Becoming An Authority | How You Can Be A More Capable Business Owner

This post is a conversation between Antonio, Tom, and Mike Mills.  Mike is a former US Marine who transitioned into a business.

Becoming An AuthorityMike: I guess one of the biggest things that I wanted to do was be a more capable business owner to where I could actually come out and speak at StyleCon.

Not just as a two-minute and actually be someone there kind of like Ryan was so people see me as an authority.

I’m getting more and more in touch with consulting, more in touch with my own side of doing things and how I want to see my business grow every single time I do it, so it’s getting better.

It’s just getting those processes down to the point where I can comfortably handle the amount of traffic that will come in, know the website and the people locally and then going online completely and understanding my process —

What do you think about online course offers?

 

I just had an issue with one of my courses. I’m just realizing I may have actually under-priced it because pretty much I’ve sold as many as I expected to sell in a week in two days, so it’s like okay, I can either shut it or I can increase the price.
Mike:    Yeah. I think I’m there because the people locally — I don’t increase the price for nutritional plans. I keep the nutritional plans like $100 a person because they’re already paying $320 to $400 for the gym a month to train with me and I do that two times a week with them, so now I get the hundred in cash and then I pocket that.

I don’t do contracts with them. I just use that and increase my revenue stream that way, and then the people online, I just have a set price for them.

Antonio: Well, Mike, let’s take a step back. I think Tom and I were very interested. Officially, now the High Speed Elite is wrapping up with the time period, but as you can see — we’re talking with a guy, Marco Blask, a little bit right after your call and we don’t leave people behind. It’s something I always look at as just — it’s like a jumpstart with a car.

The goal of High Speed Elite is to get you jumped and started. I like to think we’re going to be watching on your journey and be a part of it for years to come, but I would love to hear, if you take a step back a year ago and now.

I look at you now and it seems like you’re much farther along. It seems like you’re rock climbing in the middle of the day and you’re actually not worried about money.  How does that make you feel?

 

High Speed EliteMike:    No. Like I just said, I sent you an $1800 check. I’m not worried about it. I’ve never done that before in my life. It doesn’t bother me. With Adam, he’s put me through a $2500 course. I already know I’m going to be able to pay that off. It doesn’t bother me.

It’s great. I know I don’t need to get comfortable. My biggest worry is I’m going to get comfortable and I’ve already gotten that. It’s the point to where I’m at — I want to get to the point where $5000 to $10,000 a month is easily attainable because I’m making more money now than I ever have in my entire life.

Now, if I can increase that revenue stream by two or three times as much, that’s where I want.

My biggest goal is to get my email list bigger and then work with Adam on basically telling people about mindset and then adding in my nutrition and fitness techniques in with that to help people and us going and talking at different events.

I want to do a joint talking event with him, at least at StyleCon and maybe other places.

Antonio:    I love it and I’d love to hear — for you looking back at the last six months, eight months, you came in with a lot of drive.

You came in with the kind of attitude that you’re not going to let anyone — they can say “no” to you a hundred times, but you’re still looking for that “yes”. You’re looking for that glimmer of hope.

What do you think was the key factor for you that made you start to be able to reap these rewards?

 

Mike:    I guess one of them would definitely be believing in yourself.

The confidence that I had in me has grown.

I’m still having doubts, but I know I picked probably the hardest path anybody can take on top of being part of the 1%. I’m trying to be part of the 0.01%, so it’s just the idea that I can actually attain something that takes people 25 years in five years.

That’s what drives me, is that inherent belief that I can be a six-figure earner before I hit 30 years old and be okay with the fact that I’m making money and help whoever the hell I want to help.

It’s freedom. I want freedom. I don’t want to be restrained by someone’s idea like oh, it’s a nine to five. Well, I don’t care that you think it’s a nine to five. I understand that I can make money doing anything, selling.

Antonio:    Now, one thing I’ve really liked about you, Mike, is that you’ve actually done a great job with the people in the group, reaching out to them, building relationships. And like you said, you’re actually investing in Adam’s course, who is a fellow student.

Can you tell me about the people in the course and what you’ve been able to learn from them and be able to give them?

 

Mike:    Well, for one, Jay Bear, I talk to her two times a week every week. I’m going to do a podcast with her called “The Hulk and Jay Baer Show”.

It’ll be in production later, but it’s just something that — her personality is complete polar opposite of what I would be if I was an introvert, so anything and everything that I attain to be with my weaknesses, she’s got all those in strengths.

So I can always ask her something about myself that I didn’t know and she would just put it out in basically a paragraph format like a scientific peer reviewed article. She’s just that person.

She can sit and read for six hours. I can’t do deep work like that; she can. It’s something I’m trying to do. She also helps me with my mindset stuff because she helps me with anything service level.

Adam, on the other hand, I needed someone that was further along in the psychology process. He’s a Harvard graduate, so he’s got to know what the hell he’s doing.

Then he started talking to me. The last time, I cried during — I cried during 45 minutes of the interview because he pulled something out of me I haven’t had in years.

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People in my past life had made influence in my direction and in how I was, and now I know and I have to forgive them and forgive myself, and I have to provide value to people so I could sell because my main key metric is to make money and be financially free.

To be financially free and make money, is that a bad thing?

 

Mike:    No, it’s not.

Antonio:    It sounds like you came in and we both — we’re both marines. They didn’t pay us that great in the Marine Corps and now you’re making more money than you’ve ever made.

How do you see you being able to leverage the fact that your Marine Corps background — how do you see that playing a role in the future with your business?

 

Mike:    Relationship building. The fact that I can just say, “Oh yeah, I was a Marine,” that sold packages before. It sells ideals because they understand that I can instantly relate to them in the amount of hardship.

I volunteered to put myself in harm’s way and volunteered to get treated like crap for minimum wage. I’ve been at the bottom and I’ve been at the top and I understand the difference.

The average person, the average millennial, the average civilian doesn’t understand that, so I can relate to this subculture of people that have a determination and drive and that would be a major, major influencer in my clientele base because every single one of them are driven to make money.

Even the people that don’t have money, you see them and you see the drive in their eyes and people need to help them.

What have been some eye-opening points that made you say, “Wow! I never even thought about that” or “Wow! I just applied this one thing to my business and this makes so much sense.”

 

High Speed EliteMike:    When I looked at Lean Canvas and you basically just told me that sales was the metric that I need to focus on. I dropped everything else that I was thinking about advertising-wise and focused just on sales.

And then all of a sudden, it’s like I understand — it’s like a light went on. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

Stupidly, I thought people were just going to come to me because I knew things. If you have a big yacht in the middle of nowhere and no one knows that there’s a yacht there, it doesn’t matter how big the yacht is. It’s just going to be yacht. No one’s going to have any idea.

So I started talking to people. I go out there and say, “Hey, I’m an online coach. I’m a personal trainer. I do both of these” and I’m transferring people from where I’m at to online coaching or I flip packages around and make some kind of money somehow.

I’m learning how to hustle at a younger age and it’s just sales. Learning the sales process has changed my life around. And you saying that basically flipped my head around, and every single book that I’ve read so far, deep work, essentialism, anything by Robert Greene — The 50th Law was funny because you’ve talked about that in the video. I was reading that right before that video came out.

Can you talk about the relationships that you’ve made and the type of people you’re surrounding yourself with now?

 

Mike:    I surround myself with key people that I know are going to push me like my manager at the gym. He’s a millionaire, but he’s got a very, very abrupt and — he will cuss you out and it won’t bother him and I love that, but he’ll do it with constructive criticism. He’ll tell you straight up “This is what you need to do” and he’ll call me out on all the crap that I do. “You’re bitching and complaining five minutes ago. Why are you complaining? You’re not making any money because you’re not selling.”

One of my best friends has got MS. He’s sales-driven even though he can barely walk around and move. He still works harder than anybody else I’ve ever seen even though he’s on disability just to survive. Guys like you and Tom, I can say that I know Antonio Centeno and I know Tom. I know people like that. I have a network. It’s powerful. Most people don’t realize that value that once you have your network, you can leverage that not in a bad way.

I see someone I can help and I go, “Hey, I know a guy,” and then that guy five years later is like, “Hey, I know two or three guys that’ll be great clients for you” when you’re down on your luck and you don’t have anybody. It’s huge.

Talk a little bit about how those that matter to you now, have they seen a change in you?

 

Mike:    First, my mom and my dad, my dad was completely against me quitting my job. He was scared of that and that was probably one of the key points in my life. I was scared six months ago to quit my job. I was making $22 an hour and $30 an hour on Sundays and my benefits are ridiculous at Costco, but I wasn’t happy compared to now to where I have Wednesdays and Fridays off because I want to.

My dad just sees it. I walk in and tell him and he’s like, “You just paid off the transmission for your car in cash.” I was like, “Yeah, I had it lying around.” He didn’t expect me to have that. He’s like, “What have you been doing all day?” I was like, “Well, I’ve been training clients since 2:00 and I got home at like 9:30.” So he just doesn’t question me anymore. He just comes up to me and asks how I’m doing and that’s about it.

How do you look at yourself now in the mirror. Has anything changed? Are you feeling pretty good about yourself?

 

Mike:    I don’t know if I feel good about myself. I just know that I have a lot of work to do because I dream big, so my vision for where I want to be and how I’m going to get there is — I want to be authority in the fitness and nutrition field as a coach, so for me to establish that is going to take 10 to 15 years. I know I’ve got a long road, but it’s my drive and my focus and with the people that are helping me, I know it’s attainable.

I want to be humble, but at the same time, I want to be hungry and I don’t want that hunger to leave because that hunger can fall away in the first two to three years. In The 50th Law, they talked about it. 50 Cent went —

Antonio:    Yeah, the mind becoming soft.

Mike:    Yeah. He got his first record deal. All of a sudden, he’s pumping out 50 tracks in a weekend and someone else is pumping out max seven. I want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy that pumps out seven tracks. I want to be the guy that pumps out 50.

Antonio:    Well, you’re reading some great books. Cal’s book is really good, the Deep Work.

Mike:    I got to re-read that. That blew my mind a little bit. He talks about you.

Antonio:    He does talk about me although he got my company — that was actually pretty cool to see someone that you’ve — I followed his blog and then he somehow found my contact form. Tom, have you got any questions for Mike?

Do you have any thoughts specifically geared towards other veterans who are looking to start some sort of business or something online who may be interested or looking into High Speed Elite?

 

Mike:    I would just say go in with an open mind. For me, I was teachable, but I wasn’t moldable. I was listening, but I wasn’t applying. You can read things all day long, but if you don’t apply them, it’s worthless, so you have to actually listen to what the experts are saying and shut up and actually try and objectively look at what they’re doing and actually apply these things because everything that you guys have told me has been done in real time.

I may not be able to apply it now, but later on, I can apply that when it’s relevant to my business. It’s well worth $3000. It’s worth $10,000.

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What was the trigger that got you to start taking action and applying the information?

 

Mike:    Not wasting my money and my time. I wake up every day and I’m thinking to myself, what have I done today that matters? Am I doing something today that actually helps my business grow or am I wasting my time?

I wake up every morning, meditate for 15 minutes. I read for 15 to 30 minutes every day. You said you listen to an audio book every time you drive. I apply something every day. I read something new all the time.

So if I keep doing that, eventually I’ll be one of the smartest people in the world. It’s only a matter of time. There’s nobody that reads as much as entrepreneurs and people that actually research, so why can’t I just be like one of those guys?

And when I read something and I know I’m learning more, that motivates me to more action because the more action I take, I might fail, but I know I’m going to make more money.

Any other maybe thoughts for us in terms of what do you think we could do to improve what we’re doing going forward?

 

Mike:    Honestly, I was impressed with the whole deal. It’s just I think for coaches and consultants, it was slightly a miss for it because for me and Jay Baer, our biggest thing was we couldn’t relate to all the other coaches because either they were too far along or what they were doing wasn’t anywhere close to what we wanted to do, unlike Adam.

Adam didn’t talk very much, so we didn’t really get his perspective, but consultants in coaching, we wanted to do one-on-one and we felt like a lot of the personalization was taken out of it and we don’t want to let that go.

So I think that a lot of people want to just put up a bunch of systems and metrics to do that and I understand that time is valuable, but I don’t think I’m ever going to get away from that personalization because I feel like it’s probably one of the most important things, to keep clients coming back.

I know you can raise your price, but — that was the only thing that I saw. No one really got that or understood that, it seems to me.

I know you guys probably did, but I didn’t think that some of the other people could actually see that. Everybody was thinking really big picture and I’m still thinking one-on-one. I want to keep the quality there.

Tom:    Awesome.

Antonio:    Good stuff, Mike. Hey Mike, thanks for your time. We’re going to actually take this. I’m going to transcribe it. I’m going to go over it. I just love this stuff here.

I’ll talk to you about this, but I may actually love to pull out some quotes, maybe if you’re cool with us using this interview to inspire others.

We’ve even thought about putting some of these together and putting them on the podcast. We just want to get out more stories of guys that are coming in and just kicking ass and making things happen. I just love inspirational stories.

StyleconMike:    Yeah, that’s awesome. I was even going to ask if at one point — because I know this is a big thing to ask. A hundred thousand people in an email list is massive, but if that one point —

Antonio:    Yeah. You just got to have a great offer. It’s something we talked about. I already told you I’d do it. I just simply want you to have a page which can accept it and has three offers and here are your price points. “I’ve known Mike for years. He came out to StyleCon and many of you guys have met him. This is his deal.” Boom! Let’s just make it happen.

Go look at Ryan Masters over at Sparta Strength. Look at his sales page and look at how well he qualifies himself and you’ve got a big advantage over him.

You’ve got the Marine Corps background. You’ve got the fact that you are working with people one-on-one. He doesn’t do that. He goes more for the general masses.

You’re going for the guy that’s looking to work with you remotely and is willing to pay a thousand dollars a month. You better have that program available because there are people out there that are willing to pay for that.

Now, you can have the $250 a month program, but don’t just have that one when you’ve also got people that are willing to buy the whole kitchen plus the dishes and everything.

Mike:    You know, I had a problem with that because I was thinking I charge $400 a month bare minimum to anybody and everybody and $300 if I’m only doing nutritional planning, but the thing is for someone with $1000 a month, it’s always different and always customized to them and what they need and I can move it around.

I guess what we originally wrote out was okay, but it’s changed a little bit for me because I’ve gotten into different things and I know the process of what I was doing.

Antonio:    Yeah, and change it up. Come up with a page and definitely we’ll re-look at it. Yeah, Mike, we’ll talk again I’m sure. That’s about it. Actually, I’d love to talk to you at some point about your idea about staying hungry.

I’m looking to put together a mastermind of about five guys that would meet about four to five days a week every morning at 5:00 a.m. and it’s just basically — I’m going to call it Wake Up, Focus, and Motivation.

It’s just five guys waking up together, being focused together and motivating each other, and then going and doing their thing and then seeing each other the next morning at five.

Mike:    But how do you have time for that?

Antonio:    Because I’ve got to get up at five myself. Here’s the deal. It won’t be free, but the way I figure, I’ve got a lot to do and I need this.

So oftentimes when I create a business, I’m scratching my own itch. And since I would be the one facilitating, doing all the tech, it’s going to cost me a little bit of extra time, but if I’ve got five guys each paying a thousand dollars — because it’s very labor-intensive, very intimate, so it ends up coming out to like 50 bucks a morning.

Some people will say, “Oh, that’s crazy,” but if you’re a business owner and this helps you make an extra $10,000 that month and $100,000 that year, what are you talking about? That’s nothing.

Mike:    Yeah, that’s true.

Antonio:    All right, guys. Mike, good talking with you. Talk to you later, man.

Tom:    Take care, brother.

 

This post is a conversation between Antonio, Tom, and Mike Mills.  Mike is a former US Marine who transitioned into a business.