The Breaking Point
On October 2 2009, my consulting job with Integrated Device Technology (IDT) ended when my contract was not renewed. IDT has an 18-month employment rule for consultants, and my job had gotten “outsourced” to the IDT’s chinese division. (shortly afterwards, 40+ of my former coworkers were also laid off after they had trained their chinese counterparts.)
Now understand, I’m a single Dad facing this. I’m father of two daughters, Jailyn and Mielle, 15 and 12 years old respectively. Jailyn had moved in with me in my 2-bedroom apartment and we were really enjoying our company together, our “daddy-daughter time”. Although Mielle still lived primarily with her mom, I would get an extra evening or two a month with her just from random reasons. And I treasured every one of them!
I had ZERO savings and living paycheck to paycheck. I had invested all my money funding what would become Pro Manager CRM Trainer, LLC. (we had one name change before choosing Pro Manager)
Imagine this: A month before getting laid off, the transmission in my van broke down, and I didn’t have the $1,500 or so to fix it. But luckily, my business partner Tom shared his car with me and was totally cool about letting me use it to go back and forth to work while I was at IDT, while he worked on the all the other aspects on launching a thunderously successful online business. Remember, Tom is my former brother in law, I was married to his sister and my children are his nieces. Tom and I are the co-founders of Pro Manager.
Trust me, there’s an incredible amount of work behind the scenes that most people realize in order to make the magik of the Pro Manager System possible! Tom was working on (and still working on) securing unlimited merchant account processing volumes from as many merchant banks and payment gateways a possible. While Tom will move on to other tasks in managing Pro Manager, there will always be an ongoing need for getting more and more merchant account to ensure unlimited transaction volume. That’s because the ironic thing with US Banks is that if your volume explodes without a prior history, they’ll shut off your account because in thier eyes, it becomes high risk.
Instead of celebrating “Yeeee Hawwww! We got ourselves a Big One!”, the banks get all scared and want nothing to do with you. Although our sales rep assured us that we could process up to $2 million transaction volume per month, we knew better.
That’s just one pearl of wisdom that we’ve learned along the way as we saw companies fail because they grew too fast. We took notes.
Back to my situation, my rent was a whopping $1150/month. My unemployment benefits was was $880 per month after child support deduction. (actually, less after paying taxes on it too, which btw is a heartless thing that the IRS does… but do you expect any different?)
At that time, my role in Pro Manager was the Information Technology (IT) Director. It would be CTO if we were a public corporation, but we bootstraped it, self-funded (with a few private investors only (personal friends, no angel funding or vulture capitalists)). I’ve since included Social Media Director in my role with Pro Manager, but at the time, I was the sole programmer for the prototype to the Pro Manager System. We were pushing hard for launching the Beta for the prototype, and our plans were to self-fund and be profitable as soon as we turn on the system. More on the products and services within the system, just know that they’re digital, like in downloadble videos, mp3′s, software and more, with a Super Powerful Affiliate Program!
I looked for a new job, but with the economy crashing induced by the banking fiasco, “regular” jobs were scarce. Of the 40+ of us that were laid off, I knew of only a handful that had gotten jobs months afterwards. So I focused on completing the programming to launch. I often wished for investor money just so I could outsource the programming and I can focus on being the creative force that as a co-founder Pro Manager, I have the resposibility to bringing the best ideas to the table to make our combined Vision Turn Into Reality.
Now, I’m glad we didn’t. In in not having adequate funding and support, that’s when I hit my breaking point.
In March of 2010, I reached my Breaking Point! I was evicted from my apartment.
I was broke, unemployed, no car, ashamed and embarassed beyond belief.
But I was lucky.
As it turns out, a good friend and former roommate Don offered to let me basically stay at his house and work from the office while Tom and I finished the project. A few years back, both Tom and I were also roommates at Don’s (this would be the 5th time Don and I would be roommates), and Tom was currently living there when Don extended his welcome. (Don, I speak for both Tom and me when I say that you’ll always have a room waiting for you in all of our houses worldwide! (Writer’s Note: The houses worldwide are still in the Magnetically Attracting and Manifesting Stage.
Jailyn moved back in with her mom, but she and Mielle would come over as scheduled on every other Wednesday and weekends. All non-primary custodial dads know the routine.
How I Found The Solution
First the problem, or the “challenge” as it were.
On the advice of our corporate attorney, William Breck, JD, MBA, CFP (WM BRECK & ASSOCIATES, LLC ), I disabled numerous features in the Pro Manager System with the intent on waiting to roll them out until we secure our intellectual properties worldwide. The estimated cost was $1,000,000 (one million dollars) per worldwide patents in every jurisdiction that “counts”. By Tom and I’s last count, we were going to apply for 29 patents.
I didn’t happen to have $29,000,000 (29 million dollars!) laying around, so the choice was a no brainer.
In “Day 14: The Back Office”, I’ll show you a screencast video of the back office with some of the features enabled. As Beta Testers, what you’ll see when you login will be different from what you’ll see in the video as new features and changes are rolled in.
One of the first problem/challenge was, “Without accepting investor money, how do we raise funds to secure patents and branding?” More questions naturally come as this was getting answered of course.
The answer and the solution turned out to be something that was in front of us all along.
But first, I’d like to take a short excursion by telling you about the process I use in manifesting intentions, and turning vision into reality so we can have some common ground of basic understanding.
If you have never done this, I encourage you to try it. When you have a problem or a question, put an an intention that the answer and solution will present itself and come to you, and the Divine Synchronicities are coming into alignment, and the Universe is bending over backwards to help you receive the answer and solution loud and clear. Ironically funny, the Universe does this by leaving subtle clues that catches you’ll recognize if you’re paying attention.
If you practice that, you’ll be amazed at the synchronicities that manifests through the connections you make from the conversations you have, from the insights you see… If you share your passions with the world, and you’re genuinely a good sincere person, you will attract like minds with an appreciation to what you have to share.
And when they keep coming to the website and check out what’s new, well, you my friend have made a connection.
Some connections will be silent (meaning that the reader reads only and doesn’t comment but keeps coming back (a lurker)), some will start a conversation with you by posting a comment. Ask yourself, “How can my new friend and I help each other so that we get the answers and solutions to both our problems and challenges faster and the journey more enjoyable now that we’ve met and made the connection?”
Notice that it’s the question is phrased in such a way that it’s mutually beneficial for us both, a win-win intention from the start.
Give the answers time to come to you, and look for the clues. Or if you want and it feels right, you can just bring it out in the open and ask it out loud… But always be open to receiving the answers and keep your eyes out for the synchronicities the Universe provides.
The answer we got was to continue on with the strip down of the Back Office, but leave the must-have features intact (like the Affiliate Referral Tracking and Management and of course, the most Ultimate Affiliate Program Ever! (I apologize for the bragging, but where would I get if I didn’t brag at least a little bit about the products and services we offer.
And to launch the Beta to the prototype with a One-Time-Purchase instead of a Monthly Subscription. Banks consider monthly subscriptions riskier than one-time-purchases, so the strategy is to grow a monthly volume to establish processing history, then add monthly subscriptions to the merchant services contract. It seems evident now, but at the time, we just didn’t see it until then.
Now, how the solution came to us is as interesting as the the solution itself was powerful.
I somehow stumbled upon a link to a free ebook, “Get Paid For Who You Are: The 5 steps to Financial Freedom, Time Freedom, Location Freedom, and Inner Freedom.” by David Wood. (full disclosure: I have since signed up in his affiliate program and I get paid for referring customers to him.) (not an affiliate link)
The title caught my attention and concept of getting paid for who you are totally intrigued me! I downloaded and printed the ebook and devoured it in a day!
The core of the book was that you can gain financial freedom by sharing what you’re passionate about and using social media to building your personal brand! Wow!! That concept totally opened my eyes and I had to know more.
Now coincidently (or a Divine Synchronicity), Thea had forwarded to me a newsletter that had a link to a video about a major mlm opportunity. There was an opt-in form where I entered my phone number. When I got the callback, it was from one of his team and told me about the opportunity. Her name was Cindy Cieplik and she explained the opportunity to me in an easy going manner without pressures to join… unlike a lot of other MLM’ers out there who just don’t get it!
We had a pleasant conversation, exchanged personal stories of who we are, and exchanged industry notes. Although I chose not to join her opportunity at that time, we left the door open in the future. For me, individual MLM companies are simply “Revenue Engine” that powers the Pro Manager System. The Plan is to have as many Revenue Engines and to be able to grow and manage them all with the same effort it takes to grow one.
Cindy was generous in that she shared with me the top mentors with successful track records that she knows about, and some she works with directly.
One of the people on this list was Katie Freiling, creator of The Unified Tribe. (full disclosure: I’m an affiliate for her products and I get paid for referring customers to her.)
I downloaded her free eBook, “Social Media Wealth Manifesto: A Complete Guide To Claiming Your Personal Wealth In The New Social Media Economy”. (not an affiliate link)
I totally devoured her book in a couple of hours. It’s only 43 pages (Get Paid book is 180 pages) but it’s jammed packed with awesome inspiring motivating information and her passion really comes out just as much as in her videos. I could really appreciate why Cindy recommended Katie to me.
There were several more people that Cindy recommended I look up, and I looked them all up and signed up in their newsletters, the one that had the flashiest presentation was none other than Mr. Jonathan Budd.
Before this, I had never heard of this self-made 25 year old millionaire rockstar in internet marketing. (full disclosure: I have since signed up in his affiliate program and I get paid for referring customers to him.)
Currently, Jonathan is promoting the roll out his internet marketing program The MLM Launch Formula that can be used for any business. (It’s actually a slight misnomer because it doesn’t involve you joining any mlm’s. Go figure??
The common thread that David Wood, Katie Freiling and Jonathan Budd and many others I’ve since met is that they’re successfully using Social Media to grow their Personal Brand.
And that, my dear readers was the Ultimate Solution to the Ultimate Challenge for a successfully product launch for the Pro Manager System. The Synergistically combination of what I’ve learned from these living proof that Social Media Personal Branding Works!
Next it was time to put what I learned into action!!
Tomorrow, I’ll share some details about The Ultimate Solution, Action Plan and more links to awesome content I’m using right now! I’ll include a screencast video that your’s truly here will narrate. The video will show the Pro Manager Income Potential Simulation Calculator and what’s possible in the next six moths with the numbers I entered.
I sincerely thank you once more for stopping by and I’m super impresed by your enduring this post, which ended up A LOT longer than I had anticipated. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my feed, follow me on Twitter, and friend me on Facebook… and in the next 30 days, I hope to entertain and enlighten you with my story of struggle, hope, faith, more struggle, some disillusionment, tons of perseverance, (and did I mention even more struggle), dedication, some enlightenment and eventually, the Ultimate Personal Success!!
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