Estie Rand built a six-figure business with zero dollars in ad-spend in under two years, with a fully virtual team [while raising five kids!]. She first discovered her secret scaling sauce at age of 10 when she built her first successful bracelet business. She then paid her way through college with a note taking business – without taking a single note . . .
Mario Nawfal bootstrapped his first business at age 22: 7-figures by year 1 and 8-figures by year 2, scaling to over 40 countries. He expanded to other very different businesses, one reaching 7-figures in less than 6 months. Mario went through a series of devastating black swan events almost crippling some of his companies, and survived against all odds . . . more.
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Estie Rand built a six-figure business with zero dollars in ad-spend in under two years, with a fully virtual team [while raising five kids!]. She first discovered her secret scaling sauce at age of 10 when she built her first successful bracelet business. She then paid her way through college with a note taking business – without taking a single note.
After a 6-year stint as the CIO of a multi- national 8-figure NPO, Estie chose to leave and use her skills to help micro-business owners and launched a High School incubator, teaching business sense to teens. Estie is also the host of the business breakthrough podcast, where business owners from freelancers to multi-millionaires share their breakthrough moments. She can turn any idea, no matter how crazy, into real turn any idea, no matter how crazy, into real money (try her!)
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Mario Nawfal bootstrapped his first business at age 22: 7-figures by year 1 and 8-figures by year 2, scaling to over 40 countries. He expanded to other very different businesses, one reaching 7-figures in less than 6 months.
Mario went through a series of devastating black swan events almost crippling some of his companies, and survived against all odds.
He now decided to launch a personal brand before reaching 30 years old + film a new venture being bootstrapped from zero to 7 figures, documenting the entire process and the behind the scenes (including confidential managerial & strategic discussions).
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Full Episode Transcript
Welcome I’m your host, Tony DUrso, I interview some of the most successful people in the world and I thank you for joining us. I broadcast every Friday at 2:00 PM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Influencers Channel and you can listen to all of our shows on most podcast platforms. If you have Apple podcast, please subscribe and before we get going, here’s a big thank you to some amazing sponsors of our show. Please stay tuned for an important message from Green Chef, a certified organic company that makes eating well easy and affordable and coming up as a significant message from Rothy’s about women’s shoes, which my wife says are the best she ever wore. And listen for an important message from Pantheon to build, manage and optimize your most important brand asset. Your website, more info on them, just the head so, please stay tuned.
Today’s shows with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens.
All right, here’s some info on Estie Rand built a six-figure business with $0 million in ad spend in under two years with a fully virtual team while raising five kids. She first discovered her secret scaling sauce at the age of 10 when she built her first successful bracelet business. She then paid her way through college with a Note Taking business without taking a single note. Here we go. Welcome to the show. Estie, it’s so great to have you on. I am just intrigued by everything you’ve done. You’re the Marketing Maven and I can’t wait to just jump into this. So welcome and thanks for spending some time with us.
Estie: Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
That’s great, and Estie first things first, I like to just get a little history on you and find out how did it all start for you please what’s your backstory?
Estie: Sure so, I think it goes back to 2011 when I was sitting with a recruiter and trying to get a new job. I had just left my job as the CIO of Multinational Nonprofit Profit because the workplace had become toxic and I was a mom and I had always promised myself that I would never let my career get in the way of my family. I grew up in a home where money was way more important than people and I didn’t want that for my life. And so I left my job when it stopped being in balance with my family and I was having trouble finding another one. And I’m sitting with his head hunter and she asked me, Estie, what’s the dream? And the dream was I wanted to help small business owners. I didn’t have side businesses on my own from the time I was 10 always profitable in all different areas and industries.
And I said I see all these people. They’re trying to make a go of their dream and they just don’t know anything. It makes me nuts. I’m watching all these ads go out and hearing people in coffee shops, go I’m going to sell cupcakes for like $5. And I’m like, what? What are you doing? And so I confided in this head hunter who was a former McKinsey consultant who herself was running her own small business and as a recruiter. And I’m like, perfect. Like she’s going to totally validate this and she looks at me, she goes Estie, no one will take you seriously. No one will hire you. You need at least another 20 years of corporate level experience before anyone ever pays you for your advice.
Oh my goodness.
Estie: Yeah, she straddled me completely. I was devastated because she was like, I was really looking up to her for then I’m setting on this dream and I so badly wanted to do it. And then here comes this person who to me was in such a place of power to build me and she straddled me. But you know what she was wrong; because 400 something clients later and tens of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later. People were totally cool. Benefiting from my advice.
Wow, what a story and I’ve been through your bio, I’ve been through your website and I am so impressed at what you’ve done starting at the ripe age of 10 years old with your own business, but that isn’t what blows me away what blows me away is; you paid your way through college that is so expensive and that it still hurts me to think of what I paid and the trauma I’ve been in. The fact that you did this, my hats off to you. That is absolutely stellar. What an accomplishment.
Estie: Thank you all. I did hack it a little bit, so to understand how I paid my way through college, I ran a business in high school, a Note Taking business where I didn’t take any notes, I photocopied other people’s notes. It was basically one of those like people are lazy and if you do stuff for them, they’ll pay you money. And so like we were a senior class that was totally checked out and I saw an opportunity. There were a few people who took notes. We all want it to pass our finals without studying. We want to get more work, less all use my motto. And there was just this long line of people who wanted to copy notes right pre-smartphones, pre tablets like a little bit later than carbon paper. You’re right in that center where people photocopy things.
And so I said to him, listen, I’ll copy all the notes, I’ll deliver it to your desk. You’ll pay the same thing you would pay the store but you’ll get it all in your hands. Like Estie why would we say no? I said you wouldn’t. And then I went to the store and I said, listen, I’m going to be making thousands and thousands of copies over this year. I want a discount. And I told them, I was totally transparent. I’m going to get a discount that you couldn’t get and I’m going to take care of it for you. And we all win and they’re like, great. And I made a couple of hundred bucks, got all my notes for free, and I got a full five-figure scholarship to university based on that business.
Remarkable brilliant. You’re very smart at this. I love it. And now we’re going to jump into marketing because you are so good. You’re one of those people as a prodigy, people would say you were born to market. You must have some Italian blood in Estie.
Estie: You know what, I actually have by association. So, I was raised more by a babysitter than a mom and she, was Italian, so I totally have Italian associative blood.
Oh, there you go. That explains the whole thing. Okay, mystery solved. Because Italians are the best marketers in the world. We take coffee and we make it amazing with cappuccino and lattes, we take regular clothes and we make them fashion and we just take anything. It’s just amazing how it’s that flare, that essence. I love it. So let’s dive into some marketing because you have a statement you made, which is, I think it is profound. You talk about truthful marketing, the only way to sell in 2019
Estie: Yeah, because I think that people are really done with the liars and fakers and charlatans and all those people who keep trying to make big promises and can’t deliver. Now marketing is manipulation. And I’m the first to admit it. However, manipulation is not bad to manipulate just means to form. Marketing is very powerful. I read psychology books for fun. Marketing is probably 94% -95% psychology to understanding the human mind and how you form perceptions and how you create and communicate value to people and convince them to do things.
Now you can misuse that and you can manipulate people and we all have that vision of that, used car salesman of the 70s where he’s like, this car is going to change your life. It’s unbelievably beautiful. I got it just yesterday. It was $10,000 now only 299. 99 and I am going to guarantee you that this is going to be the best car you ever drove. And by the way, I’ll give you your money back in like five years. Ever come and find me, but I’ll be long gone after you pay me. Like we know this guy and people just like you were so sick of it.
I just ran into him.
Estie: You ran into exactly. And I think you know, that used to work, we had information asymmetry where the seller knew more than the buyer and they would try to convince them that things were good for them that wasn’t necessary, and I think it’s just wrong, honestly. Like you have no integrity if you’re trying to convince something, someone of something that’s not good for them. However, right? Marketing is the power to help convince people to get things that are, yes, good for them. Marketing is what got people to use toothpaste and have their teeth last longer.
There’s a great story about one of the original marketers who got Crest to become this multinational brand and how he hooked people in using marketing and psychology. So that’s an amazing tool and I believe that the only way to market in 2019 is to come from your place of truth market things that you want to bring to the world and that are going to really genuinely help people and to know the truth about marketing that isn’t population. There are so many things you do need to understand about price theory and price anchoring about positioning, about how placement makes a difference about how the channels work, about different types of promotions. There’s so much to know, but that’s the truth about marketing. If you know the truth about marketing and you argue it from your place of truth, you’re not only guaranteed success, you’re guaranteed raving fans.
Yes you are. You couldn’t have said it any better. That is absolutely correct and to add on, you may have mentioned this because you spoke very, very quick where you do it to really just give and help that person. Money comes secondary. You do a good job. The way I look at it, the money follows, but you do a good job. You really help that person to scale up or do whatever it is that they have to accomplish. And it’s just such a great feeling.
Estie: Totally. And I think we’re moving so much more towards service. Product based businesses are the race to zero margins. Amazon’s making sure of that and not that product based businesses are not a good way to go. They’re still valid. There is still what to do there. Majority of businesses now are service and the vast majority of small businesses are service because small business owners have a very hard time competing in the manufacturing space. And so when you look at service, what problem are you solving for someone? And if you’re not solving a problem, it ain’t gonna go. It’ll catch up to you. You can sell somebody once, twice, three times, but welcome to the land of the Internet where everyone’s got an opinion and they’re going to blast it out there and people will find it about you. And you can’t be a faker for very long. There’s no other city for you to move to. There’s nowhere for you to hide. If you’re a faker today.
That is so true. So true. Well said. And I want to talk more about some of these points. There’s so much that you’ve just said that I want to comment on, but I do want to make sure we cover a few key points such as the three stages to scaling, any business that really caught my eye. Can you tell us about that?
Three Stages to Scaling any Business.
Estie: So all the businesses that I worked with, I find they’re either in zero to one one to two or two to three.
● Zero to one is where you’ve got an idea and you just got to test out if it works. So your initial launch, zero to one is an idea to business. Can this thing make money? Can it make real money? Are there people who want it at that stage? Just test. Don’t invest anything more than your time and a very minimal amount of money. Like nothing, if you like. I like to not invest more than a hundred dollars at that stage. Just test it out. See if there are people who want this. If it’s product based and you can’t produce something you can do with kickstarter. There are so many ways to get people’s attention. So step number one zero two one test, don’t invest.
● Next stage is one to two. This is where number one has worked. People are buying this thing, it’s working. You’ve got money, but it’s still like messy, right? There’s no cohesive plan. I’m a little bit all over the place. We’re not clear on the audience, we haven’t quite streamlined things. And so at this stage, we solidify and we stabilize. So zero to one test. Don’t invest one to two, solidify and stabilize. Figure out the best clients and customers that you’ve got for your business. Get your systems dialed in. Start hiring staff, start delegating. Start focusing on the things that bring you the most money. Chuck, the things that bring you less. Focus on the customers who you bring the most value to. Notice I did not say who bring the most value to you and I meant that focus on my customers who you bring the most value to and solidify and stabilize.
● And once you have done that, you’ll have a stable working, thriving business and you can go two to three which is your next level now.
Estie: And that’s what we teach five different growth strategies, but they boil down into two categories, which is more to more and more to same.
● More to more is where I’m going to sell more of the same thing I’m selling now. Whether it is photography services, light bulbs or consulting, it does not matter. I’m going to sell more of this same thing to more people, right? And so that’s a strategy of mass promotion and we’re going to do a lot of outbound marketing or we’ll do, you know, different inbound marketing strategies. Really getting out there, trying to get a new audience for this thing that we know helps so many people.
● The other direction is more to same. And that’s where I say, look, I’ve got a solid audience of people who love me, who love what I do. What else can I give them? So I’ll add more products into my product suites or I’ll ask more services or partnerships or I’ll do affiliates. And I will see what else can I do to serve as my existing audience and sell more things to the same people. And that’s when we start to grow. And again, as you hit deeper into level three, you start doing both of those. But initially, to get from two to three you do one direction first.
This is very deep Estie. By the way, are these points available? If I go to estierand.com and I’m going to spell that, E. s, t, i. e. R a n d estierand.com.
Estie: Yes, so we’ve got so much information on the site, you will definitely be able to see all these different things. We’ve got free gifts, we’ve got mini-courses, we’ve got a lot of this there. Check out estierand.com and I’ve got a podcast where I talk about a lot of this as well. All on estierand.com E.s. t. i.e. R. a. n.d You spelled that right. Thank you.
This is the Tony DUrso Show just the head. The chat continues with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal, Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens. But first, it’s time for us to take a short break. See you back here in just a moment.
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All right, we’re back on the Tony DUrso Show. Today show is with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal Marketing at Bootstrapping Mavens. After a six-year stint as the CIO of a multinational eight-figure NPO, Estie chose to leave and use her skills to help micro business owners and launched the high school incubator teaching business sense to teens. All right, and now back to the chat with Estie And another thing that I think you do very, very well if you know how to leverage social media to close deals. Can you give us some insights on that?
Estie: Yeah. So social media I feel like is a big black box for so many people, whether they’re on it or not. And the simplest way I can explain it is you have to understand that it’s a party. Website is like your house or your store, it’s your home base, it’s where you live and you want to structure that accordingly. And social media is a party. It’s someone else’s and you’re going in, you’re visiting. So the first thing you gotta do is choose your party. You want to go to a party where your people are at. You can be on Facebook all day long, but if your main clients and customers aren’t there, it won’t work for your business. Same for Instagram, same for Linkedin, same for Youtube, same for Twitter. Each one is a different kind of party. And those are the five main platforms that are being used today to generate revenue in business.
And again, Facebook, I like to say it’s like a reunion party right? At once. They’re meeting old friends. I meet you at the conference, I know you from high school. Oh, we met through so and so. You know. And there’s a certain kind of camaraderie familiarity for the Facebook party. LinkedIn’s giant networking event. That’s my favorite platform. Instagram, I like to think as a coffee shop. Right? And was kind of sitting around there like light chatter or they’re pretty pictures on the walls. Twitter’s like street corners very few deals are closed on Twitter because of it. If you think about dealer clothes and coffee shops, they’re totally closed at networking events, even at reunions. But on street corners like Twitter, everyone just like me.Like they just do these little things out. So it’s great for networking. It’s great for learning, scrape for brand recognition, very hard to close deals from everyone that I’ve spoken to.
LinkedIn’s amazing to close deals. Again, networking event. People are here for business, especially if you’re in B2B, you better get on LinkedIn. Instagram works for anyone who is in a visual business. Anything that has an aesthetic element, any of the arts, photography is food. All the things that you see on there totally sell well on Instagram. There’s gotta be a personal connection there as well. And each party has its nuances. So if you want to close deals on social, there are five main steps.
Five Main Steps to Close Deals on Social
● One, you got to pick your party.
● Two, you got to make sure you’re dressed nicely for the party. That’s your profile. That’s understanding what the page looks like, how the platform, how the algorithms work in terms of what you should look like to show up when people search for things and how they want to find you.
● And then you got to join the conversation. And every platform has a different type of conversation going on with social media. Is social, if you’re not getting social on social media, it ain’t gonna work for you. So you gotta join that conversation. The way you join it is one of two ways. You either, I really want to do both, but you’re either commenting on other people’s posts, giving feedback, and meeting people that way. It’s like at a party, someone says, well, you like, yeah, you know, I had an experience like that in blah, blah, blah. And you’re kind of getting involved or right, starting your own conversations, writing your own posts, posting things and helping people get to know you in that way. So that was number three.
● Number four is you want to move it to the DMs. Every social media platform has these four key elements. They’ve got profiles, they’ve got chats, the ability to comment on and post your own things and a private one on one area where you can reach out to people. So you want to get into that one way. If you want to close deals on social, you’ve got to move it into the one-on-one. Again, just like at a real party, you’re not going to close deals standing in a big group of 30 people. You’re going to pull someone aside and have a private chat with them, and then you really want to close deals on social. You got to know it doesn’t happen on social.
● You get out of that chat and onto a phone call or do you put them in your online funnel or wherever you’re going to move them to. You move them off the platform to close the deal. That’s your five-step plan.
So true. Wow. So much information. So much advice and takeaways. This is great, we’re moving through so much material. All right let me stump you. You’re growing fast. Your business is really taken off. You’re hiring people and you gotta move fast because when the opportunity is there, you’ve got to take it. And I can tell that you’re that type of person. You’re probably moving like lightning while you’re working, but then you’ve got these people, you like them, but they’re not the kind of working out. So how do you hire and fire, let’s call it for lack of a better way and still keep everyone happy?
Estie: So I like to have this thing I call myself firing system where we bring people in, we train them with a three-part system. It’s called push, pull, assess. So again, at first I’m looking for the right person, but if I want to keep that good relationship, I’m going to give over what I want to the person and I’m going to say, hey, do you have everything you need? That’s the pull. So pushes not being pushy is where I give over. I push out of myself what I need them to do and I’m very specific and I use my five W’s or my four W’s and an h, right? Who, what, where, when, how, or who, what, where, when, why, like what is this thing I’m expecting of you? And then I asked for feedback, I pull from them, do you have everything you need?
Is this a task you can complete? Can you complete in the required timeframe? And then we do an assessment, whether it’s daily, weekly, bimonthly, right? You set assessments with people and it becomes very clear to them if it’s not working out because you’ve said to them, I need this. They’ve said to you, I can do this. And when you do the assessment and you say, Hey, where’s this thing? If it’s they’re not delivering it, you say, okay, like what’s happening? And you go back, it becomes so clear to both of you that the person just like, listen, you know, I see. It’s just not working. And that’s it. And I have done this with a few people and we totally stayed on good terms.
That’s very interesting where the person realizes that it’s just not quite for them for whatever reason they’ll want to back out and say you know, let’s, let’s just stay friends.
Estie: Yeah, that’s why I call it self firing because they fire themselves.
Self firing, very interesting concept. And I know we’ve talked a lot about this, we’ve talked about so many points and I want to actually circle back to some of the comments, but one of the things that you tout is earning money with less headache and less time. You may have gone over this, you may not have, but let’s kind of drill into this for sure.
Estie: Sure so, that is my motto and that is my reason for being right. I believe that everyone can get, more effective and efficient. So more money is sales, less headache as systems. Every business stands on those two things, right? Sales is that growth engine. That’s the marketing. So if your sales aren’t working, that’s what you need to work on. And that is when you get just, from zero to two a lot of it is about sales. Zero to one is all sales, one to two is where you’re still doing more sales and you begin to integrate systems. Two to three is all systems scaling is all going to be systems cause you’ve dialed in sales and so more money in sales, less headache in systems. When you put those two together you really can work less and earn more. Very interesting.
And for the audience, one of the things that Estie boasts and said, Hey I could do this is that she can turn any idea no matter how crazy into real money. So I like to talk about that because there are all sorts of ideas. You mentioned some earlier and you’ve done your own soap bracelets in school. You did note, tell us about how we can inspire people who have these ideas and turn them into a business.
Estie: Sure so, listen, ideas to money is really marketing. Marketing is, is that key that unlocks turning money, turning ideas into money. Sorry. And when you can pick my brain, throat, any idea at me, I’ll show you how it converts. It’s looking at it from a marketing angle and I do, I have this whole mini-course actually it’s called The One Hour Marketing Strategy. You got to check it out at onehourmarketingstrategy.com and it kind of you through the process that you need to turn ideas into money or to turn money into more money. And it’s about creating a communicating value to the audience. So any idea you have, you gotta find it source, find that passion place fall in that light that you’re trying to bring to the world, find the people who want it and then we build everything around that.
I liked that Estie and if we go to estierand.com can we see the link for the one-hour marketing?
Estie: Yes. You’ll see it in the programs tab.
You have a podcast. What’s the name of your podcast Estie?
Estie: Sure, it’s called the Business Breakthrough Podcast with Estie Rand. And I’m so hard to lose online guys. Just type in my name as long as you spell it right, you’re going to find everything.
Can you tell us about your podcast in terms of what can the audience get from it? Like you interview successful people that give advice.
Estie: Sure. So I’ll tell you what I do actually. There are so many business podcasts out there that feature these rags to riches story, right? And set the proverbial I was homeless and then I had this epiphany and now I have five yachts and you listen to them and you’re just like, I cannot relate to you. And so I wanted to make something that was much more relatable. And so I interview successful business owners, but reading from freelancers to multimillionaires. Like we’ve had a full range of industries and income levels and levels of success on the show. And we talk not only about their journey to success, but also we ask them to give advice because we’re focused on small business owners. And then I talk to them about a current struggle. I gotta tell you, it’s super fun to hear the struggles of millionaires.
It really, and they do it live on air. It’s great, and we work through it live on air. So that’s kind of what makes my show a little different than a lot of the business shows out there. I’ve been told also that I ask very good questions and the show is not scripted, so it’s really, you got to kind of sit and listen in on me talking to these super cool business owners and picking out of their brain everything that you might want to know, how you can mimic their success and then hear how relatable they are according to what they’re still struggling with today, not in the previous life.
Ooh, I liked that. Okay, everybody, you heard it. Go to estierand.com and click that podcast button. Check it out, downloaded, get to Google, get the app. I’m sure it’s available everywhere, and anywhere as most podcasts are. So look it up.
Estie: On Spotify, everything. You cannot lose this one.
There you go. I liked that. I liked that too. Especially the fact that it’s spontaneous and it’s live and you just go where it goes. That’s very cool. I liked that a lot.
This is the Tony DUrso Show. Just the head the chat continues with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens. But first, it’s time for us to take a short break. See you back here in just a moment.
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All right, we’re back on the Tony DUrso Show today shows with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens and now back to the chat with our guests. Let’s see. We’ve covered so much in such little time. I am so impressed. You are a marketing Maven with what you’ve gone over. I mean, I’ve written a couple books on marketing and I totally understand a lot of what you said and you’ve given some great, great advice, some great insights. I urge the audience to play this again, check it out. There’s a lot of gems here and I just want to thank you so much, Estie. This was great. We really appreciate it and please come back and share some more with us.
Estie: Totally, Tony thank you so much for having me anytime we are on.
Great Estie Rand Marketing Maven estierand.com- e.s.t.i.e.r.a.n.d.com .
And now we have Mario Nawful joining us. Mario Nawful, bootstrapped his first business at age 22 , seven figures by year one and eight figures by year two scaling to over 40 countries. He expanded to other very different businesses, one reaching seven figures in less than six months. Also, Mario went through a series of devastating black swan events, almost crippling some of his companies and survived against all odds. Here we go, welcome to the show, Mario. It is such an honor to have you with us today.
Pleasure is all mine, Tony.
Mario, for someone that has 14 successful businesses at your age, I asked the audience before we even start, do you know anyone who has so many successful businesses regardless of age? Well, check this out listen, we’re going to go into some really interesting points here on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. So listen up and let’s get into it. Oh, before we start Mario, first things first, let’s kind of go into your backstory cause you’ve had some major events happen. Tell us how did it all start for you? What’s your backstory?
Oh, that’s insane so backstory, how I got into business and how I built my first business?
So, I was at university, I didn’t know anything, I didn’t know the word entrepreneurship. I was at university in Melbourne Australia and my plan was to finish. I was studying like crazy and doing a lot of self-development, a lot of courses to public speaking and all that. And then I read a story about a little boy, his name was Farrah Gray. And in my mind, I’ll make my millions when I’m in my late twenties, thirties. That’s the path you finish university. And I was doing banking and finance and then I read that Farrah made his first million dollars at age 14 I think it was. And that freaked me out. I knew that at 22 or I was, I think 21 was not too young and immediately dropped out of university and started hustling to make money and then built my first business. And the rest is history and I can go through it when you’re ready.
It’s absolutely impressive. And I understand that you made your first business doing something that probably many of us shun and hate. And I want to tell you, I’ve actually done it when I was very young and that is a door to door sales. When I was a teenager, I did door to door sales, selling, trying to sell different things and I was terrible at all of them. And you made $1 million, Mario. This is like crazy.
Yeah, so I made my million right after door knocking. So I started door knocking. I was making six figures then, but I had a lot of, I wouldn’t say ego, but a lot of pride. So I would, I can never imagine someone telling me, Hey, get out of my office. Or can you see the door behind you? We’ll walk back through it or get out of here to find model, let my dogs out. I would never imagine being treated like this even though it was the only like, 1% of the people I knock on their door that treat me so, even less half a percent. Because I had a very strong personality but it wasn’t my thing. But it worked out well. So I’ve applied for a few jobs after dropping out of university and the one that accepted me on the day was a commission only salesperson job and I made a few thousand dollars on day one going out selling water filters and was pretty good. So I started doing it on a daily basis and I cashed up pretty quickly. Started building a commission on the sales team and door knocked til I discovered eBay and then made my first million dollars selling products, blenders online, starting on eBay and then launching a website. So that’s how I made my first seven figures in year one with my first business at age 22 and then eight figures by year two.
Eight figures by year two and now you have 14 highly successful businesses. We’re just going to scrap everything and rewrite the book. Now. One thing that caught my attention in terms of what you say about listening to successful entrepreneurs, and I know we have a lot on our show as well, but you talk about you have to realize that their advice anecdotal in that it’s a story, it’s how they did it as opposed to perhaps how to do it. I like to kind of really dive into this a little bit and tell us your point of view on this.
Great respect, Tony. Honestly, after it seems you’ve read a bit about what it’s, you know, things I said, but for you to point out that particular point that most people ignore, I think it’s extremely valuable for anyone listening to this, listening to successful entrepreneurs. If you listen to a lot of them and you read a lot of books, you’ll see that a lot of the advice you get contradict each other and different entrepreneur talk about different things. And Don’t always agree on the same thing. How can that be if they are all successful? Isn’t there one way to achieve success? Well, luck plays a big role in success, but you don’t know how big. Now someone who launches one business and makes them millions is more likely to have luck playing a role in their business than a person who launches a business makes a lot of money and does it again and again and again.
So going back to anecdotal advice, so if you’re listed to someone who’s telling you how they achieved success and in their mind that’s the way to make to achieve success. And that’s it because they did it that way. While they’re one person. There are millions of people that I’ve made hundreds of millions of people over the years that became wealthy. They’re one person. Why would you listen to one person when there are so many other people that achieved success? So a better way of doing it rather than listening to one person, about one doctor or listening to one dietician, listening to one, anything is, triangulate for example. That’s what Ray Dalio talks about, his book Principles. What Ray Dalio did, he had a surgeon check his intestines for cancer or something. One surgeon said you have to cut out your intestines.
Ray Dalio is a billionaire hedge fund founded the biggest hedge fund in the world. One surgeon said you have to cut out your intestine and another one said you don’t have to do anything and the third one said you have to have some sort of therapy, three surgeons, all of them experts in their field and they gave different advice in the same thing with entrepreneurs or influencers the people that teach others. Different people will give you different advice. The people you should listen to are the ones that are open minded, self-aware and are humble enough to give you objective advice. They might say to you, look, I achieved success this way so I achieved my success. Tony doing certain things, it doesn’t mean you should do the same cause that doesn’t apply to everyone. And if I give my formula for success to everyone saying this is the way to do it, that could actually hurt other entrepreneurs because it wouldn’t apply to them.
And that’s something that bothers me a lot. Now I’ve launched my businesses in various fields. So e-commerce consulting, I’ve got FVC fund, I’m a partner at law firm different industries. So gave me a taste of different ways of doing things. And there’s no formula to achieve success. And that’s why I think it’s important for anyone listening to all this information and reading all these books, taking these courses to remember to always look for objective advice and listen to the people that just are objective about the way they’ve achieved success and when giving advice. I’m not sure if that makes sense. So I’ve just poked a lot with actually getting to the point. But I do think it’s an important point and I hope I gave it justice.
You did well and I’m still soaking this in. One thing that you mentioned that caught my attention right away and I want to talk about it is you mentioned something about the role that luck. You talk about luck and that’s really something because I don’t think we’ve ever talked about luck in any of my shows. So I probably could be mistaken. Maybe we did somewhere you run 14 successful businesses, so there can’t be much luck in it. So what is it just to strive that you are going to make it no matter what. Because I know you’ve been through a couple of black swan events, which for the audience, you know, catastrophic, unforeseen circumstances that just wipe you out. I’ve had two of them. I was totally hacked, shutdown out of business for awhile while I was doing my podcast.
I’m not even sure that I even talk about that, but it’s, there are events that happen that we don’t choose and so you could say it’s reverse luck because if something happens, we don’t expect it. It comes, it just devastates us. But the thing is, some of us, the successful ones such as you, you get up and you just don’t stop. You’re like, you know, you just keep going and keep going. There’s gotta be something there that keeps you propelled and going forward no matter what.
First point you mentioned is about the role luck plays in success. Luck plays a role in everyone’s entire life. Whether you’d get an accident, you miss an accident, you get into an industry of the right time, you meet the right person at the right time. You can increase the amount of luck that you come across and make sure you capitalize on it by meeting more people, finding out more opportunities, learning as much as you can, testing different business strategies. So the more you’re out there you’re aware of looking for the next opportunity, when comes something that you didn’t expect, meeting the right person, you’re ready to capitalize on it. So when I started my first business and I made my first seven figures, I’ve tried selling many products. door to door Many of them failed. I’m lucky, I’m lucky, I’m lucky then one of my sales people told me, Hey Mario, this blender, this client wants a blender and they can’t find an affordable one.
If my salesperson didn’t meet that client by coincidence and tell me about them, Froothie might never exist. My first successful business, but I was ready and prepared. As soon as the opportunity came through, I capitalize on it and doubled down. So as an entrepreneur, find the right industry, the right product, and when you start getting clients when you start getting a return, whether it’s luck or not, capitalize on it. That’s what’s within your control. Opportunities will come and go. But when they come and you notice them, just make the most out of it. And I feel, and I read about luck and what role it plays in the life of a business. Malcolm Gladwell has a great book called, I forgot Malcolm Gladwell, one of his books talks about that. And there’s another one called the Success Equation. That’s the role of luck. Doesn’t mean it’s completely outside your control and you can increase the return on luck. You could call it. I think one of the books calls it. That’s not my term one of the book’s uses that term.
This is the Tony DUrso Show just the head. The chat continues with Estie Rand and Mario Nawfal Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens. But first, it’s time for us to take a short break. See you back here in just a moment.
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All right, we’re back on the Tony DUrso Show. Today’s show is with Estie Rand and Mario Nawful Marketing and Bootstrapping Mavens. Mario has decided to launch a personal brand before reaching 30 years old and film a new venture, being bootstrapped from zero to seven figures, documenting the entire process and behind the scenes including confidential, managerial and strategic discussions. All right, and now back to the chat with Mario.
So the other question is about how to deal with issues. You know, Black Swan events like the one you’ve had. Mine was pretty extreme. I had three years of how I was beaten down. My team was telling me, and that’s where luck comes in. We had a lot of bad luck, things that were outside of our control. So one of my companies got scammed in other, one of my companies got betrayed by a supplier who reached an agreement and we were crippled on one stage. We were talking about one company considering bankruptcy and we managed to pull through and grow the company again and the next year another company that was thriving gets scammed the same conversation I’ve filmed it as well as on my blog where I’m after being scan talking about bankrupting the company. It was those bad people that were leading the company, I wasn’t doing personal branding back then, sides behind the scenes calling the shots and they took advantage of that.
And how to be able to deal with those and keep working. It was hard and during the toughest period of time, I still woke up every day, exercised every morning, followed my routine. So routine is very important. And then having a stoic mindset. So as a stoic mindset, when something bad happens, you’re trying to find a positive in it. The book that I’ve read it’s called The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. So, for example, when one of my companies got hacked, IBC got scammed not hacked, and a lot of money was lost and it crippled the business that was doing really well on a personal level as well. It hurt me tremendously because the people that scan me, I was very close to on a personal level. And, they did it and they were doing it for a long time without really knowing was beyond unethical. It was just dirty. So I looked at it as what’s the opportunity in that?
And that triggered me to start my personal branding. So back then I didn’t have Facebook, no Instagram, no Linkedin, I preferred to be private. And when that incident happened, I knew that being private was a weakness because they capitalized on it. Clients didn’t know who I was. Employees didn’t know that I was the founder or CEO because I put one of my colleagues and it was a senior person in the company. I wanted him to be the face of the company so I can be behind the scenes and run my other companies. And that backfired. So when that happened, that triggered me and I started personal branding. I got a colleague that started filming me even on a daily basis for a few months, created a lot of content, opened LinkedIn. I’ve got, I don’t know how many thousand followers now, just recently started using Instagram, no Facebook yet.
So an obstacle, an issue that almost crippled my business, created a whole new opportunity now in our particular problem doesn’t become an opportunity unless you make it so. So your podcast got hacked I don’t know the details yet, but you could sit there and say, shit, my podcast got hacked and I’m going to suffer and then get through it and they continue to do my business as usual. All you can use it to create an opportunity on my podcast got hacked. What can I make out of this? Can I maybe document it and then write a book? You can’t write a book about this or make an episode about how to deal with podcasts being hacked. That’s what I’m doing. I started filming how I’m dealing with when I’m being scammed and I’ve got it all on video and I’ll be sharing it and you can actually see me on video finding out. I’m on a call being recorded finding out that more people were actually scamming me, people that were saying being very supportive on a call, finding out later on that I’m not believing it on a call. I’m saying, no way. That’s the case, they watch me live.
Absolutely impressive. This is Mario Nawfal Bootstrapping The Seven Figures and you can find him at marionovel.com I’m going to spell that, Mario. Of course, we all know that’s a great Italian name and I know there’s some Italian in him somewhere. Little joke there Mario- is M, a r i. o. His last name Nawfal is N a w f a l.com. You got to check it out, marionawfal.com. Mario, I am so impressed and you know, we’ve talked about different things and I think it’s a matter of opportunity versus luck. We all get a lot of opportunities and we have to choose from. Do I follow this? Do I follow that? We get emailed with things all the time, we could care about things, we see things in the news and it’s really, I think a matter of the right timing and saying, I can do something with this opportunity or I cannot do something with this opportunity. I really think that that’s really the luck that we have is the smart and truth way in seeing something, assessing it and then following along that path.
Exactly, exactly. You said it, you summed it up really, really well.
Oh, thank you. And on hacking, you know what it taught me, I got heck so bad. I was totally out of business. I may as well have just gotten a job, but my wife said, Tony, you built this whole thing. You know everything about it just rebuilt. And so I rebuilt all my shows, my podcasts, my everything, my images, and just pick it right back up. And now here I am, 4 million downloads. No one would ever know that I was stuttered. And I actually mentor people in how to build a world-class podcast because I know it’s just so well. So, when you follow through despite difficulties as, as you’re doing, despite everything or anything that can come at you, you come out so strong as you are, you’re now doing videos on scamming and growing a company cause you’ve done it so well. It doesn’t matter what happens anymore. You know you can be successful at it.
Absolutely not. I think not only pull through tough periods but actually turn them into an opportunity and honestly that anyone that’s going through a hard time, the book by Ryan Holiday that I’ve read countless times, a very small book, The Obstacle Is The Way. It gives you so many examples of people that went through things a thousand times worse than what I went through in my company and they turned them into opportunities in the most unique ways. So don’t only go through it and survive it, but actually, use it to thrive. It sounds cheesy, but it’s actually true. If you think about it, it’s possible to do that and honestly, that’s the best way to make the most out of black swan events or any issues you go through.
We talked about luck and then we kind of stepped it up into the smart, shrewd, accessing, analyzing an opportunity, which now goes from luck to an opportunity, but I believe we talked about this very little, a very little here or there. There’s, there’s a methodology behind success, let’s call it a science. I think you’ve practiced code on some of this because you’ve got 14 successful companies. You know something about this. What’s this science behind success, Mario?
As soon as you said the science behind success, I was just getting prepared to say no Tony there is no science. It differs, but there is actually a formula. It’s not what, it’s not how I achieved success. I’ll give you two answers. First is something that I’ve read a couple of times. It’s about, I’ve made a video about it as well. I don’t know where they’ve posted it. Probably on youtube or LinkedIn. It’s something called conscientious, conscientiousness and includes four things to achieve success.
Four things to Achieve Success:
● Two things that are not as important, being organized and being a perfectionist, they’re important, but not as important as the next two points.
● Working hard and working smart working. You have to work hard. The number of people that achieve success, that did not work hard. I haven’t met one yet. Just the harder you work gives you an edge over competitors, but what’s more important than working hard, which doesn’t need much.
● Explaining or convincing really is looking smart or how I’d like to call calibrating your compass. Doing the right thing because you feel working hard every day, but you’re building a business to sell tax machines right now, I asked this an extreme example, but you know going to become a millionaire because you’re not doing the right thing. It’s 2019, not 1979 so making sure you’re doing the right thing before you start working hard. It’s paramount; how do you do that? Well, in this book, Jim Collins Book, good to great. He talks about throwing pebbles before cannonballs on The Lean Methodology. The Lean Startup the other book. It’s about testing something and that’s how I run my businesses. I test different products, I test different strategies. I dip my toes in different industries, do different things. When I start getting clients and how do I know when someone’s ready to pay for my service or product, I’m onto something.
● And then I doubled down like crazy. I put all my efforts in there because it’s so hard to find something that works to find an opportunity that when you do, especially in today’s competitive markets, when you find the opportunity, capitalize on it because of your luck, hard work, throwing pebbles, trying different things. All this comes together when you find an opportunity and that’s when you need to double down and make the most out of it.
So that’s my answer when I say the secret to success, but that’s a good general strategy to achieve success. Test different. I talked about conscientiousness but it’s about testing different things when finding something that works, doubling down like crazy to make the most out of it. Essentially if you look at all my businesses, somehow that strategy applies. And then another thing that I’m going to mention one other thing, Tony look up and I think you’d love that video if you look up Bill Gross Gross is G r o s s Ted.
So he’s got a Ted speech on their Ted presentation and he did a study where he looked at five or six things and the six factors in achieving success and which one was the most important. And there were startups funding, how much money they had their business plan, their idea, how good the idea was, their team. And the fifth one, I think it was five, not six. The fifth one was timing when they decided to launch their business. The most important thing, the least important I think was the business plan. And I’m not surprised and I can talk about this forever as well. A business plan was number five. Number four was the funding. How much money they had. Number three I think was the idea. Number two was the team. And number one was timing. Someone had a great team of geniuses and launched Facebook or youtube in 1990 something.
That’s when Bill Gross launched it. We launched youtube before youtube and I had a lot of funding that, a great business plan, great team, and great idea. Youtube is an incredible idea. They would have failed like many others because the Internet wasn’t ready for Youtube or my Blockchain. For example. One of my businesses is in the blockchain space where there’s, you know, people talk about the space, a lot of hype, a lot of money, a lot of bubbles, but it’s in the early stages right now a lot of businesses are launching and we work with many startups, with great ideas, very smart people, but the timing is not right. The technology is not ready to withstand those businesses. They’ve ticked all the boxes except timing and they’re going to fail. So I think the first thing you should look at as a business, is timing, I launching your product at the right time or service, is it the right time to launch that idea. Because you still get the timing wrong.
Nothing else matters. Every successful business, the timing was right if you look at obvious things. If you’re in e-commerce, you want to start selling your product on Amazon. You look at Google trends, is it trending? Another good book that I recently saw by a person called Ryan Levesque, it’s actually, it’s a French name, but Ryan Levesque is how you spell it. And he’s got a book called, he’s got two books. One is called Ask It and the other book called Choose. And in that book, one of the chapters, I think all of his are great books, but one chapter is really important. It tells you how to find if you’re an e-commerce, how to find a product and go on Google trends, the sweet spot on Google trends before launching your product to make sure that it’s the right time in the right market.
And he talks a bit about that concept as well. Now with some good points. And I made a video review about it a few days ago. So that’s the answer, honestly, it’s just timing. Working hard. We’re doing the right thing at the right time. So working hard, doing the right thing at the right time would be my summary. My answer to that question, Tony.
Good answers. Thank you, timing is something that is like luck or like the opportunity that we talked about. You don’t necessarily know you’re in the right timing for a product. So you have to really study and research your market and perhaps even tested to make sure that the timing is right for that.
Exactly. You need to study it. You do all the studies you checking and it got a lot of tools you could use in e-commerce. You could use something like Google trends or Sam rush. And Blockchain, you can use a lot of tools for different industries that Google trends are perfect for that. It’s very simple to the point. But you said one other thing, you use all those tools to make sure you time it right, but also test. When your timing, is it the right time, test, check it out. Are there people that will buy your product? Don’t worry about making a profit. Get a proof of concept will people pay for your service. They do perfect, you’ve got an opportunity, let’s see how much money you can make out of that opportunity. Start doubling down.
Mario, there are some great points here. I’m going to listen to this again and check out those books and those references you gave us and I urge everyone in the audience listen to this again, there is so much information. This is everything that you need to know, followed the leads in this interview will take you to where you need to go to make your business successful and if you have a successful business, get another one going, Mario got 14 listen to someone that knows his stuff. Mario Nawfal Bootstrapping The Seven Figures and you can find him at marionawfal.com I’m going to spell that again. M a r i. o. that’s Mario Nawfal, N a w f a l, marionawfal.com absolutely love this. We got to have you back. There’s so much more to talk about Mario, just love it. Thank you so much for sharing this great wisdom with us. We sincerely appreciate it.
My pleasure, Tony thank you for your time.
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