In 2003 I became a full-time entrepreneur by leaving my job in sales and starting Balloon Distractions. I was 29 years old, and at the time many people around me thought I was taking a huge risk.
In reality it was the one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.
Suddenly I had my time back, I no longer had to answer to a boss, and I could determine my own destiny.
The last 12 years gave me time to spend with my wife and children, go to Honduras on several mission trips, serve in leadership in the local Rotary club, and read countless books on history, success, and philosophy.
In 2010 I even spent a month in Taiwan with my wife.
I’ve had the time to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. When my daughters were in elementary school I could have lunch with them in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, when most other Dads were punching a clock.
In January of 2014 I got the chance to pitch Balloon Distractions on national TV, only to get yelled at by Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban. Good times!
After Shark Tank I wrote my first book; We Twist for Tips. Copies of my little book are selling all over the world, mostly as downloads on Kindle.
Each month the modest commissions from We Twist for Tips appear like magic in my bank account, you gotta love Amazon! The commissions are small, but my book will always be out there, a small record of my time on earth and my adventures as an entrepreneur.
When I started my Life Leadership business I was able to build it around my Balloon Distractions obligations, as I write this post both businesses are profitable and I’m on track to totally pay off my mortgage before my 43rd birthday.
How many people working a regular job are able to pay off their home at 43 years old?
As I became a student of the LIFE material I began to see how several myths are perpetrated by mainstream society, and how there is an agenda that has been set in place by certain specific interests, an agenda designed to trap the middle class in a matrix of debt and dependence upon a job.
MYTH: A job is the way to go, starting a business is too risky.
TRUTH: It depends on the business. Starting a business and risking your life savings is risky, but there are many low start-up options out there for anyone who wants to start a lucrative side business.
My only cost to start BD was some balloons, an apron and the gas used to go out and pitch restaurants. As the business grew I invested our profits back into travel and designing some software to run our systems, our best year at BD we grossed almost 800K, this all sprung from selling one restaurant and twisting up $10 in balloons for a free tryout.
It currently costs about $135 to start a compensated community with Life Leadership. For around $300 per month (in overhead costs) you can run a LIFE community that generates a high six-figure income.
It was actually far riskier to start BD because I had to figure out everything and create the systems from scratch; from scheduling and billing to training, selling, and recruiting.
LIFE is easier because the systems are established already, and I have a mentor that earns over 100K per MONTH who has been guiding me since 2014.
MYTH: There is good debt and bad debt.
TRUTH: All debt is cancer, get rid of it as fast as you can.
I bought my home here in Florida back in 2003 for about $160,000, on a 30 year mortgage. Each month the principal paydown is currently $350, while the interest is a whopping $520!
If I take the full 30 years to pay off my home I’ll spend a total of $315,000, for an item that originally cost less than half that amount.
I’m in year 12 of my mortgage, by paying it off in the next 24 months I’ll save over $100,000. That 100K would otherwise go to the mortgage company.
MYTH: You’ll always have a car payment.
TRUTH: You can buy a car for 3K cash and save the difference.
Consider what happens when you buy a modest used car for $3K and sock away $300 per month towards the next car, instead of paying a car payment. If your 3K car lasts 4 years you’ll have almost 11K in your car account, and you can stroke a check for a better vehicle. There are a bunch of great used cars out there for 11K.
I bought a 2006 Toyota Avalon for 12K, it had 72,000 miles on it, it’s been an awesome used car. I’ll drive it to 200,000 miles (or more) before I need to replace it, and the next car will be paid for cash.
My wife will earn a high income this year as a real estate agent, she drives a 2010 Prius that we found used for 11K. Great car, great gas mileage.
MYTH: You need a fancy degree from an Ivy League school to be successful.
TRUTH: The wealthiest people (in my circle) who have built the largest businesses either do not have a degree or they have a degree that has zero correlation to their current success.
My friend Bill owns a marketing firm in Philadelphia and earns a 7-figure income. He barely finished high school. My mentor in Life Leadership got a degree in physical therapy, but that has nothing to do with his success in building compensated communities.
Granted, you need an advanced degree to be a lawyer, doctor or engineer, but the quality of your work after college is far more crucial to your success than where you earned your degree.
Elon Musk is a billionaire because of what he learned after college, not during. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of school. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison were all largely self-taught.
The college system is a multi-billion dollar business with tuition costs that have gotten so extreme that student debt in the United States now exceeds over a trillion dollars.
I graduated with a degree in Economics in 1997 with about $6,000 in student debt, my first year out of college I earned $38,000 selling insurance for Mutual of Omaha. I paid off my debt pretty fast, but what about the kid who graduates in 2016 with $80,000 in student debt only to earn $50,000 their first year?
I told my daughters that they are not going away to school unless they get scholarships to pay for it. I’d rather my daughters commute to a local school and graduate with little to no debt.
MYTH: I’ll work my safe and secure job until I reach 65 and collect Social Security.
TRUTH: Technology is speeding up, and the skills you bring to your job today might not be relevant in a decade. As I share the LIFE business plan with people all over Tampa Bay I’m hearing the same story over and over again, mostly from people over age 50:
“I reached the top of the pay scale and I was downsized.”
“My manufacturing job was exported to Mexico / China / Indonesia.”
“They eliminated my accounting position and outsourced it to India.”
You don’t really control your job, but you can control your business. I’m building a compensated community to create a residual income that will continue even when I’m old and grey. One of my mentors is 67 years old, and his LIFE income is about $8,000 per month. He owns his LIFE business, no one can downsize him, and he can even will the business to his children.
I’m not counting on “Social Insecurity”. With 10,000 new Baby Boomers retiring every single day the funds will eventually run out, or the government will postpone the retirement age to keep the program going.
Who knows? I turn 65 in 2039. By then they might raise the retirement age to 75, or maybe I’ll have to turn 80 before I’ll ever see a check. I’m not counting on it.
Instead of depending upon the government in the year 2039 I’m going debt free now and building a business so large that I’ll have enough income to live 200 years without going broke.
MYTH: To start a business I need to be a great salesperson, and true entrepreneurs are born, not made.
When you were a baby you had to learn everything, from walking to talking to feeding yourself. Entrepreneurship and sales are acquired skills, as long as you speak at least one language fluently you can become better at selling, building relationships, and growing your business.
MYTH: All those networking things are illegal / scam / etc.
TRUTH: There have been networking companies that rose fast and fell hard, normally because of a lack of integrity on the leadership team. But there have also been many standard companies that did the same, from Enron to MCI Worldcom.
On the other hand there have been networking / direct sales companies that have lasted for decades with tremendous long term success, from Avon to Mary Kay.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closely watches the direct sales / networking industry and shuts down the opportunities that do not comply with the law.
When I share the LIFE business plan I always leave the Income Disclosure Statement (IDS) with my prospect. The current LIFE IDS is 19 pages long, complete with statistics on member renewal and average income numbers of real members at each level.
Be careful about what you believe to be the truth, especially if you are not where you want to be in life.
The truth will set you free, but you also have to be open to accepting it, even if the people around you may not agree with you.
December 11, 2015