Tag Archives: Small Business

Episode 113: The Three Ways You Can Make Money Online | Nick Loper

Nick Loper - 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Nick is an author, entrepreneur, and a lifelong student in the game of business.  His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs.

Nick Loper joined the online world while he was working for Ford as a side hustle in the Summer of 2014 eight to nine years ago.  He started his work online by  selling shoes with a website he created as an affiliate.  The site was a data-driven site which never performed very well in the organic searches and all of his visitors were paid visitors.

Nick has initiated a multi-prongued income attack where he offers consulting, a mastermind group, affiliate marketing, Kindle publishing, book editing, and online instruction.

According to Nick, there are three ways you can make money online:

  • Advertising
  • Product
  • Service

Nick has written four books on Amazon:

  • Virtual Assistant Assistant: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with Virtual Assistants
  • Treadmill Desk Revolution: The Easy Way to Lose Up to 50 Pounds in a Year – Without Dieting
  • The Small Business Website Checklist: A 51-Point Guide to Build Your Online Presence the Smart Way
  • Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals
3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Shout-Outs:

  • Pat Flynn
  • John Lee Dumas
  • Chris Brogan

Success Quotes:

  • Success is freedom of time. The freedom to spend your days how you want to spend them.
Nick Loper 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

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Episode 78: Start a Small Scale Business to Test Your Idea | Ben Alexander, Founder of Balloon Distractions

Ben Alexander founder of Balloon DistractionsBen Alexander is the owner of Balloon Distractions, who appeared on an episode of the Shark Tank. He didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, but he gained a lot of experience through the process. He talks with us about his experience on the Shark Tank as well as with his business. His advice to start with a small scale business is something that resonates with me.

Ben Alexander started Balloon Distractions in the Fall of 2003, starting an adventure that continues to this day. Balloon Distractions has been a blessing in his life, and the lives of all those who have learned a new skill, income, confidence and poise.

 

Zeb’s Take – Start with a Small Scale Business

It was great talking to Ben today about his business, how he’s been able to grow it and get these balloons out there; get kids excited, helping out restaurants and helping get people extra income as well. He started his business on a small scale.

The thing I want to expand on is that many people when they start a business they take out a loan, or try to find investors, or take out a second mortgage, or something similar to invest all that money into an idea. All because people tell them it’s a great idea. Then when they take it to market, they don’t get the response (in terms of sales) that they’re looking for.

What you could do with a business is start on a small scale, a small scale business. If you have a product, a service or an idea or something you want to try, do it on as small a scale as possible. See if you can get sales from it, because sales is the most important thing for any business. You really need to go out and seek those sales first to know if you have a business or not.

On Shark Tank the always about sales. How many sales do you have? Some of the people who go on the show haven’t even pushed the sales side of things for their business and then they don’t really know if their business is profitable or not. It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what people buy in business.

Keep that in mind. If you have an idea, you don’t need a grandiose business launch. Find an inexpensive way to put it out there and try to sell it with your small scale business. Sometimes you don’t even need to have the product to sell it, you can get people to buy into the idea of the product. If you can get people to put money down based on an idea then you know you are onto something. Nowadays there are crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) that you can get people to buy your product before it’s even out there on the market. That’s an excellent way to test and see if people are legitimately  interested in the product or not.

Contact Ben Alexander at Balloon Distractions

BalloonDistractions.comballoon-distractions-logo
BenAlexander@balloondistractions.com
If you are interested in growing a region contact Ben, (813) 391-3895

Quotes

  • “It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it.”
  • “I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘Hey, I want to start something.’”
  • “That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”
  • “No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”
  • “I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”
  • “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”
  • “To play it safe is also to play it boring.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Start with a small scale business to test your business idea.More From the Interview

Background
As a college student Ben took a semester to teach English in Taiwan where he met his wife. When he returned to school he was studying Economics and working as a waiter at a restaurant. At this restaurant they had a guy come in once in a while doing balloons, he serviced a few restaurants. Ben was getting tired of serving, he asked the balloon guy to teach him in return for payment. Ben joined his team and his first week doing balloons he made $800 in tips just from balloons. Ben thought, “wow, there’s something to this.”

When he graduated he got away from doing the ballooning, but he kept it in mind. He got married, had kids, got a job at a fortune 500 insurance company. In the summer of 03 he moved to Tampa Bay, he had a sales job that he hated and that wasn’t paying enough to cover his bills. He noticed there were a ton of restaurants, so he went out and started working at a couple doing ballooning. Then he went to the nearby college and recruited some students. We were in 30 markets by the time we were on The Shark Tank. He was in Episode 514 of The Shark Tank.

Ben lost his sales job when he was fired, but that day he went out and got 4 restaurants, a chain, to work with. He took that as a sign. I remember coming home and talking to a neighbor of mine who owned his own contracting business. He said, “You know you can always get a sales job. Why don’t you go out there and try to do this thing on your own. See if you can support yourself with your balloon business.” To this day Ben remembers that advice.

Ben says, If you’re doing 100% commision sales, you’re kinda already in business for yourself. You just maybe don’t have the structure behind you. I had experience in 100% commision sales, but I had never been a full on independent business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it. The last 10 years of my life, I’ve had the freedom to do a lot of things that I couldn’t to do if I had a normal 9-to-5 job.

“There’s definitely more risk in running your own business, but if you structure it right and you don’t go into crazy debt, it could be a nice lifestyle.”

Shark Tank
Shark Tank put them on a national stage. There are 200 markets in the United States, Ben is trying to get regional leaders and build a crew for each of the top 150 markets. They have regional leaders that work 15 hours a week, and we have people that are full time.

“I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘hey, I want to start something.’”

“Everything that you’re ever going to see that’s not natural started as an idea.”

“That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”

Ben suggests that if you’re an entrepreneur and you watch Shark Tank. If you have an idea try something on a real small scale. Don’t mortgage your house just to try something. If it’s profitable on a small scale you can grow it bigger and bigger and it tends to be profitable as you get larger.

To get on the show Shark Tank, Ben applied online, months later they asked him to create a audition video. He says, “I made it real wacky and crazy kind of like a Billy Mays Infomercial type of thing. I think they liked that.”

He says, to get on Shark Tank you can be an awesome person with an awesome business, but if it’s something people have seen before, like a fishing boat charter, or house cleaning… they want something different. When you tune in you have no idea what crazy off-the-wall creative wacky businesses you’re going to see.

The show suggested he do his sales pitch and then they drop balloons on him. They filmed in the morning, he didn’t know if it would go smoothly, he had no sleep the night before and he was heavily caffeinated. “I’m normally really hyper and energetic already, so to kick it up a notch, it just makes me look like totally nuts.”

“I think my pitch was not organized enough and I didn’t have a solid enough expansion plan.”

Balloon Distractions
“No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”

Ben still goes out and does gigs. He said “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”

What Ben wants to do is create a machine that, for example, is able to target St. Louis and in 90 days have a team up and running. He wants to do that without spending thousands of dollars in advertising to find those people.

Ben has several people that used to do balloons at restaurants for them that come back and become regional leaders.

“I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”

“To play it safe is also to play it boring.”

Shark Tank boosted his business but it didn’t double it or do anything crazy.

Advice
There are 3 skill sets that are needed to run a business:

  • You need to be able to do it
  • You need to be able to sell it
  • You need to be able to manage the money

Ben says he should have, on day one, had someone come in and make sure the money was managed correctly.
He suggests: get a good accountant, get your quickbooks, and never get behind on taxes.

“Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Tim Robbins said it’s action, you have to take action, you can’t sit around and just plan s*** all day. You have to take action. A lot of people have these complicated business plans and they want to get a giant loan and all this other stuff. If you want to start a business, you need to take action up front.

You may have a great idea and people are like, “Wow, that’s a great idea!” And then you go out there and no one is willing to pay you a dime for it… maybe it’s not that great of an idea.

If you have an idea try it. Don’t try it for the next 30 years, but go present it to a hundred different people and just gauge the interest. If no one has any interest then take it back to the drawing board, improve it or change it. Even better, take your idea out there and ask, how can we make it better; you’d be amazed people will give you lots of information.

What do you think of Ben’s interview?

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Episode 37: Balancing Your Work and Personal Life | Alex Navas from AlexNavas.com

Alex Navas helps people and business owners determine what is important in their business and personal lives. It’s not easy balancing your work and personal life.  The most successful people are able to find a healthy balance between the two where they are able to accomplish a lot at work, but not to the detriment of their families.  Learn more from Alex on business and what it takes to be successful in Episode 37 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Alex Navas Balancing Your Business and Personal Life Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Alex Navas

Alex Navas is nationally recognized for his financial expertise and exceptional small business marketing methods.  He has been active in finance, marketing, sales and personal development for 10 years.  He is now an energetic and charismatic speaker, trainer and business coach.

Alex started his entrepreneurial career installing car stereos for his friends and from that point on he knew he was destined for a life in business.  At 21 years old he started his first business, a mortgage company.  He and his wife did really well in the mortgage industry and he learned his passion was helping other business owners become successful by holding bootcamps for real estate agents.

Alex helps businesses by taking a look at their assets.  When he explains assets he means the positive things you have in your business.  After analyzing your assets, Alex can point to some opportunities you’re missing out on which could help you grow your business.

By understanding where a business is at, Alex can help businesses expand faster using less resources.  A lot of times success online depends upon taking advantage of the right opportunities and being able to identify those opportunities is critical to the success of any business.

A lot of entrepreneurs make decisions based on illusions.  A common challenge entrepreneurs make is they think they know the answer about something before the event even takes place without acting on it first.

Their are a few key things to achieve exponential growth.  Your mindset is important to the success of any business owner.  One of the key ways to grow exponentially is by choosing who you’re going to serve, because it gives you the opportunity to serve who you were not meant to serve.

Alex owns the Christian Business Academy and purposefully narrowed his focus because he knew that he was meant to serve those people.  In return, it has become easier for him to attract the clients that he wants because they are attracted to his purpose and mission.

One of the things that Alex is really good at is creating profitable partnerships and he works with a lot of coaches and consultants and he helps them leverage what they’re doing.  Alex created an online training program with another business coach in order to help people create experts in the industry.

When Alex was running his mortgage company, he was working from 7am to 11pm.  One day he was sitting with his son and he realized that his business was taking him away from his family and he vowed not to let that happen.  We’re passing up opportunities to say that some day we’ll have time to spend with our family.  Balancing your work and personal life is critical to the happiness of an individual.

Alex has seen so many successful people, but their personal lives are in shambles.

Most business owners are overwhelmed and overworked. Most business owners are doing way too much work.  Once you get focused and narrow down your goals then it becomes easier to achieve your goals and you’re doing less work.  No matter what Alex does at work he thinks about the people he’s serving and how he can help them.

Balancing Your Business and Personal Life, Alex Navas on the Defining Success Podcast

Alex Navas

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How important is balancing your work and personal life?
  • What is more important?  Your business or your family and friends?
  • Who is the target market for your business?  Why?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Alex Navas – “Whether you already know who I am or not, I’m ultimately here to serve you and I have a lot to tell you that will shed some light on who I am and how I can help you experience more joy, happiness and fulfillment in your life and your business.”
  • Christian Business Academy – “C.B.A. (Christian Business Academy) was founded to gather Christian entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals and empower them to create more fulfilling, profitable and purposeful businesses through the Word of God in order to create lasting change around the world using their businesses as the catalyst.”

Success Quotes:

  • “When you have fun in your business, you’re never working.”
  • “We all have a reason why we’re here beyond us.”
  • “Success comes much easier when you’re having fun and operating in your purpose.”
  • “85% of business owners are doing way too much.”
  • “It’s a lot easier to work with what you have than to start from scratch.”

Special Requests:

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