It was 11 years ago, to this month, that I met James Dyson.
And what he said rocked me to the core.
In fact, since then, his words have never been far from my thoughts.
He said to me what no other big-name entrepreneur has dared to say to me since.
We spent two hours, in a rented Sydney apartment, talking biz shiz.
The year was 2006. The UK inventor was already a billionaire. His name was synonymous with innovation. His household products were breaking records. And he had just published an amazing autobiography.
I was 11 years younger than I am today, barely 30 years of age. My business magazine had just turned three, no small feat. And I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.
His publicist had sought me out.
I was hob-nobbing with one of my idols.
And we were getting on like a house on fire! (So much chemistry!)
Then, he said what he said…
“Do you know, James, it took me more than 11 years to turn a profit. I can say that with certainty, because it took me 11 years just to sell one vacuum cleaner.”
What!? Eleven years! To get his first sale!
At the time, that was half my adult life!
And, the way he said it, the inference was clear.
This experience was not abnormal. Most businesses barely break even.
Now, at the time, our readership was growing quickly. We had a small but passionate posse of advertisers. Our rivals were paying attention. I’d even been winning awards!
We were not making a profit. We were far from it.
Also, I was surrounded by people and businesses, both large and small, that also seemed to be doing very cool things. Or were about to launch very cool things.
And they weren’t making a profit either!
Some of them had never even signed just one customer or client. At all. Ever.
Why am I telling you this?
Because, in the not-too-distant future, I’m hosting an online workshop…
LAUNCH MARKETING RELOADED
And what are we going to cover?
Three simple strategies that separate the uber-successful from the walking dead.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an established business that wants to achieve dramatic growth in the year ahead, by embracing unconventional yet proven digital methodologies or a newbie startup that is seeking to understand how others have grown quickly on tiny budgets by embracing growth hacker thinking, this is exactly what you need to know.
And why me? What gives me the right to address this tricky topic?
My first real business, Anthill Magazine, never made a profit as a magazine. We broke even or brought on angel capital, for five years. (We lived in debt. Ugh.)
Then, when we went digital, it took another three years to finally make real money.
But, then, third time around, two years after that, when we launched our training business, the Not-So-Freaky University, we finally cracked the code…
Within five days, we signed up our first $47 customer.
Within two months, we recorded our first $1,000 turnover day!
Within four months, we recorded our first $4,000 turnover day!
Within six months, we recorded our first $43,000 turnover day!!!
And we can attribute the rapid growth of the NSFU to just three things.
Furthermore, we’ve applied those strategies to numerous businesses since, both large and small, and watched them thrive. (And that makes my heart sing!)
So, here’s what I’d like you to do…
I’m doing this in partnership with GotoWebinar (as their guest).
It’s a pitch-free strategy session, limited to 300 guests.
You don’t need to be a startup to attend. You don’t need to be a captain of industry.
I’ve structured the training to suit any organisation that wants to grow.
Hope to see you online!
Here’s the link, one more time.
P.S. If you have any friends who also run a business, who are stuck and maybe need an injection of ideas and strategies, share this article. Friends don’t let friends keep smashing their heads against brick walls making all the same stoopid mistakes.
P.P.S. Why were James Dyson’s comments so different to other entrepreneurs I meet? Well, Dyson wanted me to know that success doesn’t normally happen quickly. It takes hard work. And it usually takes longer than expected. But when things click… whoosh!
That’s when cool things happen.