3 Skills to earn an extra $600 per week.

I’m a big fan of the late, great, Jim Rohn.

He was a successful speaker and business leader who was always taught the value of learning new skills to expand your income. You can still find his speeches on YouTube, classic stuff!

One of his famous quotes was “Don’t ask for less challenges, ask for more skills.”

When I started Balloon Distractions back in 2003 I had no idea whether it would work in Tampa, let alone other cities across the United States. I was 29 years old with 5 years of sales experience, so pitching new clients was no big deal. After selling a bunch of restaurants I knew that we needed a team, so I went to the campus of USF and started to recruit on a daily basis.

In the past 13 years I made a ton of mistakes, I had no template to follow, no mentor.

Building Balloon Distractions was a continuous process of trial and error, mostly error, especially in the first 5 years!

We built solid training systems, designed an online scheduler, and basically figured out the most efficient and profitable way to send balloon artists into restaurants across multiple time zones a couple hundred times per week.

In doing this we identified three basic skills that our Regional Leaders would have to learn in order to build a region:

#1. You have to be able to personally fill a booking.

This means that the Regional Leader has to learn the very basics, enough so that they can go out and train a crew. This skill is also vital because the RL is the “fill-in” person if an artist calls out sick or staffing in the region is light.

#2. You have to be able to pitch and land new clients.

Again, this is very straight forward. We talk to the General Manager, we offer them a free tryout night, they either say yes or no. We have a Sales manual and a Sales DVD that I designed with our Orlando Regional Leader that steps through this entire process.

I’ve sold many different things, from cars to solar power to insurance to leadership education… selling restaurants on Balloon Distractions is the simplest sale I’ve ever done, hands down. If you walk into 10 restaurants you’ll land 6 tryouts and close 3 new restaurants. One afternoon in Atlanta I landed 14 tryouts in just 4 hours. If you can speak English and smile you can sell restaurants on our idea.

#3. You have to build a team.

This is the hardest skill to master, and this is where I failed many times until I began to read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you learn nothing else from my humble blog please become a student of HOW to deal with people.

There are a ton of books in this genre: Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, The Magic of Thinking Big by Davis Schwartz and especially Leading a Leadership Revolution by Orrin Woodward.

If you only read the 5 books recommended in this post you’ll have a huge advantage over your competition, no matter what you do for a living.

Here in Tampa I’ve trained multiple artists and developed many of my best artists into trainers. This is the key to a large and long term team. Many of our Regional Leaders only train artists, but once your schedule gets to 15 or more weekly bookings you need some trainers to help you out. We have a recruitment strategy that works every time, in every market (which I’m not going to reveal here).

Our appearance on national TV gave us some added credibility, which helps us in the recruitment process. Shark Tank gave us nationwide publicity at almost zero cost, its the gift that keeps giving, even 2 years later.

The biggest challenge to building a team is understanding leadership, influence, people skills, and how to inspire and motivate your team. You have to build a culture in which your new artists WANT to become trainers. As the Regional Leader for our Tampa team  I’ve developed 5 dedicated trainers in the last 9 months. Having multiple trainers allows me the time and flexibility to run a big region without having to worry about filling bookings that often. I personally fill 3-4 bookings per month, mostly to stay in touch with our clients.

In addition to training specific to Balloon Distractions we also give our Regional Leaders training in people skills, leadership and motivation. This extra step has produced great results in our growth and profitability.

We recommend that all our Regional Leaders become readers and daily students of success. 10 minutes today, reading the right books… it can’t hurt ya.


I’m sure that Balloon Distractions has imitators out there who look at what we’ve done and think it will be easy to duplicate.

If this was EASY there would be 100 companies out there sending people into 100 restaurants each week… but this is not the case.

I feel that the trial and error part of this business is the biggest barrier to entry, and we’ve already conquered that part. After 13 years in business across the entire country we’ve seen all kinds of crazy stuff, and handled it accordingly!

Bust what about YOU?

You can start a region with BD at no cost, other than ordering some balloons for yourself.

This is NOT a franchise, we don’t have ridiculous fees, or rent, or even license fees.

You just need $60 to $80 worth of balloons, which you can order from any supplier in your region (we will show you how).

We have the online SYSTEMS and knowledge that will help you build a region to anywhere from $200 per week to $1,000 per week in extra income. In return we are asking for an ongoing booking fee per gig, the rest of the revenue flows back to you, your trainers and your artists. We handle the billing, the scheduling, all the basic back-office operations.

YOU control the pricing, size and profitability of your region.

If you have a full-time job and you want to make an extra $500 per month on the side we would like to talk to you.

If you want to LEAVE your job and need to earn $1,000 per WEEK we would like to talk to you….

First step?

Fill out our online form here:

http://www.balloondistractions.com/forms/regionForm.aspx

We are opening new regions in markets from Oregon to Texas to Iowa to Georgia!

Fill out our form and I’ll call you in the next few days,

Thanks!

Ben Alexander

Company Founder

August 2016

#ACTION solves everything!

I was as broke as smoke 13 years ago.

I was 29 years old, I had just moved my family to Tampa, took a sales job that was %100 commission based… and my results were awful. Every single day was a string of NO sales, NO income and growing bills on my desk.

One night I came home from my job and my past due mortgage note was on my desk in my little home office: $1,100. Eleven hundred bucks that I did not have, with zero commissions coming in… and my wife had ZERO luck finding a teaching job.

(She did get a job as a teacher, but that was about 2 months later… our daughters were only 4 and 6 years old at the time, so we also needed to take care of our kids).

I had twisted balloon in restaurants back in 1997 and 1998… and I still had a bunch of balloons in a bag in my closet…

That night I bundled up some balloons and headed for Ybor City, the nightclub district in downtown Tampa. I twisted balloons on the street for TIPS, coming home with eighty bucks in crumpled up $1 and $5 bills…

I went back to Ybor every single night until my mortgage note was paid…

It was on the street, twisting balloons and sweating in the August heat back in 2003 that the idea for Balloon Distractions came to me. Within a few weeks I had some restaurants lined up and I started to recruit local college kids on the USF campus in Tampa.

For 13 years that Balloon Distractions has paid my mortgage, given me lotsa free time, and even got me 8 minutes of televised silliness on Shark Tank.

ALL of it came from taking action.

In those 13 years I made mistakes, I tried other ventures that were not as successful, at one point I even lost money on Super Sonic Spheres, check it out:

This was a goofy invention that I found in Taiwan and we imported a couple hundred units to the United States.

It never made a dime, but I’m glad we still have the videos on YouTube.

The best thing about the SuperSonicSphere clips are the little kids from the neighborhood that we bribed with free pizza to star in our video.

IF you never take action you’ll never fail, if you never fail you’ll never learn anything.

-Ben Alexander

Founder, BalloonDistractions.com

August / 2016

Less TV, more potential.

About a month ago I shut off my cable (saving about $80 per month) and got into the habit of reading each night instead of watching junk saved to my DVR.

Currently I’m going through Orrin Woodward’s Resolved book. I glossed over the book 2 years ago, now I’m actually reading it with my full attention. Resolved is on par with some of the greatest success tomes out there, such as The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and See you at the TOP by the late Zig Ziglar.

I’m also reading Constantine Menge’s book; China, The Gathering Threat.

Getting off the TV habit felt really weird at first, like I had cut off my foot or lost one of my five senses. I felt like there was a hole in my life, and for a few days I really hated it. I just wanted to turn on the TV and turn off my brain, that was my nightly pattern.

I’ve been watching TV every day of my life since I was a toddler, it was always there with a seductive glow and endless content. TV was a habit that set up shop in my brain over 4 decades ago… I shudder to think how many hours I’ve wasted watching nothing.

I’m not proud of this, but one of my serious TV addictions (since college) has been all the versions of Law and Order; Law and Order SVU, Law and Order Major Case, Law and Order Preschool edition, Law and Order Southern Cooking Recipes, Law and Order PTSD, Law and Order Animal Planet, and so on.

With DVR technology you can now record and watch every episode and variation of Law and Order. You can get to know Olivia Benson better than you know your own family! You can get freaked out by the general weirdness and dysfunction of Robert Goren.

Law and Order reruns are now in syndication on second tier TV networks, at one point my DVR was recording episodes on three different channels! You can turn on your TV anytime, almost anywhere on the planet and watch Lennie Brisco solve a murder, even though the actor who played Lennie died back in 2004!

Rest in Peace, Jerry Orbach.

For the last 2 decades I’ve been giving myself a nightly dose of lies, rape, murder and conspiracy. The Law and Order storylines are fascinating to the human mind because they shine a spotlight on awful crimes, stuff that we never see in our everyday lives.

This was the junk that I was putting in my mind each night before falling asleep.

I was letting heinous crimes cycle through my brain all night long!

When I started to read instead of watching TV 2 things happened right away:

  1. I fell asleep faster, instead of being kept awake by the flickering lights of the TV screen.
  2. I began filling my mind with positive concepts, so when I woke up each morning I had a better attitude, more optimism, and more HOPE for the future.

My purpose in life is to build a business that transforms the lives of 10,000 people, in order to do that I have to become the type of leader that other leaders will follow. I’ve found a higher calling, and addictive TV watching has been holding me back!

There are some who might question my strategy, some who might say that reading is boring. “What will I do without TV?”.

Do you want to do something significant in your life or merely go through the motions?

You can live a mediocre life, work your job, pay the bills and just watch TV every night… millions of people do exactly that.

But WHAT IF you were built for a larger role?

What if you could do something positive that impacts the lives of 10,000 families?

Did God design you to be average?

Perhaps (in my case) I was born to just be an average Joe, and I’m striving for the impossible. Maybe my grand notions are merely a delusion!

Maybe I was born to start a balloon company and just own a small business for the rest of my life.

I’m running the risk that I’m an average guy and that all my hopes and dreams are total bull honkey, I’m taking the risk that all this reading and work is for nothing!

BUT… the more I read the more I’m convinced that anyone can live a BIG life and achieve huge goals, as long as they are willing to do the work (in the right opportunity), study the right material and never give up.

I would rather look back when I’m 90 and KNOW that I went for the big time, the brass ring…. fame and fortune!

I would rather read, grow, and explore my upper potential by trying to build a massive business with Life Leadership. If I don’t try to do that I will always regret it.

Let me be crystal clear, Life Leadership is not the only vehicle out there, there are many ways to make a big impact and change the world. As you begin to read the right books and educate yourself you will learn about everyone from Jonas Salk to Mohatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr. to Marcus Aurelius to Jesus of Nazareth.

When you read about people who did GREAT things you are far more likely to accomplish big things in your own life. Elevate your thinking, it will elevate your destiny.

Turning off the TV and reading MORE is my daily preparation for whatever lies ahead, this is my mental boot camp to whip me into shape for a much larger leadership role.

Discard the bad habits that are holding you back, to allow room for great habits that propel you forward!

-Ben Alexander

August 6, 2016

PS. If you’ve never heard of Jonas Salk or Marcus Aurelius this is a sign that you need to read more and read deeper.

PPS. If you’ve never heard of Mohatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. or Jesus of Nazareth I don’t know how to help you at this point…

They are linked, so fix it.

No one is perfect.

We all have flaws, weird habits, and junk in our brain that is probably holding us back.

Small personal problems can sometimes escalate, ruining relationships, eroding trust and holding you back from your God-given purpose on this planet.

I’ve been a small business owner since I was 29 years old, almost 13 years now, and I wish I knew THEN what I know now!

Since 2014 I’ve adopted a debt-free philosophy. When I look back I realize how different my 30’s would have been if I had adopted that philosophy much earlier in life.

My cars would have been more basic, but my home would have been paid off by now.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

At the tender age of 40 I finally became a student of leadership, I started to read about transformational leaders, from Churchill to Gandhi to William Wilberforce to Marcus Aurelius to Jesus of Nazareth, and many others.

Your personal life and your professional life share one thing in common: YOU.

Your personal and professional life are linked forever, until you die.

If you have issues with debt, leadership, relationships, integrity, etc… these factors will damage your business. They will cause stress that erodes your ability to perform.

You can’t sustain success when your personal life is chaotic.

Look at Bill Cosby, he was held in such high respect… and then we learn about all the predatory deviancy in his private life.

Everyone has a different path, but in my life I removed credit cards, alcohol, and social media. I started to hang out with a more positive crowd.

Everyone in your life is either a positive or a negative. Your buddy at the bar does not want you to seek sobriety because that shines a bright light on his own level of dysfunction (and possible addiction).

Hang out with LESS people, but cultivate higher quality relationships with select folks who lift you up and encourage you to become your best.

Stop filling your brain with violent entertainment and pointless media gossip.

The Kardashians do not matter. If they all die today your life will go on.

Read more, think more, turn off the TV.

As you begin to read better books that will lead to further books in that same genre.

Start with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Move on to Robert Kiyosaki, Orrin Woodward, Michael Lewis, Dale Carnegie, Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil, Ryan Holiday and Kevin Kelly.

If all these names are NEW to you that means you REALLY need to start reading!

Amazon will even suggest books for you to read!

Last month I spent about $60 on various paperbacks about leadership, influence, history and success. You won’t learn anything about those subjects watching reality TV on the Bravo network.

-Ben Alexander

July 2016

How many plans does it take?

There are not that many people who hit the LEADER level in Life Leadership.

I had to share the Life plan about 260 times to reach Leader. Results vary, it might take you far more, or far less. YOU are the variable, as well as the quality of the people you share the Life plan with. If you have awful people skills and zero confidence it will take you longer to hit each level in the business.

If you have excellent people skills and awesome influence you will get to Leader faster than me. You won’t know until you get out there and try.

It takes persistence, a couple of meetings each week, and lotsa familiarity with every Panera bread location in Tampa Bay. Last month my Life business moved over $10,000 in overall volume. If we can do $10,000 per month now we can build it to $100,000 per month in the future. The systems built into Life Leadership can easily scale up to that growth. I don’t have to do anything on the operational side at all, I just have to continue to build my compensated community.

The natural limit on my Life business is the number of people on the planet who are over the age of 18, so in other words, there is no limit on my income.

It took me 8 years to build Balloon Distractions to $65,000 per month in gross revenue (back in 2011), but we did not have the right systems in place to sustain that volume.

There are significant challenges in operating any business at 65K in volume each month, truth be told, I was not prepared to run a business at that size.

I feel like we can get our Life business to well over a million in gross per year, with far less headaches than if we achieved that same revenue with Balloon Distractions. I’m not alone this time, I have mentors who have gone before me that I can go to for guidance this time around.

As the Founder of Balloon Distractions I don’t have to devote too much time to my balloon business, the weekly schedule populates autonomously, that payroll can be done in a day… because of what I’ve put together over the last 13 years my talent agency now runs as smooth as silk.

If you run anything for 13 years you will eventually achieve some level of unconscious competence, even if you run a balloon twisting service.

——————————–

If it takes me 1,000 plans to hit the highest levels in Life it will be worth it.

The journey is worth it, I’m forging some great friendships, reading a ton of great books and increasing the depth of my learning.

And my debt number? I get closer to paying off my home every single month.

This is just the beginning!

-Ben Alexander

July 1, 2016

Recurring themes in Life Leadership.

Over the last 2 years I’ve listened to over 1,000 Life Leadership audio lessons played over my smartphone, home computer and on the CD player in my old Toyota.

I’ve also become a voracious reader, pouring into everything from biographies of Winston Churchill and John Adams to books by authors such as Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward, Robert Kiyosaki, Florence Littauer, Jim Collins, David Schwartz, Napoleon Hill, Jack Canfield, Steve Farrar, Tim Ferriss, Og Mandino, Micheal Lewis, Claude Hamilton and many (many) others.

This informal training has helped me grow Balloon Distractions as well as my Life Leadership community, not to mention the positive changes in my personal life.

Before church this morning I was swimming laps and thinking about the recurring themes that have popped up in the Life material, and how those themes have pointed me in a very specific direction. I’d like to list those themes here, perhaps to help you deepen your understanding of what Life Leadership is really about.

The value of a self-directed education.

No one put a handgun to my head and told me I had to study leadership, finances, or relationships. It was through honest introspection that I realized my need for deeper learning in all these subjects.

The more I learn they more I’m realizing how much MORE I have to learn. My goal now is to keep reading, listening and learning until I’m dead. This is a great formula for living a more dynamic life!

Debt is Cancer.

Life is hard enough, but we make it harder by taking on debt. The media bombards us with images of stuff we can buy “with an easy monthly payment”. After listening to Life’s material on Financial Fitness I chopped up my credit cards and went after my debt with vengeance. Even if I never make another dime from Life Leadership I’ll be debt free in the next year or so; no mortgage, no balances, owning everything I have outright.

Last month I hit the Leader level in Life, if you look at the most recent Income Disclosure Statement (IDS) the average monthly income at Leader level is $4,153. That’s not exactly “millionaire money” but it certainly goes a long ways towards paying off my 4 bedroom home! The next level on the IDS is Coordinator, at an average income of $8,835 per MONTH.

$8K per month in extra income will make a difference in anyone’s life, I don’t care what your situation might be. My goal is to hit Coordinator by the end of this year. When I do that I’ll certainly write about it!

The value of Family and Marriage.

When Randy Crain shared the Life material with me 2 years ago my marriage was in crisis. I had gotten off track, helped along by alcohol and the stress of overwhelming debt. I began to LISTEN and learn, slowly getting my marriage back, slowly gaining control of my finances, and eradicating alcohol from my life.

I’m still a work in progress, I still upset my wife occasionally, but I know that I’m on the right path. My mentors in Life have rock-solid marriages, and they serve as examples to me on a daily basis.

Moral Imperative and Purpose.

You need profits to pay the bills, but you need a noble purpose to live a better life. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady could have become highly paid speakers and authors on the lecture circuit without the hassles of building a compensated community.

They took the harder path in order to create an opportunity for regular people to master entrepreneurship and gain their freedom.

Why we all need to study Entrepreneurship.

Technology continues to replace jobs in our economy. The skillsets you’ll need to succeed in a job are very different from what you need to know to run a business.

Life Leadership could become the best platform to teach entrepreneurship on this planet over the next few decades. You can learn about owning a business in your car, on the commute to your job. You can build your Life business on the side, and learn while you go.

What TRUE Freedom looks like.

True freedom is all about ownership; your business, your home, your car, your destiny. You can scale your Life business to $1,000 per month or $500,000 per month, based on your hard work over a long period of time.

When your Life income outpaces your job income you can walk away from your boss and never look back. You’ll no longer need to trade time for money.

YOUR choice, your freedom, no obligations to anyone outside your family!

Getting your heart RIGHT.   

I heard this phrase many times as I began listening but it took a long time to sink in. We all come into Life Leadership judging people, harboring resentments, jealousies, past  hurts, disappointments, etc. None of that negative baggage in your heart helps you move forward or relate to people better.

As you deepen your faith and find your purpose you begin to replace the darkness in your heart with more compassion and understanding for others. I’m still not all the way there myself, but listening to the Life CDs has made me aware of the problem.

This is just a short list of what I’ve learned, as more pop up I will add them to this blog.

-Ben Alexander

Life Leadership Member

Founder, Balloon Distractions

June 2016

 

#LoveLifeLeadership… Going Leader!

Last month my wife and I hit the LEADER level in Life Leadership.

If you look at the Life Leadership Income Disclosure Statement the average monthly income at Leader is about $4,100 per month.

When Randy Crain shared the Life business with me back in January of 2014 I was in no condition to build a Life community AND run Balloon Distractions.

I needed to course-correct a ton of stuff in my life.

I became a hungry student first, listening to marriage and Leadership CD’s in my car on the way to fill bookings, then switching over to the Financial Fitness program when my wife and I resolved to turn around our finances.

Our debt is over 120K LESS today!

It wasn’t until October of 2014 that I shared the Life business for the first time with my local barber. I was a mess, I had no idea what I was doing, but taking action felt great.

Over the next few months I worked with my mentor Craig Weberg and listened to a ton of CD’s in my car. In fits and starts I began to figure out how it all worked. I’m still learning every single day, every time I share the business with new people.

My short term goal is to use the extra income from Life to pay off my 4 bedroom home, if I’m going to teach people how to go debt free I want to get there myself as soon as possible!

My next goal is the Coordinator level, where the average income is $8,800 per month.

That’s not a million bucks, but an extra 8K per month on top of my wife’s income and the profit from Balloon Distractions? It starts to really add up.

Here’s the thing, some people look at the Life Leadership business model and they doubt that it works.

My only answer to that is this: it works if you work it.

I went on faith for a few months until I saw a consistent income of $400 to $700 per month. $700 is real money, that’s enough to pay off a credit card, or more aggressively pay down the capital on your mortgage.

Some of the folks who’ve joined my Life business never listened to a CD, read a book or even attended a meeting to learn about their business. This is a tragic mistake.

We only aggressively built our team for about 11 out of the last 18 months.

We might have hit Leader sooner, but there were months when I only shared the Life business with a few people.

Some months I wasted time watching TV when I could have been out meeting with people.

Go Leader or watch Law and Order reruns…. which is a better investment of my time?

I built my Life business while running and growing Balloon Distractions teams in Seattle, Houston, Rochester, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa.

This September Balloon Distractions will reach the 13 year mark, and we are still taking on new clients all over the country. If your business is profitable and strong after 13 years you’ll probably make it to 20, right?

As I reach the higher levels in Life Leadership I’m using the training to develop better leaders within Balloon Distractions. Many of the good folks working part time in Balloon Distractions have also started to build an income with Life, so Balloon Distractions has become a great talent pool from which we identify potential entrepreneurs.

If you want to learn more about Life Leadership watch the brief video on this website:

http://www.LifeLeadership.com

Have a great day!

-Ben Alexander

JUNE 2016