The Point Of No Return
by Joe Kalis
I love roller coasters. I hope that as I continue to get older, my stomach and everything in my head will continue to allow me to enjoy them, unlike many of my friends. As I sit in a roller coaster car and listen to the clicking of the chains as it lifts me high into the air, I can’t help but encounter a few moments of fear. As the protective harness hugs my chest and promises to save my life, I say to myself, “What am I doing?? Let me off of this thing!”
Unfortunately, I’ve reached the point of no return, and in just a few seconds, i’ll be descending down a hill going faster than is naturally designed, and fulfilling the outcome of my decision to climb up that hill in a chair that some engineer said would be OK. All that hard work put into pulling me up the hill, only to hope that I will make it down the other side, safe and sound.
Strangely, I feel the same way regarding my new business. Today is a special day, as it marks two very significant things in my life…
Firstly, it is the one year anniversary of my last day in corporate America. On August 1st, 2014, I stepped out of the office of the job I had for the previous four years…the same job I had thoroughly enjoyed (for the most part) and earned several promotions and raises in salary. I was also able to work from home three of five days per week. I had a great income, expertise in my role, respect of my peers (most of them) and superiors (most of them), the best insurance available for an employee, and relative flexibility in my role of leading a team of support specialists. So, to say that deciding to leave that was a risk is a bit of an understatement. I was completely confident of this decision for myself, but as I chose to marry a beautiful woman and have a child, the decision did not only involve me. I had to reconcile the safety of my job against a mere possibility of success in a crazy business venture we had been dreaming about for years. One year ago today, I began my new life, full of fear and excitement. Happy Anniversary to me!
Secondly, it is the first day of August 2015, which is the month in which my brother Dan and I based all of our projections on for our (seemingly) first (extremely) successful Facebook ad campaign. This is both frightening and thrilling for us, as we’re still not sure how it’s going to go, but the next 30 days should prove to bring us a ridiculous amount of business and profits. The reason this is frightening is because we’re, still, simply on-lookers and basing everything on projections. It’s kind of like scaling up a roller coaster and doing all the work to get to the top, only to hope and pray that the car keeps going, taking you down the other side in a thrilling adventure that leads to the ultimate in euphoria and pride of a job well done. Hopefully, our car won’t jump off the tracks and land us turned upside down wondering what happened.
I wanted to provide a disclaimer, again, to state that my entire intention of posting about this process is to document my thoughts along the way, truly as a way to journal for myself and the “legacy” of our business. Even though I hadn’t planned on sharing the previous article (“Self-Employment Is Weird“) publicly, as I wrote it, I realized that a lot of what I was saying could be used as a way to help other entrepreneurs understand the entrepreneurial journey, and I even hoped it could inspire someone to believe in themselves to either begin their own business or grow an existing one.
Strangely, when I posted the first part of this “series”, I actually got way more of a response than I had planned (amazingly, nothing negative!). I was overwhelmed as I heard, privately, from over a dozen people thanking me and in some cases asking if I could help them get out of a rut themselves (in a variety of different ways/scenarios). So, all this is to say that this post, nor the last one, are meant to brag about our success, but to (as I mentioned) document the journey for myself, and even more importantly, now, help inspire others to believe in themselves. THAT SAID, I encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about traveling down a similar path yourself.
For those detail types who have made it this far and actually care, and/or are following the story…as of this moment, we have thousands of new leads in 2015, with 194 that have “graduated” to the tail end of the process, and sit in different statuses:
- 19 clients “currently in progress”
- 30 clients “under contract” (estimated 80% of these close, or 24)
- 82 clients with a “clean approval” (estimated 50% of these close, or 41)
- 63 clients with a “conditional approval” (estimated 10% of these close, or 6)
19 + 24 + 41 + 6 = 90 estimated deals x $1,300 average commission = $117,000. Our sales cycle time is around 45-60 days, and all of these “active” leads are already somewhere along the road, so I’m conservatively estimating that this business will close in the next 30-45 days.
With this math, perhaps you understand the equal amounts of anticipation and fear we’re faced with going into the next 30 days. I plan on writing again on September 1st with an account of what ACTUALLY happened as far as the amount of business we brought in, in order to compare our projections to reality.
Until next time!
November 30, 2016
November 18, 2016
August 12, 2015