicking our ad for this service. We should do it. So you can see if there's a need first. Does that make sense? So that's really what you'll want to do.

So you want to figure out your cost of living, then you want to go through here and you're going to have to find if there's a need that you can fill it. So I would recommend again, make a list of 100 clients. I'd reach out to them and see if they want to say yes. See if they do have a need. Meet with these people.

And then I'd also run an AdWords campaign to see, and we can get into more detail on that. But I'd run an AdWords campaign to see how many people are actually going to click on your display ad. You have a little ad that might say, want to self publish your book? We can do it for you, turnkey. Boom. And see how many people pay for that. That's what I would do.

But as far as philosophically, I want to read this quote to you. Napoleon Hill, who you know I'm sold out on-- he's awesome. But Napoleon Hill, the bestselling author, he says, "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along." And the point is, that the time will probably never be just perfect for you to start the business.

You love writing, he loves writing, and so you're going to have to find out, OK, how are we going to do this on a full time level? And so step one is you need to figure out your cost of living. Two, is see if there's people out there who want to buy those publishing services. Three, I would run a Google AdWords campaign. And the fourth thing is for your book. What kind of books would you write about?

-Well, we have three categories. And one is family oriented how-to short stuff-- curriculum, for high school students who read classics--

-Family-oriented curriculum for high school students?

-And children's lit.

-So let me just throw this in an example. You said family-oriented curriculum for high school students? So here's a problem you're going to run into. I just want to make sure you get this.

I happen to maybe share a lot of your world views, but let's say that I don't. You only need-- and I want you to write this down, it's huge-- you only need 1% of the market to like your idea for it to work. So that means if you talk to 99 friends and they go, that's stupid-- as long as 1% of the market likes your idea, you're going to do great... Tulsa Community College Continuing Education.

So that's where you need to go ahead and get the AdWords going for family-oriented curriculum. Do it on Google. See how many people click it. You might be surprised. There might be 1,000 people a month who are looking for that. There might be a million people a month. There might be zero people. But you need to test it first. So as far as the time being right, you never want to go through all the legal stuff first, and then see if your idea works. You want to make sure your idea works and find a need before you do legal stuff. Does that make

sense?

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Ask Yourself: How many transactions are necessary in order for me to succeed?
  • Lesson Nugget: Testing the market will save you time and money on legal and other start-up costs if your business isn't in demand.
  • Lesson Nugget: Test the market in different niches until you find one you believe has a viable opportunity to support a full-time business.
  • Notable Quotable : "To fight fear, act. To increase fear - wait, put off, postpone." - David J. Swartz (author of The Magic of Thinking Big)
  • Lesson Nugget: Expect 1 out of 100 friends to understand your idea and business plan.

Tulsa Community College Continuing Education powered by Thrive15.com

[MUSIC PLAYING]

-So I'll give you an example from my life. I had this idea, I thought, OK, I would like to become a millionaire before age 30. So I thought before age 30, I want to become a millionaire. That's going to be my goal-- that's my little money bag-- that was my goal.

And so I thought I could do it by DJing. Well, I didn't have a really good website, or a really good company, or really-- but what I had was this thing called sweat equity. And so I went out there, and I decided I'm going to test the viability of the marketplace. And I'm going to see if there's a need.

So I literally called every-- I called ideal and likely buyers. But I called every single apartment in town to see, hey, do you guys have-- or do you hire a DJ, or do you hire a band, or what kind of entertainment do you do for your apartment parties? And they're like, we don't have apartment parties. Or what are you going to do for your residents, or what do you do-- and eventually I found, I want to say, not 20, but maybe 10 apartments that said, yeah, we actually do bring in entertainment, what do you do? I said I'm a DJ, where we specialize in doing apartments, and one of them said sure, we'll hire you. Vintage on Yale, it was like $200, and I'm like yes. And I thought, man, I got to do five of those a week to make it.

So going back to the model here, you have to figure out your cost of living. And this final step, step five, is you need to ask yourself how many transactions equal success for you? And your definition of success and my definition of success are different. So let me just give an example, my wife and I-- I'm like, I have to make $2,300 a month, OK. $2,300 so $2,300 is all I have to make a month. And that's going to allow my wife and I to live with no air conditioning, in an apartment, and we're in love, things are good, I can do that.

So I had to figure out, OK, use my sweat equity here, I go after this-- is there a market, and I realized you know what, people are willing to pay about $200 for a DJ for an apartment. I called all the corporations, I found out corporations are willing to spend about $700. I called weddings, I found they were willing to spend about $600. And I did the math, and I'm going, can I book four of these a month? And quickly I found, before I sold the company, I was able to do almost-- for the wedding business-- almost 80 events every weekend.

STUDENT: Wow.

-But I tested the market before I spent all those legal costs, does that make sense? So again just distilling this for you, one, figure out your cost of living, two, go ahead and make a list of a hundred ideal and likely buyers and call them, three, because the internet exists-- it didn't exist when I was starting, it wasn't the way-- when I started it wasn't the way it is now. But now you could run an AdWords campaign and literally test the whole world wide market within a week, to see how many people are looking for it. But you'll know exactly-- you will be able to find exactly how many people were looking for those terms.

Then the fourth thing is I would make-- so I would run this AdWords campaign for self publishing. Fourth, I would run it for the high school curriculum's. And then fifth, based on the number of people who are clicking, I would go, how many transactions do you think we need-- you and your husband talk about-- to get to our cost of living. And if you feel like that number's reasonable, doable, then do it. And If it's not, just keep trying different niches until you find one with enough viability to make the jump, does that make sense?

STUDENT: Yes.

-But you need to start testing like right now.

STUDENT: Yeah, I love this.

-OK. Now the other little quote-able I want to give you-- this is a big one here-- is it says here to fight fear, act. To increase fear-- wait, put off, postpone. The guy who wrote the book "The Magic of Thinking Big", I remember when I read that, I was wanting to start a DJing business, but I didn't. And I thought, well, after this happens, then I'll do this. After that happens, then I'll do this. After this--

So what we do in our society right now-- and I don't know whether it's the right thing to do for most people-- but we say, well what I'm going to do, this first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go to college. And as soon as I finish that, then I kind of want to get established, whatever that means. Then I want to get married, I kind of want to get married, and then what I want to do is I want to get some kids, maybe get a job. I want to buy the house, somewhere in this order here, and then I kind of want to retire, because I want to save for retirement.

And somewhere here, I have this mortgage and I have this-- and so pretty soon, the weight of obligations, you start to see the weight obligations over here, you start to have a ton of obligations. And you start to have very little freedom, because you keep dumping more obligations, the mortgage, the car, the kids, the-- and so I always tell people over time, you're bias is going to be less and less action oriented, where eventually you'll just feel like the weight of the world just couldn't start.

So you guys are in a great spot, because you and your husband have been financially disciplined, you guys have made a decision to live a certain way, and that's awesome. But I would recommend that you would start now, and to quote my man David Schwartz, he says, to fight fear, act. Just do it. But to increase fear, wait, postpone. Because the more you think about it, the more you're like, I don't know if it's going to work, does that make sense?

-Totally.

-But when you talk to your friends, I just want to prepare you so that you feel reasonable about this. Probably 99 out of 100 people you're going to tell your idea to, are not going to understand it.

-Oh, we already experienced that.

-OK, yeah. So you're wanting to write curriculum for homeschool high school students. Well, there is a large percentage of population, I'm going to say 80% that says you shouldn't homeschool.

-Right.

-Right, about 80%? And then you probably have, of the 20% that do homeschool, probably half of them just disagree with your philosophy.

STUDENT: Right.

-And then now you're down to half of 20-- so you're getting into that-- I know that you can do it, I don't think there's ever a time where you can't do it. But as far as the big idea breaking into small action items, do you feel like you know what you're doing?

-Oh yes, this is good.

-OK. The AdWords is the main thing you're going to want to dive into, and we have some Thrive training episodes on how to do that coming up. Or feel free to call in to the customer service team, and they'll walk you through how to do as well. But we want to make sure you can start on that right away... Tulsa Community College Continuing Education.

-Great.

-Cool?

-Yes.

-Awesome. Thank you my

friend.

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