5 Strategies I used to make my first Million.
My entrepreneurial journey has been a wild one, as it is for most people, and last week I shared a lot of the advice and lessons I would've given to my younger self when I was first getting started as an entrepreneur and you can check out that video here and here, and thank you so much for all of the amazing, in depth, kind comments on that video. It was really fun to read through them and I thought this would be cool to do as a follow-up, which is essentially sharing the five fundamental strategies that I use to get to the first million in my business. I remember every stage of my business really clearly in how it felt and how overwhelming it felt at times. And to be sitting here today and to
have experienced the rapid growth over the last couple of years in particular, to get to now an eight figure business. I feel like these five fundamental strategies still play a key part, no matter how much the business has grown, I still lean on these every single day and they help me stay consistent and they help me stay focused. If that's something you're excited about hit that like button and help us reach more people in the algorithm. This channel is totally dedicated
to reverse engineering entrepreneurial success and making entrepreneurship available to everyone. So a small thing you can do is just hit the like button, be sure to subscribe for new videos every week. Now I remember vividly when I hit that first million, it was in my fiscal year between 2016 and 2017 and I couldn't believe it. I was so excited. I now had a seven figure business. It was happening and I realized that up until that point,
it felt like I was kind of like in the wash cycle, in a washing machine. And then I finally just sort of settled and I found my foundation, my balance, my core, and I realized that growing the business from there was not about adding more things. And honestly, growth came out of simplicity and subtraction. I really do say that a lot and I believe it, that subtraction leads to success. So, these five fundamental strategies, like I said, still play a big factor in my business to this day and they are a core of how to grow a business that feels healthy, peaceful, and sustainable. So these are the five strategies that we're going to go into today. Number one is creating scale. Number two is metrics that matter. Number three is investing
forward. Number four is outsourcing. And number five is embracing uncertainty. So number one is creating scale. So my journey to becoming an entrepreneur, I started as a journalist. I then became a social media consultant and freelancer, and then
I dove into and fell into, this whole online world. I was working as a freelancer for about four or five years and I was paid on a one-to-one basis. I was paid by the hour and when I talk about creating scale, this was a key component to being able to grow my business because it allowed me to detach my time from my income. You only have so many hours in the day. If you're working with clients one-to-one, or you're doing one-to-one services, you're essentially trading your time for your money. So inevitably, you're going to run out of time and you're going to hit an income ceiling. I realized that very quickly. It led me to being super burnt out, super exhausted. In order to create a truly scalable business, the key really is that
your expenses stay where they are, but your profit continues to grow. Your revenue continues to grow and it doesn't require more of your time, more of your energy and most importantly, it doesn't require more resources to grow. So there were two very key factors in creating scale in my business. I started with YouTube, which I fell into accidentally, and I realized very quickly that it was an incredible platform and medium to continue to reach people without doing any extra work. Because YouTube is a search engine and its own by Google, which is the largest search engine in the world, you are set up for success. With every video that you create,
we think about them as little evergreen sales machines and evergreen lead machines because every video you create is then placed into the algorithm and YouTube then uses its internal traffic sources to push that video to the right people and to be discovered in search by the right people. So those videos are all out there in the world, working for me day in and day out, which allows me to do attach my time from income. When you look at a different platform, like let's say Instagram, for example. The shelf life of an Instagram post is quite short. So it works for you in the immediate future but it stops working after a while. Whereas
YouTube videos, I have videos that are like four or five years old that still generate quality traffic and leads for me, every single day, that turn into clients. Again, that's not requiring any more time or resources for me. The next piece of that was when I really discovered this online world and I discovered the power of YouTube, I realized that there was this huge need for online education and the online education space is booming. And so I decided, okay, instead of just repeating my strategies over and over again, and working one-to-one with all these clients, what if I was able to package my knowledge, my expertise and my strategies, into an online course. Because I had so much demand from people when I started sharing my content online,
that I just physically couldn't work with all these people and I wasn't really at a place where I wanted to hire anybody to help me. I kind of wanted to stay solo at the time. So, I packaged my knowledge into an online course and since then, that is really what has created such rapid growth in my business. Not even just in terms of income, but in terms of impact because my clients now don't have to wait for me, or my time, to get the results and the transformation that they're looking for because they can study it at their own pace and then I'm there obviously to support and provide guidance if needed. So YouTube and online course creation, those two things combined really allowed me to detach my time from income and I have a whole playlist on how to create an online course that sells and you check that out in the description below, but that really is the first key strategy, all about creating scale.
Number two, metrics that matter. If I didn't study our numbers in my business every single morning, I would not be where I am today. I say that with the utmost confidence and certainty. Because for a long time, I shied away from numbers. I shied away from analytics. I felt like I wasn't good with numbers and it was really just a way to sort of self sabotage my own success and growth. The more that I fell in love with knowing my numbers and knowing the metrics in the business, the more growth I was able to see, and the more I was able to control the growth because I knew what was working and I knew what wasn't working. So this is the very first thing I do,
every single day when I wake up, and it puts my mind at ease and it allows me to sustain and create consistency in the business and it's why our business is wildly consistent, month-over-month and year-over-year and we don't experience a ton of peaks and valleys. So what are the metrics that I look at every single day? These are them. Number one is traffic. How much traffic are we accumulating on a daily basis? How many leads is that turning into for the business? And how many clients are actually enrolling out of those leads? From there, how many client results are we getting? Is the program working? Are we creating transformations because without proof and credibility and results for your program or your offer, you don't have a sustainable business. That's huge. The next thing is what is the revenue that we're
generating? In addition to that, how much cash are we actually collecting on a daily basis? Because there's a difference between revenue and actual cash in the business. If somebody buys a $500 product, but they pay on a payment plan, you have $500 of revenue, but you have $250 of actual cash collected, which is very important to know, to be very on top of your finances so you can grow. And then finally, how much profit do we have? So after all expenses, how profitable is the business and how can we use that profit to create runway, a safety net, and the ability to have a safety blanket, as we want to scale and invest back in the business. Knowing
my numbers, like I said, put me in the driver's seat and it allowed me to not be a passive part of my business anymore and it was a really big key to getting to that first million and truly continuing to grow beyond that. Those metrics don't change and they really are the keys to that level of growth. What it does for me, is it allows me to make decisions from a really clear place because I know exactly what is going on in our financial picture and I know exactly what is necessary to invest in and what we can and what we need to maybe hold off on, or maybe what isn't necessary, because there's things that we can do internally to fix things instead of maybe hiring out or outsourcing or anything like that. The other thing that my metrics really taught me were that the biggest thing that matters in your business is profit. Revenue really doesn't matter because if your expenses are a hundred thousand dollars a month and you're bringing in a hundred thousand dollars a month, you're breaking even. You're not actually creating profit and
sustainability in the business moving forward. So your profit allows you to create, as I mentioned earlier, that runway and runway is if the business shuts down tomorrow, how much do you have in the bank to be able to pay for your expenses? Pay for a team, if you have one? And keep you afloat until you figure out how to get more cash in the bank. It is the thing that allows you peace of mind when your head hits the pillow at the end of the night, in growing any business. What it also really did for me to know my numbers was it allowed me to realize what was working the best and to double down on those activities that I wasn't trying to do everything. It really simplified the business and I shared in a recent video about how to monetize yourself and the six business models. You can check it out here and here. I shared that 98% of our revenue and profit is coming from my online program. And 2% is coming from other activities
like affiliates and AdSense, brand deals and all that stuff. So knowing what was working the best and knowing how to grow that and sustain it, has helped us create that level of consistency. Number three, this is a biggie, and it's really tough for a lot of people and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. Investing forward. So what I mean by this is when I first became an entrepreneur, I had no idea how much it was going to cost and that there are a lot of expenses that can add up quite quickly. I used to have this mindset where I felt like I was just throwing money out the window when I was investing in things, like we went from this organic strategy that really built the business as I talked about earlier. We really used YouTube and social media
and email marketing to grow our business without ever spending money on advertising. But once we got to a certain point, I realized, okay, we have a very credible product and we should be investing in paid advertising to be able to impact more people and reach more people. So spending money on paid ads was a whole hurdle for me because it felt like I was throwing money away and what I quickly realized is that it was actually moving the needle forward.
It was investing forward. I also had to look at things like buying equipment and investing in software and up-leveling the tools that we use in the business, as an opportunity to move forward and to create more growth, as opposed to losing money and this comes up all the time. Like I said, we had a very organic strategy for long time, and most of our revenue still comes organically, which means free traffic. We have gone from spending $10 a day on ads at the very beginning, to we now spend anywhere between 500 to $1,500 a day on ads in the business, which is a big investment when you really add it up and you think about it. And so that was one key thing and recently my laptop of seven years, which I loved and had duct taped together, it broke on me and just died. So I had to get a new laptop and then my camera recently broke. The monitor completely fell off and cracked and
so I had to get that fixed and that was a couple thousand dollars. So there's always going to be things, whether it's planned or unplanned, there are investments and expenses in your business, no matter what. So how do you invest forward and how do you shift that to be a strategy that can actually work for you? One of the ways I was able to do that is actually through the sponsor of today's video. This is very full circle because I switched to BMO
when I was rapidly growing my business because I wanted to work with a bank that really respected entrepreneurs, valued them and supported them in all the right ways and this is going to sound so naive, but when I first was getting started in my business, I didn't really realize that you could actually earn rewards and points and really see the benefit of spending on things you need in your business. And so they have the BMO World Elite Small Business Credit Card. The beauty of this is whether I am fueling up with gas to go to a meeting, or I am investing in new gear and equipment for shooting videos or working in the business, or I'm just spending on my internet or cell phone bill, which is high, because I'm an online business, I'm earning four BMO rewards points for every dollar spent and then I earn 1.5 rewards points for any dollar spent outside of those items. And that
adds up over time, especially when you are spending thousands of dollars a day on things like ads. I'm then able to use those rewards points to reinvest into things that really matter. Plus they get it and they make it really easy because even picking the right credit card can feel like a very overwhelming decision. So they waive the first year's annual fee, which is the value of $149. Expenses add up quickly and it's just a reality of running a business and like I said earlier, it's all about knowing that you're investing forward and that you're not just throwing money out the window because sometimes it can feel that way, especially when you're getting started and you're not seeing big revenue and big profit. So a huge advantage to this
credit card is that in the first three months, if you spend $5,000, you get 50,000 points and you get an additional 20,000 points if you spend $35,000 in the first 12 months, which is pretty feasible when you're starting a business. The fourth strategy is outsourcing and this can also feel extremely daunting and I have been there. I didn't know who to hire, when to hire, what to do. And now I have an amazing team and I love them so dearly. But when I was first getting started, it was trying to figure out where do I actually start? And who should that first hire be? I can tell you in working with thousands of entrepreneurs, now going through it myself and having a team for as long as I have, the best first hire is really for that administrative busy work, because that's a natural part of running a business. You're going to get bogged down in these sort of must dos, in order to keep things running along in the operations but that isn't always what you should be focused on as the founder. So a big activity that I did, in order to
figure out how to outsource and the strategy behind it. And I still do this to this day, is I regularly do time audits and I really look at how am I spending my time every single day and am I prioritizing the things that I really have to do and that nobody else can do. And if I'm not, I'm actually not benefiting the business, or my team, because I am getting bogged down in the work that isn't pushing the needle forward and I'm ultimately creating a little bit of a plateau.
So outsourcing is massively important and played a huge part in being able to get to that $1 million mark. And it's not like I needed a big team. I really needed to hire one person who could take lot of that admin stuff off my plate. So the first thing to do is to really recognize on a daily basis, what am I doing and how much of that could I use help with? Things like your calendar, scheduling meetings, getting the right Zoom link, all of those things add up. Posting to social media, creating content, creating graphics, editing videos, the things that you don't need to be doing and that are revenue generating activities.
And so another thing to keep in mind here is I have four daily priorities and these are the only things that I focus on every day and everything else is now outsourced. So those four daily priorities to focus on are number one is sales. Are you actually bringing in clients? Are you generating revenue? So often in, I don't know why this happens. People put that at the bottom of the list when it needs to be at the top. Sales run a business. If your business isn't making money, you don't have a business. So sales is number one. Number two is quality control,
making sure that you have the best product and offer on the market and you're really intently listening to feedback. Number three is social proof. Like I said earlier, client results drive and sustain a business. So are you getting results? Are your clients happy? Are they unhappy? What can you tweak? What can you evolve? And making sure that you're collecting that proof, that what you do works really well because that leads to more sales.
And number four is profitability. Like I said earlier, it's vitally important to your peace of mind as an entrepreneur, and so making sure that you're keeping a close eye on your expenses and on how profitable you are. And number five is embracing uncertainty. This strategy might sound a little woo, woo, but it has been something that I still really have to focus on and maintain every single day because what I realized is like I said, I've been through this, but I also work with so many entrepreneurs on a daily basis at so many different levels in their businesses. I have seen a pattern that you start and you are this hungry solopreneur. You're so driven. You're doing everything. You're learning everything. And then, you become this intermediate entrepreneur and you have social proof. You have credibility. You have an offer that's working. You have maybe your first hire. And then you become the CEO. You have a team. You're really
focused in your genius zone and then you become the owner. And when you're an owner, you're at a place for the whole business and kind of run without you. That's an amazing place to be. But at the same time, every part of the journey is vitally important and I always say new level, new devil. Because there are new hurdles and roadblocks at every single stage and a big
piece of embracing uncertainty is knowing that you cannot control what you cannot control and you can only control what you can control. So, like I said, the metrics and how you show up, the people around you, can't control people, but you can control the energy, the culture and the values of the team you build around you and also who is in your personal circle, which has been very important and I am all about quality over quantity because you kind of are like an athlete as an entrepreneur. You have to show up as your best and your healthiest version of yourself, in order to really be there for the business and for the people that are keeping the business going and for the clients that need you. A part of this was really around investing in things like therapy because I needed to keep my mental health in check and I've had issues with burnout and anxiety and I really needed to learn how to maintain my wellbeing in order to be the best version of myself for my team and my clients and as the business group. I've said this before,
I said it last week, that entrepreneurship is one of the best practices in self-awareness, and it will show you your demons and it will show you your strength, and you have to be willing to recognize your strengths and your weaknesses, and to work on the things that aren't serving you anymore. And when you reach every new level, there's going to be things that you have to release and let go of, personally and professionally. Knowing that I had that support was really important and also really investing, not financially, but investing into relationships around me, that felt like they were quality, supportive and uplifting, to also keep me in a place of high vibration and positivity and abundant. A big piece of this for me is really maintaining
a positive and optimistic mindset, regardless of what's going on around me. So doing things like TM meditation. I do that every single day. I did a course a few years ago and it has been a game changer for me. So, that's TM meditation. It's a very specific kind. Another big part of my mindset, which is why I created this separate channel is affirmations. I
knew that I had to reprogram my brain in a lot of ways around my money mindset, around how I thought about myself and my self-worth. And so that's why it was really labor of love for me to create an entire affirmations channel, which thank you for all the kind comments and DMs I've gotten about it because it's apparently helping a lot of you, so you can check that out in the description below as well. But I think the biggest thing to really talk about when it comes to embracing uncertainty is that you are your biggest asset, especially when you're running a business. If you're not healthy and you're not well, then nothing else is going to really feel healthy or like it's going to last. I'm all about building a legacy business,
which means it's built to outlast you. And in order to do that, you really have to be okay, be still, be at peace, be present. And of course you're going to have days when that's not the case, but for the most part, trying to stay even keel, so you don't get knocked around by the emotions and the ups and downs is so important. So investing in yourself and understanding and embracing and surrendering to the uncertainty, but knowing that you're okay, regardless, is the best strategy that you can use above all else. The rest of the stuff, yes, it's tactical, but this, so important. I will never in a million years say that entrepreneurship is easy because it is certainly not. It is a journey and you really got to be up for it,
but I wouldn't trade it for the world and I would love to know what your takeaways are and what helped you from this video. I was thinking about maybe making a video that was more tactics driven in the steps I would actually take to get by first million. Let me know in the comments, if that would be helpful for you. But I really appreciate you being here and like I said, the whole mission of this channel is to demystify entrepreneurship and get real about it and also make it available to everyone. So a small thing you can do to support that is hit the like button, be sure to subscribe for new videos every week ,and be sure to check out this video next. I will see you in the next one. Thank you so much for are being here. Bye.