How bad experience turn out to be the best things that happened in retrospective: A Blessing In Disguise. In today's episode I will tell you about my personal experience and how it helped me get to where I am today.
Also if you have time, check out these two podcasts. These 2 guys were nice enough to have me on their podcasts and motivated me to start mine:
The comeback game hosted by Barry Magliarditi ————————————————————– https://itunes.apple.com/fr/podcast/the-comeback-game-inspired-unstoppable/id1376450529?mt=2
Confessions of a business owner hosted by Charley Valher ———————————————– https://itunes.apple.com/fr/podcast/confessions-of-a-business-owner-podcast/id1329889419?mt=2
Hey guys how's it going? Happy Saturday. Hope everybody's OK. Today I want to tell you a little story of something that happened to me and then we're going to look into what the takeaways from that story are and I'm pretty sure they can help you.
There are two podcasts that are absolutely awesome. So I invite you to go check them out. So if you can write down the names. So the first one is called “The comeback game” and it's hosted by my buddy Barry.
It's a pretty good podcast and he has a lot of quality guests in there. That's why I was really honoured to be on it. And the second one is called “Confessions of a business owner” and it's hosted by my buddy Charlie.
And so it's on that second podcast that I told this story that I'm about to tell you now. And I thought that you know what? Instead of having that story on someone else's podcast I should have it on my podcast as well because it's a very important story. People see me every day as the guy who builds the businesses that will run without him.
OK. And this is where it all started. That's why I think this story is important. I wouldn't be where I am today if this didn't happen. And you know I was actually like you and you know the expression “a blessing in disguise”. That's what it was. OK.
So a few years ago I started a business with a partner. And the reason why I started this business is because of a book called “The Four Hour Workweek”. After reading the book I was like “You know what? I'm going to start my business”.
And so I started a business with a partner which you know was unusual for me. And we had an agency model. OK so what is the agency model that I'm referring to? So a lot of agencies will basically charge you a thousand bucks to create their website and they're actually going to pay someone like 500 to actually do the work and they will collect the 500 in the middle.
OK. A lot of agencies will do that. So they will outsource that to someone else who actually does the work. And this is precisely what we wanted to do. So we started this company and the business model was that we were building websites for people.
So we found some developers and designers and stuff. And so basically we found clients to pay a thousand and then we outsource it for 500. All right. Just an example. So this is the perfect model right. So you don't you actually have to do any of the work yourself. Everything has been done and you just collect the money in the middle.
So we were all excited about it. It was awesome. So one thing you have to know is that I have no idea how to do this coding computer stuff. My business partner was the one who knew about it. OK. Me I was just like “well you know what. Let's build a company. I will take care of like you know more of the strategy and you know financing and like ad means and stuff”.
So my partner was the one in charge of all this part. Liaising with clients about the blind technical mumbo jumbo that I didn't know anything about. And then he was liaising with the developers. Now what happened is that for some reason, after two weeks in the business, my partner bailed out on me.
So basically I inherited a business. I didn't know anything about you the technicalities of HDL and blah blah blah. I didn't know anything about it. I could have tried to learn but it would have been really hard to learn and I was not able to have in-depth conversations with the clients.
So yeah basically I was pretty much screwed with this company that I had to manage. So we actually had clients already. And ended up being the one who had to go to the strategy meetings and stuff like with the clients. And that's when things got really interesting.
So in order for the model to work, you need to make sure that your client doesn't talk to whoever is actually doing the job, like the person you're outsourcing to because obviously you're going to be like “Why am I paying you when I can pay 500 instead of a thousand right?” And at that point I was the man in the middle. So I ended up in meetings with all these like super technical guys.
At that point, my reputation was on the line as well because I knew some of these people. And I had to figure out a way to close the company or find a way to make it work, which was really daunting. I was like “Dude how am I going to manage this business?”
So I chose the second option which was trying and find a way to make it work. The reason being that I knew the clients and stuff and I had to find a way to make it work. And then afterwards, maybe after this contract I could close the business. OK.
Today I will tell you why I did this, because in front of difficulties and stuff I chose to fight instead of surrendering.
A Blessing In Disguise
So I analysed the business. And this is something that is going to be really important afterwards.
So the first thing is when you're when you're facing difficulties. The easiest thing to do is to give up. It's easy. Everybody does that. Okay. But you need to understand something is that if you manage to overcome that difficulty then a whole different work perspective will open to you.
So I decided to keep going with this company and the first thing I did was to do an audit of the business. Trying to identify all the points of failure, because I was coming from a troubleshooting background.
As you know, I was doing support for a long time. For like three years or whatever. And very quickly I identified the problem. And the problem was simple. The problem was me! Why was that a problem? Because I was the bottleneck that was controlling the whole conversation. So everything had to go through me and I didn't know what I was doing.
I really sucked at what I was doing. It doesn't mean that I suck as a person. I just sucked at this specific task and the only way for that company to work was for me to get out of the loop. And you'll see afterwards how it actually impacted my life.
So what I did was, I bought licenses of a bunch of products. Maybe like 10 licenses of different product management software packages and collaboration software. Then I trialled a lot of them. A lot of services will give you trials like you know a 14 day trial or a seven day trial or something. Because I didn’t have much money at the time.
So I looked at these tools in depth. I tried everything. I even read the manuals, which I never do! I was looking for features that will help me achieve my goal, of making sure that this company can run without me so I basically had to get out of the company that was revolving around me.
So every time I saw something that I liked and it could be a fuse bank I wrote it down. It took a good month to go over potential products and a lot of testing and everything to understand how it worked. Then finally I had a bunch of features that could help my business.
And I was like “I'm going to take these features and I'm going to create my own tool”. So it's the first tool that I actually created this which is really cool right! So basically my tool allowed me to have my client talking to my developer without me having to do anything. And so the whole thing could work without me!
So I managed to do something that appeared virtually impossible which was changing the entire structure of a business that was revolving around one person which was me and make it work without me. And this is why I'm here today.
So I knew a bunch of concepts but it was just theory. But after that experience I realized a lot of things, like, it is actually possible to have that business running without you. And the first thing you need to do when you're thinking about a business is to design it so that from day one it doesn't need you!
And this is what I've done ever since. I’ve failed plenty more times along the way, I'm very happy that I failed because it taught me everything I need to know today. And it taught me exactly why I need to do it!
And if you find a solution to a problem, trust me, a lot of people will have that same problem. You know people have the same problem and they have no idea how to fix it. But if you fix that problem, you are creating value. And people are going to pay you for that solution. You have to understand something.
When you buy a product, you're not buying the product itself. You're buying a solution to a problem you have. And this is something that's so valuable you can't even imagine people!! That's what people are ready to pay for.
So these were two main takeaways that I got from there. Build your business so that it runs without you from day one. And since then my life has changed to a point that you can't even imagine. I told you a little bit about it.
I'm not trying not to boast or something. I'm just giving you my experience because until you've lived it you don't know how it's like. But today my business can run without me and prosper.
I can go on holiday and not do anything for the next six months. It is going to run. OK. Well obviously, if there is a big problem whatever I might have to come back and do something but it can just run.
I have the peace of mind and it's priceless. The most precious thing I have in my life is peace of mind. It's not money, it's not time. It's just peace of mind.