I'm going to share with you what I'm working on, and what I'm doing.
For the last seven years, I've been working in one specific business model dropshipping eCommerce. And while that business model is still viable, it's still profitable. It's still lucrative.
There are a lot of changes coming down the pipeline, and we've seen that one of my brand in 2008 team did a little over a million dollars at a 20% profit margin.
In 2019. We basically doubled, we did 2.3 million, right around 2.3. But we were at a 10% profit margin. And in my business career, I've launched 10 businesses. Of the last four, three of them have been seven-figure businesses, and one of them was six. And I've analyzed over 150 different business models in my career, my 20-year career while I don't know everything about the business, I know a couple of things.
And for some of you who don't know me, I've been married for close to 20 years, I have three kids 13, 10, and 5 years old. All of my businesses are home-based businesses. I love leveraging systems. I love leveraging technology, and it's awesome. And we have more opportunities than ever, but with that opportunity can come complexity and confusion. And when I first started the business, I had a BS degree, and I was actually going to go to college for medicine, alternative medicine. This is back in the late 90s. When everybody thought that’s witch Voodoo and witchcraft theory right now it's mainstream.
I had a friend who invited me into the Amway network marketing business. So, my wife and I did that. I actually met her through that. We did that for, I think, four years or so, and moved from Buffalo, New York, down to Charlotte, North Carolina. And when we were accepting that business, I started hunting because, at that point, I was kind of my mindset was broken, I could not work for somebody else. I had seen too much and heard too much. My brain was expanded too far.
I grew up in a divorced home where my father had his own business, but my mother had a job. I had some very distinct different points of view. Growing up, I realized that I needed to be in business. But I was new. I didn't know I was on the hunt for what you know what that would be, so that's what started me on analyzing different business models and back then, you know that we had magazines Inc, Fortune Fast Company, those sorts of magazines and also these hundred ways, these books “101 ways to build/start your own business” kind of thing.
So through my career 20 years going on, I've analyzed literally over 150 different business models and everything in anything you can imagine. Everything from eCommerce to local marketing businesses, and I had one of those network marketing work-from-home stuff, information businesses, coaching businesses, real estate, businesses, franchise businesses, license type of businesses, wholesaling type of businesses, anything you can imagine. Wholesaling, cars, motorcycles, service-based business.
I had looked at doing a doggy pooper scooping business 15-18 years ago, window cleaning businesses, so anything and everything you can imagine. It started to become clear to me that it's really important what business model you pick, right? Because Stephen Covey said it best. He said, when you pick up one side of the stick, you're automatically picking up the other side of the stick. I started to learn about business model criteria. And we'll talk about that more in a minute. But the other really important part is what I call a business model match.
I had a friend who I helped build a multi-million dollar business, and he's an extrovert. He was selling merchant services, and credit card processing for small businesses and the way he prospected was he literally went door to door, and he just went in the business and asked for the owner and talked to the owner. And he loved it. That was his working within his strength set.
So when I started teaching him about home-based business models, or office-based I mean you could do it from home. I've always done mine from home. You can do it from an office. Some people like to have a small office with their staff. And that's fine to do too. I just always like to do it from home. because number one, I don't like driving to the office. Number two, I like being able to tap into worldwide talent. If you have a local office, then you're limited to the local population of talent. But again, that's fine. But my buddy got energized from interacting with people. So I started teaching him how to make money on his computer. And it nearly killed him at the beginning because it was so different. And so against his personality.
So he had to learn to do things like work for a couple of hours on his business, go out of the house, go to a coffee shop, and just chat with some people. Right? Now flip it, I'm more introverted by nature. If you put me in a position where I have to go door to door, I'm in the last 13 seconds and I'm going to hate it. You've got to find a model, but then you have to match your map match your model with your personality. That's only part of it the other part of it is what things are you good at or what things come easy to you If you're good at spreadsheets, and you're not good at creativity, well, then it would be a horrible idea to put you into a business that required creativity.
Conversely, if you're good at creativity, but you're bad at spreadsheets, it would be horrible to put you into a business that was based on data. Now, the next component is, what do you like? You might be good at spreadsheets, but you might hate it. So it's a bad fit to put you into a business that is spreadsheet-dependent. And you hate it.
So an early mentor of mine, Dan Kennedy, said something I thought was brilliant. He said, You know, people get all mixed up with doing a business that they love, like following your passion. He said, My passion is to lay in my hammock in my backyard and eat burritos. He goes, but no one's going to pay me to do that.
We have to balance these different things. The business model with our personality, our talents with our skills, and the market. In any good business and long-term business will be based on solving a big problem in the market, solving pain in the market. That's a long-term business. So, as I started to develop this punch list of things that I wanted a business model, I needed it to be scalable. I needed it to be able to work without me.
In my very first seven-figure business I put this to the test, I pressure tested it because I'm like, I was reading the E myth at the time. Michael Gerber’s phenomenal book, check it out if you haven't, and he's the first one that really crystallized the work on your business, not in your business.
And he breaks business down as having three types of people. You have the technician, which is the doer of the work. You have the manager who manages the technicians doing the work and then you have the entrepreneur who's the visionary, who casts the vision, and you have to have all three and at the beginning sometimes you are All three, right?
I put this business to the test. And my wife and I went on vacation for basically a month. We did a cruise, and I just wanted to see how things would run without me. And they ran fantastically.
It's important, at least for me that it's systematized, double scalable. It works without me. I want to be able to step into a developed model that’s stable so that I can get the right to profit.
When I started my most recent business, which was the eCommerce business. It was simpler. The supply chain was cleaner. And, you know, there's nothing wrong with the eCommerce dropshipping business model. However, I don't think that's where the future is. I think there's going to be massive changes and we've seen it over the last little bit.
Wayne Gretzky famous hockey player said something one of my favorite quotes he said when asked, Hey Wayne, why are you so successful? He said I always skated to where the puck was going. To me, I always skated to where the puck was going to be. So that's something I would encourage you to consider with your business model.
And so for this past year, I've been looking at and reanalyzing and testing my next move. My next pivot. And there are a couple of things I added to my punch list of what's important for me in a business model.
In addition to the system of sizeable, scalable work without too, I added recurring revenue. I don't want to start my business from scratch every month. That's, that's too stressful. Right? I also added I don't want the business to be dependent on Facebook. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes per month on Facebook advertising. And while the platform is awesome, and I still use it, I don't want to be dependent. What I've seen them do. And we saw the same pattern as Google was at the beginning when Google opened its paid marketing platform. They called it the Wild West. Anything went on. And then, over time they started to increase their compliance. They started to make, make, make there be more rules and regulations. And a lot of people lost their businesses overnight because they just couldn't adapt.
We see this exact same pattern occur on Facebook. Recently, there's they've been just kicking people off the platform. In 2019, they introduced a page score. And they started polling people that we’re buying products from Facebook and asking those customers how their experience went. And if their experience was bad, and that was the trend, then Facebook would warn them, they would call it, putting them under penalty where they would increase their advertising costs, and then it would just kick them off. To me, that's not cool. And if you think about it from Facebook's standpoint, it's a supply and demand issue. There's only so much inventory of advertising space available, and literally, 90% of Facebook problems come from the sun. Advertisers and 90% of their profit come from bigger advertisers. Right? The ones were spending millions of dollars a month on the platform. So why wouldn't they get rid of the problems? Right? I mean, it just makes sense. But I don't like them being in control of my business. So I didn't want it to be Facebook-dependent. I also didn't want it to be rocket science. When you have a business that requires high levels of skill and intelligence and expertise, well, those humans cost a lot more money. And those systems are a lot more difficult to configure.
Think about McDonald's, a multi-billion-dollar company that runs and can run with teenagers, right? It's not rocket science to flip a burger, and they follow a standard operating procedure. So, In my new business, I'm considering that in the design of it. I want to be able to hire inexpensive, highly qualified people and you know, most call centers in the states are utilized by Filipino and Indian support staff, which are incredible people. Great work. Workers that love systems, they love routines, and you can get them and hire them for 2, 3, or 4 bucks an hour, the equivalent USD costs would be triple that.
I wanted my business not to be rocket science. And what I've seen over the last seven years with eCommerce is the level of complexity has increased, the level of sophistication has increased, which means you got to be, you know, have a Menza-level rocket science IQ.
The next thing I added was I didn't want to have to learn. I see so many people in the marketplace with these courses, and these programs and all this stuff are so overly complicated. And, when you introduce the changing dynamic of the digital marketing landscape, which is where most of these businesses advertise, well, now you have changed marketing with the out-of-date course, which is a recipe for frustration. I wanted to bypass that. I wanted to be able to enter into a turnkey model and work it, and I wanted to build a business, not a job.
I've observed most entrepreneurs, as the business gets more successful, require more of their time. To me, that's foolish.
We don't build a business to work more, we build a business to make more time and money, right? And I wanted to simplify the business model.
Now, in the course of my career, my coaching career, I've done everything I can to simplify the eCommerce model. And I believe I do a really good job, we do a good job of that probably the best, but it's still complicated. There's still a lot of learning curve. And I've also found in coaching people now, I've worked with entrepreneurs for about 15 years now. And I've seen that there's a massive disconnect between idea and implementation. And most of that comes down to the learning curve and the time it takes to experience that first profit, right the proof check if you will.
The problems that I see with most programs are again, this massive learning curve. Number two, is a very complex business model. With all these different moving parts, and then when you have the moving parts, you have a system of moving parts that are interacting with moving parts, and you're trying to interact with a course that doesn't change at the same pace of the moving parts. It's really frustrating. It's like, I don't know if you remember the Hunger Games.
But in the first one, they were inside that arena, and they had everything figured out. And then the master of games is like, okay, we need to screw we need to mess with them. And what they did is they just rotated the ground underneath them. And then everything shifted. And that's what I see most entrepreneurs are experiencing today because the pace of change is so quick.
I don't want to base it on ever-changing digital marketing, the right ad platforms, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, always changing Twitter. Number two is what's happened over the last few years, is the complexity of funnels and online marketing has exponentially gotten more complicated. And so you have complicated marketing, complicated ads, trying to make money. To me, that's just ridiculous.
I also don't want it to be low profit per sale with eCommerce. You make 5, 10 15 bucks, maybe 30-40 bucks per sale with some of the digital stuff you can make in the hundreds. But to make in the thousands per sale, you got to be you got to have a Menza degree or you got to hire somebody and pay him a ton of money to help you get it all setup. And then once it's set up, you still have to spend a ton of money on ads to optimize the thing. Because in business, the data tells us what to do.
Well, we don't know what to do until we have data we don't have data until we spend money. So, I find that this system like digital marketing with these funnels and all this other stuff, it's almost like you're in a knife fight with somebody on crack. Totally unpredictable, right? If you're a knife fighter, I'm not, but I know that with knife fighting, there's strategy involved. There are faints and there are blocks, and there's technique. But if you're in a knife fight with somebody on crack, you can throw it out. And that's what it's like trying to make money online.
For most business models in today's marketplace. It's expensive to generate leads, again low profit per sale. And, it takes a long time to get to profit in most of these models because you have to figure out your marketing conversion mechanism.
Figure out your advertising traffic mechanism and then see the time. You've got to run traffic through the mechanism to see what the data looks like. That takes typically takes a long time.
Another thing that I really don't like and what I feel is a problem with most programs and business models is you have to feed the machine with content. Endlessly sending emails, endlessly doing social posts, endlessly doing all that crap. I just don't want to do that. I do one podcast. I do it whenever I feel like it every day, sometimes a couple of times a week, and then I send out an email, which takes me less than half an hour, in most cases. That's all I'm willing to do. My business has to be built around that. And again, most time it's building a job, not a business.
What I've been doing is, I've been going back to the very first business that I started after network marketing. I don't believe in network marketing businesses. Some of you might like those. And that's fine. I've done two of them. I did one in the late 90s Amway. And then we did a CNN back in, I guess, 10 years ago now. And that business, we actually made a little bit of money, we were able to sell our position. But I don't like those businesses just for the fact that the success percentage is so so so low, and also don't like most of them are based on working your warm market. And I don't like that. There are some people who do it based on cold marketing. And I think that would be okay. But again, it's not a business.
I think there are superior business models out there, but that's neither here nor my first business, I reevaluated that right 20 years later, and 18 years later, I made a ton of money in that business. And then I pivoted it out because I was kind of still a young entrepreneur and I was chasing the shiny objects. And I felt like the grass is greener on the other side, my friend, the grass is greener where you water it period. So don't be chasing models chase success, optimizing, one-on-one optimization, want to simply do more of what works and less of what doesn't. That's it.
Do more of what works less of what doesn't. And so, I've been reevaluating, and I found that the core principles of that business are the same, they haven't changed. I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. Now the marketing has come online a little bit more. But that business model, we don't even need to use Facebook, we can use it. But there are like four or five other super, super inexpensive, and scalable mechanisms to market that business. It's awesome. And I love it.
I just want to encourage you that first of all, you can do this.
We're in the middle of this crazy global pandemic thing but business is doing just fine, businesses rocking and rolling.
If you want to talk, we're offering free strategy sessions. We do have a coaching program, where we'll help you walk through starting up your next or your first business, and we'll make sure that it's optimized for you. And there are a couple of different options for that. if you are an introvert-extrovert, what your strengths are, what do you enjoy, and what you're good at? What do people say you're really good at? And I'll show you what my absolute top business model is. And I'll show you how to exactly match it with your skills and how to help you make your first 5,000 bucks within four weeks or so sometimes sooner, sometimes a week or two later, but not four months.
You know God's word Deuteronomy 8:18 says, he gives us the power to create wealth to establish His covenant. And I believe it's our responsibility, I believe, we have three phases of life:
Number one, we need to learn how to earn it.
Number two, we enjoy our wealth. Get the new stuff, get all that stuff out of your system because what you'll find very quickly is number three.
The juice in life comes from giving back, giving to those things that are near and dear to your heart, that the Lord has put on you to contribute to and serve. That's where it's fun.
Imagine waking up, not having to worry about money. You know, we don't worry about air until we're holding our breath and we need it. That's how money should be Kingdom builders. That's how money should be. And when that happens, your mind clears all the worries.
Most people are so worried about money. They don't even realize all that goes away. You're secure. You're comfortable.
Your relationships improve your marriage improves because you're not talking about that. You're not working about that stuff. You're more present as of parents as a father. You're healthier because stress is out of your life. You can invest more in healthy things, healthy food. It's amazing.
I just want to encourage you as a wrap-up, If I can do it, you can do it. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I am bullheaded stubborn and don't ever quit. Grit got to work. These things aren't overnight. This is just the fastest model that I've been able to uncover and evolve and develop to help you move quickly. And it's awesome.
When we get these things moving in the right direction, the sky is the limit.
There are three critical things that I've learned over my twenty-plus years, of evaluating over one hundred and fifty different business models as a Christian entrepreneur.
I've put together my observations and these three keys (I learned the hard way) into a Christian Entrepreneur Manifesto, along with some step-by-step walk-throughs and demonstrations.
There is no opt-in required.
It walks through my favorite model, the Finders model.
It might be interesting for a Christian looking to start something new or for the first time to escape the "business running them vs. them running their business" or the nine to five and not to have to work for themselves or someone else until the age of eighty.
Check it out here:
I hope it helps!
PS: God is a big God.
He gives us above and beyond what we can ask or think.
We must ask big.
We must think big.
And if we don't, it's not His fault if we live limited.
Work hard, pray harder, and never ever ever ever quit.
You've got this!
PPS: Whenever You’re Ready... Here's How I Can Help You Generate An Additional $5 to $10k Per Month Or More:
- Check Out Our Christian Entrepreneurship Manifesto
Learn why some "make it" and others don't
- Access More Articles Like This
Sharpen your Mindset, Model, and get Mentored
- Watch Our Christian Business Incubator Training
Learn key lessons from analyzing over 150 different business models, launching ten virtual businesses in ten different markets with ten different models, and hitting six figures in four and seven figures
- Schedule A Free Discovery Call
Make sure you read the Manifesto and review the Training first and then let's hop on a call and get all your questions answered about the Christian Startup Business Incubator