Most people online are selling you a lie.
Maybe intentionally, maybe not. But it’s rarely ever the whole truth.
They paint a rosy picture about how amazing their business is, how successful they are, how much money they’re brining in (with ease)…
And they leave out alllllll the critical context about how they actually got there. What it took. What it still takes.
Well, #sorrynotsorry but building an epic business is not rosy.
It takes work, and dedication, and action, and failure…
Building a business is an emotional rollercoaster and I can guarantee that all the shit you’re wading through right now is normal. We’ve all been there.
In this episode, I’m pulling back the curtain on what starting my business was actually like.... I dive into things like:
Tune in and then come hang out with me on Instagram and let me know what you think!
Work with Jordan:
#BTS | The early days of building Easy Scaling
Hey. Hey, welcome. So today I want to share some reflections on the early days of my business. I wanna share some things that I did just to normalize if you're doing any of these, these things, that's okay. I want to share some of the things that I've done that did not pan out. I don't know. I, I, I don't really know exactly where I'm gonna go with this, but I feel like it's important.
Something in me is like, it's important to share how I've actually evolved since the beginning and what the beginning of my business really looked like. And, and this is partly coming from the fact that. , I feel like a lot of people have been resonating with this idea that there's an unrealistic expectation about what being successful in business looks like.
It doesn't mean that you built a seven figure business overnight while not even working and you were traveling the whole time. Like it's just so out of the norm, and I think it's like a tired marketing like ploy and we're all over it. . What I think, what I think we need more of is actually sharing what it does look like so that we can, we can feel a more sense of normalcy in how we're actually running our business and see that it's okay to work hard, it's okay to fail, it's okay to do things when you start in a totally different way than you do things now or as you scale or as things evolve, like.
I just wanna share some, some of that behind the scenes with you today. So where to start? I guess first I'll say that I didn't even have my LLC that I have now. . When I started my business, I was operating under a different L L C cuz I was doing like some mentoring. I thought I wanted to be a business mentor.
Turns out that's not what I wanted to be, which ironically kind of is what I am. But that title and that structure of selling business mentorship or business coaching really did not work for me. But I didn't know that until I tried. . You all know I'm big on just trying things and seeing what works and then adapting from there.
Perfect. Perfect example is of that is the fact that I didn't even know what I wanted to be doing when I quote unquote started this business. It kind of like fell into my lap with this first opportunity of somebody asking for. The strategy piece that I did, as part of like mentorship or coaching. I, I'm, I love doing the strategy, but what they also needed was someone to actually do the thing for them.
They didn't know how to do the tech. They didn't know how to like set it up, right? So it was like, oh, that's interesting. I could easily do both of those things. Actually, that's what I'm used to doing. I'm used to like figuring out how to do it and then actually executing it. So this opportunity really just fell into my lap with this first client and.
I didn't have my LLC set up. I didn't have my business name. I didn't even have my brand yet. I didn't know what I even wanted to do was tossing around this idea of being a contract coo. What did that mean? and so not my, my ducks just weren't in a row. They, they, they weren't ready. I, I didn't have things buttoned up when I first started working with this, this initial client.
I didn't know. I didn't know the structure of how to actually pull it off. I was creating, Out of thin air, you know, saying, oh, okay, well here's the scope that I think is gonna be included in this project. Here's the price and the timeline. Prices were totally outta whack, and I sold this whole thing off of a pdf.
Okay? I didn't have a website at the time. I maybe had like a personal brand website like my name, but I didn't have my business website because I didn't have my business name, I didn't have my brand. I didn't know I was gonna be easy scaling. Didn't know that's what we were gonna do. And so I sold the whole thing off of a PDF template that I went in and customized and wrote out the bulleted list of the scope and put the two price options and.
and Wow. Wow. How things have changed. Things have changed so drastically. That was only a year and a half ago, so things can change very fast. And my prices per hour, probably 3, 4, 5 times what they were, that initial project, and it took me a lot of work. to increase my prices. I didn't just start with premium prices right off the bat.
I, I didn't even know what to charge. I didn't know how long things were gonna take. I didn't know what the value was of what I was doing. And that was that, that changing of prices was definitely an iterative process that I raised my prices over time with each new client. I took that as an opportunity to increase my prices until I got to a level that I felt.
I felt good about, I felt integrity with knowing that the value was there for the price, but also feeling really confident in, in the compensation for what I was providing and the infrastructure that I was creating and maintaining. And you know, it's not a trading time for money calculation because that, that doesn't take into consideration a lot of the other things that go into having your business and building your business and getting clients and doing the delivery of the, the product or service.
And so I don't really like to think about it as an hourly, wage per se, but that's definitely evolved drastically over the years. And honestly, I feel like the prices that I charge now, my, my brain. , my brain couldn't even have handled those at the beginning. Like my, I wouldn't have been able to believe that I wouldn't have been able to confidently sell those prices I needed.
I needed it to be iterative. I needed to build up the confidence and the expertise and all of that. The, the testimonials, the, the work, the systems, it's so much more streamlined. We have like a framework and a system and a process for exactly how we do things, and that continues to evolve. But, it is night and day compared to what it was in the beginning.
And, and that's partly reflected in the price. So anyway, that was a little bit of a tangent. let's see, what else do I want to talk about? I did massively invest in Facebook ads, and I think a lot of people, if you're, if you're listening, you probably heard me talk about the fact that ads work really well for us.
and I think it's important to share the context if you don't know that or if you haven't heard that full story. We invested heavily in ads in the beginning of this business, partly because I made the decision and I remember this like, like literally like it was yesterday. I remember thinking to myself, I'm done playing small.
I don't want to. Build this slowly over time. I want this to ramp up quickly. I know that it's gonna work. I felt extremely confident that it was gonna work and I didn't want to sit around and like slow roll the building of this business. I wanted it to be quickly, quick. I had, this is my third business.
I'd done all of the figuring it out, , I feel like, in terms of how to run a business and what I wanted to do, I had like done a lot of work on that for many, many years and I was just like, I, I'm just gonna go all in. I'm gonna go all in. I know it's gonna work and I wanted to work quickly. I don't have the time, I don't have the patience to wait.
I just wanted to pop off immediately. , which I don't know, to each their own, that was the space that I was in. . And so the way that I decided to do that was to invest in ads. And I interviewed, oh my gosh. I actually thought that the way that I was gonna do this was to build a passive income funnel to build a course and have this passive income funnel that would sell people into my course.
And I would have all this passive income coming in, like then I could do, you know, a light load of clients on the side. yeah. That's not how that panned out. So what happened is I interviewed a ton of people. Facebook ads agencies, Facebook ads, ex experts, funnel experts, people that did the tech, people that did the strategy.
I probably interviewed 10 to 12 people over like a two week period, cuz again, I wanted to do it quickly. I had some cash, fortunately that I had access to, . That was just my own personal money. I had sold a house and I had, I had some cash, right? So I decided invest the cash, save the time was my decision.
And I ended up picking a Facebook ads agency. I went with the ad girls. Everyone knows, if you've heard me talk about this, I highly recommend them. They did an amazing job. I don't work with them anymore because I manage all of my ads myself because they set them up so well and. , go chat with them if you wanna build out, build out ads.
It was not cheap. It's still not cheap. They are pricey, but I thought it was totally worth it. I would do it again. Every single time I would use them again, for sure. Tell them I sent you. And so they built out this funnel for me and what I thought was really amazing is that it was their idea to take a different approach to the ads than I was.
Because I wanted to do this passive funnel, and I remember I met with Jennifer who owns the company, and she said, no. What we're gonna do first is build out a book, a call funnel, and book out your high ticket service and use that cash to support. Building out the passive funnel and the ad spend on the passive funnel.
We wanna get you having money coming in as quickly as possible, and we know that we can do it with this book a call funnel because we've done it before. It's what we do for our services and you've got a proven service and we just need to pour gasoline on it with ads. I said, okay, that actually is really cool.
No one suggested that. I think it's fantastic. Let's do it. And within a couple of months I was booked out. I was booked out at full capacity from those ads, which. is amazing now that I think about it. And in the meantime we, well, I guess just to put a, put a bow on that for context and transparency, I paid them up front, I think it was 18,500 for a four month engagement That was for them to build and manage and do all of the testing, do all the creative for all of the ads, and fully build it out and manage it and do all the things.
So 18, about $20,000, and then they had a minimum ad spend requirement of $3,000 a month. So add that on. So we're close. All in till what? Like 30 K. We're all in with that investment. And it paid for itself very quickly. Again, because. I was selling a high ticket service, so anywhere from like 2,500 to $4,500 a month.
So very, very quickly those ads paid for themself with being at full capacity. And then we were able to, build out the passive income funnel to sell the course. . Spoiler alert, it didn't work. , it did not pan out. And that, that's not to say that I didn't have sales. I did have sales. I had people buying my ma, I had people opting into my masterclass.
I had people coming onto my list. I did make some sales. It was not converting at a high enough rate based on the price of the course and the conversion rate of the actual ads, it wasn't converting well enough to. To like make it profitable. It was like I was like maybe barely breaking even over time.
It ended up like, because those people eventually bought other things and stayed in my audience for a long time and, and sold into different programs. Yes, I made money on those ads, but I wasn't with just the funnel itself, making enough. to justify keeping those ads on. There was something off with partly the messaging of the course and the freebie and all the things, but anyway, I won't go down that rabbit hole, but just know that massive failure in my opinion. , considering that I invested in the ads thinking that this was gonna be the thing, and it was of no fault of the ads, it was. Purely a problem with the actual funnel itself, like the messaging and positioning of the offers and the price points and, and different things there.
So I wrote that off, and really leaned heavily into just doing the done for you high ticket services, which is really what we're known for. And that's our bread and butter. And that's kind of like where we spend the majority of our. and it wasn't until several months in that I even invested in things like a bookkeeper and I invested in someone to do my brand design and my logo and things like that, and so I didn't, again, like I, I just think it's important to know that in this first several, Of this new business.
I did not have things together. I, I didn't have a logo. I didn't have a brand name. I didn't have colors, I didn't have fonts, I didn't have all my systems. I eventually put a website up that I built myself. Like it just evolved slowly. And so I say that because I think it's important. For people to hear that you can be financially successful in making progress, in building your business and for things to be working, working, and happening and trending in the right direction without you having all of these little pieces like.
Figured out and put together. I feel like that stops people all the time because you think, oh, well I don't wanna like go do that thing because I don't have my brand yet. Or I want, I don't want to go do this. Or I don't want people to like come to my website or I don't even have a website so I can't go do that thing.
And it's just not true. . My first client came from someone who was in my network. My second client came from a Facebook post that I saw. I saw them posting on Facebook saying they needed help with something. I was like, I think I can help them. I think they're kind of describing what I do. and so you can still show up and take action and do the thing and sell your services even if you don't have it all ready to go.
Right. And you can work on that stuff behind the scenes as you go. And. . We do a lot of that. We are constantly changing and adapting and improving our behind the scenes operations and also our forward facing efforts and then our client facing, processes and our, our client facing work that we do. It evolves and we find new ways of doing things.
I mean, when I first started doing, 90 day plans with clients, We had a particular process of how we did that on calls, but we didn't have a formal process for how we actually rolled out that 90 d plan to them. We, we put it in click up, but I was doing all of it and it, it, there wasn't a structured flow from the call to getting it into their project management tool.
It was very, we were very much winging that and I was figuring it all out in my head and it worked. , but now we have a process that we have put in place that gets a lot of that work out of my brain and onto paper so that it can be actually delegated to other people to, for them to help me with parts of the process that I don't actually need to be doing.
I don't actually need to be putting the planet to click up. , I don't actually even need to be taking the first pass at putting the plan onto paper. I can take my call and my notes and then hand that over to someone on my team for them to take that raw information and build it out into a rough 90 day plan structure.
And then I get to go in and customize it and fine tune it. And that allows me to stay in my zone of genius and allows me to do the things that I love to do that I actually, I find are easy to do. And I can be really quick at that. it, it makes us way less efficient if I have to do all the pieces because I avoid doing some of the pieces cuz I don't actually like to do them.
So just keep that in mind too, that your processes will evolve. , you will get more efficient. You will get to the point where you can, you can't always outsource everything, but there may be parts of what you do that is your zone of genius that you can have other people support you with to make it a little bit easier or quicker or more efficient, or more enjoyable for you to actually do what you do.
Well so all of that is essentially what happened in the first, I don't know, three to six months of my business, all of that, that was all crammed into a very short amount of time. Lots of money invested. A good amount of money made as well, but I was not profitable in my first year in business. Not like even by a long shot
I did pay myself some, but the business as a whole was not profitable. Let me pull the data. So that first year in business 2021, which. . You know, I started about in July is when I started this business and there was some wonkiness with the two different LLCs that I had as I was transitioning things and moving into the agency model and easy scaling and away from the old LLC and doing more business mentorship and there was some overlap there.
But ultimately I think I. I think negative 25 or $30,000. so , I definitely invested and spent more than I made the first year, and that was okay. with me again because my goal was to grow quickly and to shortcut the time by investing the money. And that doesn't mean that that's the strategy that you should opt for.
Everyone needs to decide that on their own. Again, like this was not my first business and I had bootstrapped businesses before and done the slow roll thing and like that's just very much not my personality. And so I wanted to do things differently this time around, and I knew that it was gonna work.
And so even though those numbers on the face of it for a first year in business, even though it's like only at my first six months in business being in the hole, about $25,000 felt good to me because that was about the investment. That was about the investment that I had made, and I had recouped. I had recouped some of that costs already and I was seeing recurring revenue coming in, and I knew that it was gonna work out the next year because we were on the trajectory.
We had laid the foundation to do what we wanted to do. So then, of course, the next year, very, very different. We did over $300,000 in our first full year in business 2022. So you can see there the jump from negative 25 30. Income to doing over $300,000 in revenue. I paid myself about $60,000 the in 2022 and, you know, invested a good amount back into, into the business and had a ton of expenses.
But again, that, that, that felt really good for me for a first full calendar year in business and further laid the foundation for what we're gonna do this year in 2023.
The way that the business functions is so different. The way that I show up as the business owner, the way that the team structure looks is night and day, what it was in 2021 compared to 2022, even compared now to 2023. So I think all I'm doing here today is just trying to convey and reiterate and rant a little bit about.
the fact that it's okay where you are right now, and it's not how it's always gonna look, and it's not how it's always gonna be, and that's okay. And just making sure that you're, you are making decisions and spending time and money on the things that are gonna get you closer to where you want to go, even if it feels messy and scary in the moment because it's been messy and scary in pretty much every moment since we started because it's so much experiment.
and evolution and adaptation and, and learning, and then optimizing and changing. And I think that that's the fun part of building a business. I think it's fun doing it quickly. It can also be a little overwhelming. I'm not gonna sugarcoat that either. it's a ton of work, but. , just know that it, it will get there regardless of what your time scale is, regardless of like how quickly or, or slowly or what you want your investments to be.
if you have money to invest at the beginning or not, like you will get there, it just is gonna look a little bit different and you're going to have some failures, either similar ones that I've described of failed funnels and. , I've talked about launches that I've changed my mind on and canceled and like there's firing of clients.
I was losing money on one of my very first clients. I had to fire her because I actually was spending more on delivering the service than she was paying me. Like those, those types of things are super shitty in the moment and very scary and very overwhelming, but culminate to create the business that's gonna actually work.
And you, you kind of have to go through the shittiness. To figure out what works and what doesn't work and what you enjoy and what you don't and what works for your clients and what doesn't and what you need to change and optimize and what you can let go of. Like you just have to go through it to figure it out.
So hopefully that is helpful. It was fun to share and kind of think through some of the early things that we did. I always like to look back and see how far we've come, even though it's like time-wise, not that long ago, but feels. A million years ago. So anyway, I will see you back here on the next episode.