Here are 10 lessons I learnt while making my first million
The last six years in business have been transformative for me – both personally and financially. I have never been more fulfilled and purpose-driven than I have been, doing what I do. And, as a result of stepping out on faith (it took a huge leap of faith to leave what others thought was a secure lifestyle to delve into the unknown), I’ve learnt some powerful lessons.
This journey has taken me to places that I’ve only dreamed of going, while accomplishing some key milestones along the way.
Folks always ask how I did “it”. Recognising the importance of paying it forward and sharing what I’ve learnt, I managed to synthesise an actionable list of the 10 lessons I learnt while making my first million.
1. Invest in personal development first (and consistently)
Before entering the matchmaking profession, I spent several years in self-development. I went back to school and obtained a graduate degree, participated in multiple coaching programmes, became an intern (as a 30-year-old adult), attended numerous conferences and more.
I noticed that many of my peers stopped the “study” grind once they “made it”. But I’ve learnt that sustained success is dependent upon the research of your craft and is something that should never stop.
2. Stop chasing money and start chasing problems
Successful entrepreneurs don’t create a lasting legacy or make fortunes because they can come up with clever solutions. It’s because they become infatuated with problems.
In previous ventures, I was always fixated on either making money or making cool products. When I became a matchmaker, I changed my focus to a problem that has kept me up at night for the last six years.
3. Never be dependent on one source of income
Diversify from day one. When I started matchmaking, I quickly realised that matchmaking was cyclical (with summer months being the slow season), so I launched coaching services and flow dating events.
As my business matured, I created revenue streams outside of matchmaking.
4. Remove all middlemen
I love affiliate programmes, but know you’re never going to make a fortune peddling books that aren’t yours.
Television shows don’t actually bring people money, but I know several people who do by developing their own videos and delivering them to their fans directly.
For me, it was traffic. I relied on Facebook and Twitter to drive sales, but those platforms squeezed us out.
Still, it helped me to build a sizable email list that helped to save my business.
You never want to find yourself relying solely on third party platforms to drive your business because the developers of those same platforms have the power to change how things are done. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to remove the middleman.
5. There is no such thing as ‘get rich quick’
Get rid of your “I’m going to be a millionaire by ___ (fill in desired age).” Also, stop with the thoughts that your pyramid marketing participation is going to make you a billionaire. It’s simply not healthy.
For me personally, while growing up, I always said I was going to make my first million by age 25, then moved it to 26, then to 27, then to 28, then to 29, then to 30 and it continued.
Wealth (not riches) should be what you’re after. I define wealth as a concept that goes beyond monetary attachment.
For me, it’s all about living a healthy, fulfilling life and helping to find solutions to the problems that keep me up at night.
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” –Epitectus
I couldn’t agree more.
6. All money isn’t good money
Early on in my matchmaking career, I took on any client that I could get, even people who had no business in a professional matchmaking service. I did it because I needed the money.
It turns out those clients ended up needing greater amounts of my time (and on a per hour basis, I could have been paid more flipping burgers) and were the greatest liabilities.
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but be selective with who you’re making money from.
7. Get serious about analytics
Someone once said, “What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done.”
Once I was able to better identify where customers came from, how long the sales process was, and what messages better resonated with the customers, I was able to dramatically increase conversion rates. For measurement of my efforts, I use Google, Facebook, and Twitter analytics.
8. Focus on one customer at a time
My grandfather once told me, “You don’t have a real business unless you can sell a product to 10 people.”
So, early in my matchmaking career, I focused on selling to those 10. In the process, I learnt the importance of listening and adjusting.
All great entrepreneurs will make slight modifications to their products and services along the way.
Listening and adjusting are imperative (that’s how I not only got to the 10 in the early days, but how I surpassed 600 clients over six years).
Each new customer should realise the value of your knowledge from your experience with all the previous customers.
9. You can do it!
Of course, making a million isn’t everything, but to an entrepreneur, it’s a solid milestone. The key to achieving goals is first knowing that they’re possible.
As the wise business strategist Napoleon Hill once stated, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
10. Continue to strive for greater
Even after you achieve your goals in both business and life, there’s always growth when new challenges are identified and tackled.
One never “arrives”, so it’s important to continue to set your goals – whatever they may be – higher and higher.
There’s really a variety of important factors that contribute to the achievement of this goal: stepping out on faith, proper positioning and planning, and training.
And while money isn’t everything and is certainly not the key indicator of “success”, having tangible resources to work with while on the path to making your dreams come true is important and very encouraging.
These lessons, paired with the practice of successful habits (from my previous articles 20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires Part 1 and Part 2) will have you well on your way to accomplishing, and surpassing your own personal and business goals!
Paul C. Brunson is an expert on self-actualisation and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter @PaulCBrunson. This article is copyrighted material that belongs to Paul C. Brunson, 2013 and all rights are reserved. It was originally published at www.paulcbrunson.com. For personal development training, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more How To articles, click here.
Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.