How do you go from working a 9-5 job to being self-employed and making $11,000 /month?
Making the transition from 9-5 employment to owning your own company and being your own boss is the dream for most people...
And in todays customer interview, Allan Cortes explains exactly how he did it in record time.
Check out the interview and let me know what you think?
Here's what we cover:
1. What life was like for Allan before quitting his job and joining the Consulting Accelerator program.
2. How Allan took a few steps back with a new niche, to take leaps forward.
3. How Allan learned the necessary skills to help his niche.
4. How Allan landed his first client and fit in growing his business while he had a 9-5 job.
5. Squeezing out efficiency with Allan’s time.
6. Allan’s #1 piece of advice for members: Plan, execute, iterate and never give up!
Do you want to get results like Allan?
Allan's transition from 9-5 employment to starting his own business and making $11k /month was made possible by joining the Consulting Accelerator training program.
The Consulting Accelerator is a 6-week online training program that shows you step-by-step everything you need to know so that you can start your own consulting business, get clients and make money in 45-days or less!
Interested in learning more about Consulting Accelerator?
Sam Ovens: Hi everyone, Sam Evans here and today, I have Alan Cortes on with us. Alan is a Consulting Accelerated student and he joined back when he had a nine to five job, and he hadn't started his own business or anything like that. Since joining, he's been able to start his own consulting business helping personal trainers and gym owners get more clients with social media marketing. He's been able to start his consulting business, get clients and grow it to the point right now, where it's making about 11000 dollars a month per month. And, you've also quit your job. So, congrats on that.
Sam Ovens: You have made the transformation that everyone wants to make. Everyone with a job, their dream isn't so much the seven figures and the Lamborghini or the eight figures, or any of this. It's just, man if I can make 10 grand a month, that's 120 grand a year, and quit my job, and work from home, that would be it. You have done exactly that, so I'm looking forward to this interview and diving into the details and seeing, actually, how it happened.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, awesome. Thanks, Sam. I appreciate you jumping in on this interview with me but, I guess we could dive into the details if you want.
Sam Ovens: Cool, so let's go back to the beginning. Tell me what life was like before you joined Consulting Accelerated, back when you were working your job.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so basically, I kind of just went the traditional route. So, I was kind of the first generation of anyone in, kind of, latino household to do anything college related, or go to university and stuff like that. So, I just always thought, growing up, you go get good grades in school, high school. Go to college, get your degree and go to a good paying job. With that said, I was basically just following that route. I, actually always had kind of an itch, you could say, for entrepreneurship back in the day.
Alan Cortes: I think I was in high school, senior year, I was with my last pay check. I started from there and I started selling candy in high school. Bought them for 50 cents, sold them for a dollar. You know, side story. The candy man hustler. With that said, fast forward to college. I went to college, graduated from university, had my job lined up and started working at a bio-tech company as nano engineer, bio-engineer scientist.
Alan Cortes: It was all good and everything but, what I realized is, at the end of the day, people had to tell ... you had to tell people, when to take vacation, when to show up, when not to show up, but was internal company politics, right? You would be X amount of effort, and for the effort that you put in, other people would still ... you had 80 percent control over your future, not 100 percent control, based on the action that you put in.
Alan Cortes: So, you would work, eight, ten hour days, do a really good job, but still somebody that was more favored, or somebody that was just in the eyes of their peer, more favored, they would get ahead. So, when you see your peers going up and getting ahead and you're kind of of stuck in the same cycle, pay check to pay check, you have enough to save but, you never have enough to truly live in abundance and live on your terms. That's kind of where I was at, before.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So, at that point when you had your job, did you think, well I want to start my own business or, did that idea come to you? What kind of influenced you to think, maybe I want to try this entrepreneurship path?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so the irony was, even before I graduated, I had it in my mind that I'm gonna have this job but, I'm gonna use it as a means to an end and live life on my terms. I didn't really know what I wanted to do in the beginning and so, I was open to anything. I had a good mind set, I was just like, let me just ... I gotta try something, start somewhere, and if it fails, I would rather it fail than say, I did nothing and I'm still stuck in this hamster wheel, so to speak.
Alan Cortes: So, that's kind of where I was at there and, I knew I always wanted to do something, I didn't know what I wanted to do and, the irony was, I actually started in a different niche, it was doing men's style consulting and, I was just trying to figure out how to get clients. That's when I ran into your program. I actually saw an ad on Facebook and I was like, oh this sounds exactly like where I'm at right now and, that's kind of how I got started.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So, you had your job, you didn't like it. Then, you were thinking about starting your own business. You did start your own one, in this men's style consulting and then, what was the problem you were facing with that?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so basically, the problem was, is that what I found from testing different offers and getting in front of the market was that, the market for a high price ... well one, it wasn't scalable. Doing one on one men's styling consulting in a local area. So, you couldn't really scale it, unless you went with more and more people and you can see how that model eventually breaks because, you can only have so many people you can work with and expenses and stuff like that. But, then also, to charge 1000 to 1500 dollars per consultation, the market was interested but, they weren't really willing to vote with their cash.
Alan Cortes: That to me, was the ultimate metric that, maybe this isn't going to be the most fruitful venture, long term. But, I always had that background in science. Very scientifically oriented, in the mind. Engineering, very analytical, very practical, step by step. Set a hypothesis, test, iterate from the results. So, I was like, what other kind of thing is it I can do, that has that similar kind of back end mind set work, when it comes to the actual work itself? The day to day work. That's kind of when I ran into, well what about social media marketing, digital marketing. Then, I started thinking about that.
Sam Ovens: Got it, and then you saw an ad for this and, what interested you in Consulting Accelerated?
Alan Cortes: Honestly, it was ... I don't remember exactly. I don't even know what the program was, I just remembered you speaking in the copy and it sounded exactly like where I was, in the context of not being able to get clients. I said, maybe this Sam Evans guy knows something I don't know when it comes to getting clients and, from other mentors that I had and stuff like that, always told me, you always gotta be humble and you gotta be willing to learn and be adaptable.
Alan Cortes: So, I said, let me check it out. And then, I signed up for the webinar and then from the webinar, I loved what you had to say, I sat through the whole two hours and I was like, well it's X,Y,Z amount of money. If I do the work, and I don't get results, I get my money back, I was like, this is a no brainer. So, I split it up into payments and I got started working.
Sam Ovens: Nice and then, what happened next?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so basically, at that point, I was still in the men's style consulting and basically after about I wanna say, six months of me trying to go through the program with that niche and to be honest, I kind of was very excited to do it. So, I didn't breeze through everything but, I did it an accelerated rate and what ended up happening, like if you've ever worked on a car and you do a bad job on it, you have to go back and fix it to get it done right and it ends up costing more. So, that's the same thing that happened to me. I went back, after going through that men's style consulting niche, decided that wasn't the one and then I started over by decided, what is something that I'm interested in that maybe I don't know too much about, but I can see myself working toward.
Alan Cortes: The other thing I was aways into was fitness, working out, did a little bit of wrestling, high school football and, I always like working out. So, I was like, why don't we try specializing social media marketing for gyms and personal trainers?
Sam Ovens: Nice. So, did you actually screw up a couple of cars, did you?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, back in the day. I've had my fair shares of trips to the AutoZone and shaking my head, after thinking you know how to do it and it ends up costing [cross talk 00:08:06]. Huh?
Sam Ovens: What did you try and do?
Alan Cortes: So, I had a '95 Honda Civic hatchback. A little white, egg looking car. Basically, I tried to set up a turbo charging system on a single, not a single displacement, like a single cam engine and I tried to do everything myself and the thing cost 400 bucks to put together. I ended up messing it up so, it ended up costing me another 400 just to get it fixed. So, I ended up paying, roughly, double what it was gonna cost me if I would have just sent it out myself. To someone else to do it.
Sam Ovens: So, you tried to install a turbo on a naturally aspirated engine?
Alan Cortes: Exactly. Without having the knowledge or the background on it. I was just trying to watch YouTube videos and trying to figure it out on my own, and kind of what I knew.
Sam Ovens: That's funny. I know a lot about cars cause I used to race them. So, I used to build them myself. Like, every little detail. So, that's why I found it interesting when you said that cause I can just imagine you doing something and then, you can completely blow up the whole damn car if you do it the wrong way.
Alan Cortes: A hundred percent, like if the fuel air ratio isn't right. The injectors, all that. You know all that good stuff.
Sam Ovens: Well, get this, even if you do it right, that engine still isn't forged so, it's only gonna handle like six pounds of pressure. If you turn it up any high than that, you'll fry the internals.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. [cross talk 00:09:23]
Sam Ovens: That's like having good foundations in a consulting business, you know.
Alan Cortes: Exactly.
Sam Ovens: Otherwise, you have bad foundations in a consulting business and add a turbo to it, like some Facebook ads and stuff, would have made a webinar, it's gonna fry the internals.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, really fast. Absolutely.
Sam Ovens: [inaudible 00:09:38] with my one, I'd do it up and I keep doing it up and whatever the weakest link was, it would break and that ended up going to the transmission, to the drive shaft, to the axles, whatever was next in line, was just poof, gone. It's a cool analogy that you used. I've never heard anyone use it cause it makes so much sense to me, cause I've done that.
Sam Ovens: So, let's go back to ... you've derailed me now. Let's go back to your picking your niche, so you decided to change to personal trainers and gyms, purely because you're interested in that.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. So, I was an enthusiast in sports, fitness, contact sports and stuff like that, and based on the Consulting Accelerated training, you said, even if you don't know a niche in depth but you could see yourself growing to love it so that when you do the work, you can at least relate to the people you're talking to, or you relate in the context of, having some sort of passion of afinity for the niche. That's kind of was my next kind of process in which I selected gyms and personal trainers.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And, when you selected that as the niche, what ... then this is good for other people listening because all you need, first of all, to pick a niche, is some kind of interest. Like, something that you're passionate about and just interested in looking into. If you're passionate reading about it, talking about it and looking into it on Google, then there's a good sign. And then, the next part, comes the research right? So, try and identify what the problem was. How did you go about that and what did you find it to be?
Alan Cortes: So, what I ended up doing was, I went the old fashion way. So, a couple things that did it was, good old hard elbow grease. I started digging into forums like, Quora, where people ask fitness related questions like, how much on average does personal trainer make? Or, what's the average revenue for a fitness business in the United States? Or, what are the profit margins?
Alan Cortes: So, I started looking into blogs and forums, but then I also went and made a little group of spreadsheet of questions that I would ask, based on the Consulting Accelerated training to potential clients. I would just simply message them on Facebook or Linked In and say, hey I'm getting started in this niche and I'm really curious to get your perspective on a couple of things. I asked them questions like, what are the top three daily frustrations that you face as a gym owner?
Alan Cortes: Some people would say marketing, getting new clients in the door. Others would say retention, others would say internal staff and management, of all the systems. But, what I started to see was, identify trends and I was like okay, well on their top three, one of them is always attracting new clients. What I ended up finding out was that, most personal trainers and gym owners, they live in the stone age, or not the stone age but, the 1990's.
Alan Cortes: Basically, where they just rely on referrals and word of mouth, to extract clients and then, if they're using social media, they probably tried some sort of Facebook or Instagram on their own. They didn't get results, so back at square one. They post here and there, they're not really niched down to a specific area within fitness.
Alan Cortes: And, these are all the things I started to identify when I talked to the market and got real live feedback and as I would have potential client calls and ask them questions, I was start gathering this information. Then, just basically reverse engineer what it probably had, and I positioned myself as a solution to it, through client attraction.
Sam Ovens: So, what was the problem?
Alan Cortes: The problem is, they don't know how to attract clients on a consistent basis, predictably and they're mostly relying on referrals and word of mouth but, they wanna grow the business. They either don't have the time to do it themselves. They don't have the knowledge or the interest to even do the marketing. Or, they basically tell me, I just want to work for someone that specializes and can just get me the result I want.
Sam Ovens: So, have you found ... this I just a wild guess, I don't know this niche. But, have you found that they're mostly interested in just training other people and being in the gym, and doing that, compared to sitting behind a computer and clicking away.
Alan Cortes: I would say, 80 percent of them are, because they physically tell me, I don't really care about the marketing. I wanna be training clients or, I wanna be working on the business or, they wanna be working as a trainer or the operations than doing the marketing. But, you'll have that 20 percent that realize what the revenue generating components are in the business, which would be client attraction and marketing, sales and signing people up and then getting their systems right. Ironically, those that I talk to, are the ones that are doing the best. In terms of a monthly revenue perspective.
Sam Ovens: Got it, so they're just more evolved, right? They have gone and figured out how things work, set up some systems, optimized it, tested it, and they've got a little machine feeding them clients. While, the other people are still kind of blind.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, basically, or they're living in the past or, in the 90's way of client attraction, which was mailers and hand outs, and stuff like that. Instead of, either learning the social media marketing or outsourcing it, because a lot of them see the marketing as an expense, not as a profit generating activity.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, this is an interesting one, that I wanna dive into in a sec but, for other people listening, what Alan found with gym owners and personal trainers is, what you'll probably find in almost every industry that needs to get customers. Is that, they're big problem is, they need customers and the reason why that is a problem is because, they're not up to date with the methods to get them.
Sam Ovens: That's how I got started with Builders and Plumbers, and stuff. They were still buying ads in Yellow Pages, and the radio, and I started to learn ads. This is a problem everywhere and it will always be a problem, because the new technology keeps evolving so fast. So, even as people catch up, they will now be behind. It's cool to see that you've found that but, you also touched on something more interesting, which is the fact that they didn't see it as a business expense, they saw it as a personal expense. What do you mean by that?
Alan Cortes: Well, I guess I meant in the context of, when they think of marketing for their gym or facility, they think of something that they have to expense, and it's gonna drain their budget and they don't understand the concept, sometimes of, you have to invest in your client attraction machine. So that, you can get a return on the investment from it. That's part of where I meet them halfway and I help them paint that picture, and really understand that when you invest in your business ... unless you invest in your business, you're not gonna make it grow because, referrals, word of mouth.
Alan Cortes: You can't control how many clients you get. Sure, they're warmer and hotter in leads, in theory but, you can't wake up every day, be more efficient and say, alright cool. I looked at my phone, today I got some leads. Oh, look I got some appointments. Now, let's focus on implementing systems to sign them up. To convert them from a lead to an appointment, from an appointment to a client. And, from a client, make sure they have an amazing experience and increase the retention of the members in the gym, because gyms actually have a really high turnover rate when it comes to clients and stuff like that.
Sam Ovens: You always see it. Relying on referrals and word of mouth is like, relying on the weather as your income. You know what I mean? It doesn't make much sense to you because, you live in San Diego. It's the same bloody weather every day.
Alan Cortes: Well, for the last two weeks, it's been cloudy and I'm like, yo. What's going on? This wasn't in the brochure.
Sam Ovens: Ha ha, well there you go, even then you can still get caught with it, right?
Alan Cortes: Yep, absolutely.
Sam Ovens: There's nothing like, having a lever you can pull, that you know it's going to work. Like, pull this, that happens. Do that, that happens. That's what everyone's missing. But, the thing that's interesting is, you said they didn't think of expense as an investment, and I found this too. When I was looking into different niches, back in the day, when I was trying to find all sorts of business ideas.
Sam Ovens: I remember looking into guitar [inaudible 00:18:19] right? And, I talked to them and they viewed their business as ... very interesting, they basically see the money they get from their clients and then they see expenses as an evil, which cuts into their life. Because, every dollar, they get from clients, they can spend that on beers, they can spend it on flights, vacations, Ubers, Mcdonalds, all sorts of things. Any time you show them any expense, even if it's a 20 dollar software, they're like, no because that's a pack of beers, you know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Right, right.
Sam Ovens: And so, did you find the same thing? They don't even really keep a P and L. A profit and lost. They don't see, if they put a dollar in here, two dollars could come out there. They just view all expense as an evil.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. So, when I have conversations with them or I ask them ... I'll even ask them somewhat more technical questions. Like, what percent of your revenue is profit? What are your hard monthly expenses? They will be like, well I have it written down somewhere but, I can't really tell you off the top of my head. If you told me, I could tell you, based on last month and what I've been averaging down to the dollar per month. You know, personal versus business. Not to say that, I'm better in any way but, I've just made a conscious effort to have system so that I know and I can track it and, look at the cash flows basically.
Sam Ovens: Well, the difference is, you have a business and they kind of just have a hobby.
Alan Cortes: Right, right but, the irony is, the best clients that I have, they basically have a replicable machine. Which is ironic because, they were once a private gym about two or three years ago. They only had one location and now, they are going and opening up like 13, 14 locations in the span of the next two years because, they basically have a consulting business in form. Where it's replicable, they have systems in place and they can grow it predictably.
Alan Cortes: And now that I help them with the marketing, now they have a client attraction machine set up and then they have their sales process, and then they have a good member experience. The irony was, that same gym owner, who understood business, didn't have big ego and was like, alright well I understand you have to invest money to make money.
Alan Cortes: That same gym owner, in the slow months of the season of fitness, tend to be November and December, because everyone's on holiday. Thanksgiving. Oh, I'll come back in January, and then he had good month that month. He did 108K, so a 108 thousand dollars worth of memberships, for a year in two months. He signed on 70 new members, 129 per month, minimum a year, 1500 dollars for the whole ... basically the lifetime value of a client. But, it's more because he sells products in the gym at additional up sales. But, minimum, it's 1500, he's gonna [inaudible 00:21:16]
Alan Cortes: Doesn't have the client attraction, which he write ... I mean, he did the client attraction machine and he had the sales and the conversion process, and he had the good member experience.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And, he knew his numbers.
Alan Cortes: And he knew his numbers, absolutely.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I find that pretty much anyone who knows their numbers is, in a whole nother world than people who don't, in terms of trying to sell to them. Because, they can actually make educated decisions.
Alan Cortes: Right.
Sam Ovens: How do you go about trying to weed those people out or are you able to convince those people on a strategy in that they should still invest in ads. Or, do you find it where, people who don't know their numbers and treat every expense as an evil that you can't even convert them, even if you try anyway.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so to be 100 percent honest, I've seen kind of a variation in the spectrum and, what I see, because a lot of gym owners see marketing as an expense, it's only if they feel like they're at a comfortable revenue to pay all of their day to day expenses and their personal expenses. That they will be more open to the conversation about signing onto some sort of done for you marketing, or some sort of training programs. But, there's the occasional outlier, because I've had clients that I've signed up to training programs that are only making five to six hundred dollars per month.
Alan Cortes: Another one, two weeks ago, that was doing about four thousand dollars in revenue and then I had outliers, where they're making 20, 30 grand a month and they still abide because they see it as an expense. So, it varies on the spectrum but, ultimately, I've been able to sign up people from different walks of life, in terms of revenue.
Sam Ovens: I caught something there, you just said ... I just cause you saying that. Because, you said programs, you could sign those people up. But, is it the people that do have money, they're not signing up to done for you.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so there's a mix. People that have more money and their quote unquote, easier, they don't always value the training program as much as they do the done for you service, because they don't want to have to think about it, and they have a little bit more cash to burn. Oh, you know, I'm okay with it. Whereas, they see it as, if I do a training program, I'm gonna have to spend more time, spend more money. So, they're a little bit more use with their money but, in the long run, it cost them more for someone to do the marketing for them. They have to get a monthly retainer and they have to pay for ad spend versus a one time fee, following the same process that I would use, and doing it themselves.
Sam Ovens: There's the beauty about the training program because, in there you can teach them organic methods first. And that's how the people who are just getting started can jump in, because they can use those to get the wheels moving and then use paid. Is that what you're doing in your program?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so basically, I teach them the exact process that I have used in the past, to get my clients results and that basically starts from, on their end, doing the ideal client market research. Focusing on their niche within fitness. Basically, creating ad copy and through the very specifics of creating Facebook ads, I walk them through that. But, then I also show them the organic client attraction component for them.
Alan Cortes: So, if they don't have a lot of cash to spend right away, well in the time where they're building up to where they set up their Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns, they can already start taking action toward getting clients from the network that they already have.
Sam Ovens: Got it, makes sense. Yeah, because then you can sell to a lot of ... right now, you've got two offers, right? You've got the done for you and you've got your program.
Alan Cortes: Right, so the done for you, I'm no longer doing. That's only for the current clients I have. All the clients that move forward now with me, are the training program.
Sam Ovens: Got it, nice. So, lets go back to when you found this niche, and you were researching them. You found this problem, they don't have a predictable way to get clients and, at that moment, when you found that problem within the niche, did you think, I know how to solve this immediately? Or, did you still have some questions like, if I did solve this, this would be an awesome offer but, I'm not sure If I know how to solve this?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so the interesting thing was, since day one I started the program, it took me ten months to get my first client, because I had to start over. Four months after I switched my niche, I got my actual first client and then from there, basically once I got the first client, I wasn't very excited to get the client. Now it was like, oh damn, I really gotta make sure I know what I'm doing and what to do. But, the irony was, because I had gone through your training program twice, I had a very, very good understanding of what that process would look like for them.
Alan Cortes: I basically mapped it out and I just broke it up into pieces. Big picture, broken up into pieces and I said, okay step one, let's figure out how we do this. And then, eventually as I got more and more clients, I started creating systems and saying, this is step one of how we get them results.
Alan Cortes: Alright, week one, let's do their ideal client market research and then by week two, we start doing their landing pages, creating the offers and setting up all the tracking systems. And then I got it to a point where I had virtual assistant do all of the set up and onboarding. The only thing I was actually doing, was creating the ads and from there, managing them for them. And then, I switched over to the training programs.
Sam Ovens: Got it. You started selling it before you had even done it for someone else and had 100 percent conviction in your skills. You had just gone through the training program that I gave you. So, you knew more than your average person but, you still didn't know 100 percent you knew how to do this.
Alan Cortes: Right. So, I had 50 percent confidence that I was gonna be able to get them results but I had 100 percent conviction that if I don't do this and I don't make it work A, I'm gonna lose the client and B, how am I ever gonna be successful if I don't figure this out? So, I just got to work and really drilled down it and did what I could to make it work.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, this is a vital point for people listening because, you're always gonna arrive at a crossroads like this. Where you're interested in it, you've identified their problem, you kind of think you know how to do it but, there's no way you know until you actually do it. You've gotta make that leap of faith, you know what I mean?
Sam Ovens: You've gotta be confident in yourself and you've gotta start selling it and tell people you're gonna help them solve this and all of that, even though you've never even done it. Which is a big ... that jump that you've gotta take is so important because you can never reach that point until you actually do it for a client. You can't get a client without selling them so, you can end up in [inaudible 00:28:32] yourself, unless you take that leap of faith. The quote that I always like the best is, believe in your ability to figure it out. It sounds like that's what you did. You got into it and you're like, I'm gonna just figure this damn thing out. That's what I have conviction in.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. So, that was kind of my though process moving forward. I'm not gonna lie, there were mistakes along the way, there's things that I failed at, that I knew in the process of going on this journey was gonna happen. So, it would come to a point where, I would make momentum but, one thing in the equation to getting them results wasn't perfect, but then I would learn. The second client was even better and as I went through it, I kept getting better and better over time.
Alan Cortes: It was just one of those things where I saw guys, like you, and I remember you telling me, congrats man, it took you ten months, you beat me by two months. I was like, wow if Sam can do it ... and I looked at your story and you I was like, man I don't wanna sound mean or anything but, I'm not as bad as Sam was when he first got started. So, if he could do it, and I saw you do it and that gave me inspiration and motivation. I said, I'm gonna figure this out, because Sam did it. He's a living case study for himself and I'm just gonna try to make it work. No matter what.
Alan Cortes: That happens every time. When you go from done for you then you go to the training program, you're like, damn well I know how this works but can I put it together in a way that's comprehensive and simple? So, where I can replicate success if someone does it for me? That's the next challenge, but its a challenge I'm willing to take because I have conviction of myself, I know it works, I know my clients in the past have gotten results. It's just a matter of me being like Picasso and bringing the outwork out, so people appreciate it.
Sam Ovens: Nice. So, you did your first client. You learned on the job, with him or her and you said, that was kind of a pain in the ass, or scary or something. What was the word you used before, when you got the first client?
Alan Cortes: Basically, I was just like, damn. Now I gotta figure out how to get them results and keep them. Because, there's nothing worse than getting a client and working so hard to get one, sending you tons of emails, tons of outreach, putting up content. No success, no success, success and then you're like, well it's month to month. If I don't produce results, I'm gonna lose them. It's that analogy, where you give someone a Ferrari and then, you take it away from there. Well, it's better to just not got the damn Ferrari, because the feeling is worse when it gets taken from you than never having it to begin with. That's kind of the predicament that I didn't want to happen, which ... [inaudible 00:31:17] ... that this over time.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, cause humans are different. They're scientifically proven to be more motivated by preventing loss than attracting gain.
Alan Cortes: Right, absolutely.
Sam Ovens: So, you got this first client. It's kind of funny, it's kind done for you ... it's kind of like their done for you sale hangover. Because, when you get a done for you client, you're like, yeah ring the bell, got a client, made money, but then two hours later, you're like fuck. Gotta do all of this work.
Alan Cortes: Right, absolutely. Absolutely, that's exactly how I felt and to be honest, I got more success not from ringing a bell, but from keeping my clients long term and being, alright. Now they're consistently getting results and then, from there, it was a snowball effect forward. I did this in the beginning, then this, then this, and over time, we went here. What ended up happening was, when I finally cracked the code so to speak and I figured out how to get results, predictably, then case studies started coming out.
Alan Cortes: Then, I was sure that's a new potential clients and then they would jump on board. It would just keep doing this and the irony was, with that done for you, I could have easily taken it to 30 grand a month but, I wanted to leverage my expertise in a way that was more scalable with training programs. Because one of the things that I noticed with done for you, from my perspective was, the hardest part for me was not even doing the work, it was the client management and them just ... your clients just reaching out. You say, hey reach out over email, this is what we're doing, it's in the service agreement, and they text you. And then they want this, and they want that. They're like, hey how do I do this?
Alan Cortes: Then, I was like, oh man I can imagine doing this. Having a full on agency, how that's gonna be a headache longterm. Which, don't get me wrong, it's not something that I hate but, I would rather have someone get a result in the fastest, most streamline way possible, than me just doing it for them. It's like teaching them how to fish versus catching the fish for them. That was basically my transition.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I always find it interesting to explain to people, because having an agency business, like you have it, 10, 11 grand a month and being able to quit your job, that is the dream man. That's like, for someone who has a nine to five job, or a business that isn't making money, that is nirvana. But, once you've been there for a while, then that kind of becomes the nine to five job. You know what I mean? It's way better but, you still have to do the work for everyone, you've gotta deal with their crap and, there's a throttle on how high you can go. The next escaping of the shackles becomes programs. It's kind of like that same feeling all over again, you know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. But, I can easily see with the training programs, how it's much more scalable and it's enjoyable for me. Not because I have to do less work, but it really gives me the ability to sit back when I put it together and aside from doing coaching calls and stuff like that, to really fall in love with the niche and really learn and immerse myself in the niche. When they have spent doing customer service quote unquote, you basically start feeling like you're falling behind on the times because, you're not investing as much time as you want in doing the actual research and keeping up to date with the latest strategies. Seeing what you can do to learn and get your clients results because, you're managing their campaigns and then on top of that, you're doing customer service. Which, don't get me wrong, is not a bad things, I think it's something to aspire to but, I'm just at a point where I'm ready to elevate to the next phase of my consulting business.
Sam Ovens: Plus, if you don't do it, you don't know how to create a program. Imagine you trying to create a program if you never did done for you.
Alan Cortes: Right, 100 percent and that's basically what I put myself through, and I'm grateful for it. I went through it, I saw the ends and outs, I saw where people would slack off, or where the loop holes were. I was able to troubleshoot them and adjust them. It's one of those things that you can only learn from getting your hands dirty and actually getting into the engine and cranking the bolts and torquing everything right. Where you can look at the diagrams all you want but, until you get in there, you learn from experience.
Sam Ovens: That's actually the only way to learn anything, I think. Is with experience with anything, regardless of what it is. So, let's talk about how you got that first client cause at this point in the story, you've picked your niche, you've found their problem, and you wanted to take that leap of faith. How did you get that client? What happened there?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so the way that I got that client was, I was trying to leverage my time a little bit more because I was working at a nine to five job. So, the irony was that, I would work eight to ten hours. During lunch. time, I would do the training program or I would whatever was on my action item list to try to get a new client. Whether it's emailing etcetera, etcetera. When I come home I did the same thing.
Sam Ovens: Did you leave the office at lunch time to do that?
Alan Cortes: So, I would basically just take my lunch and I would take it into the conference room and have my lunch and then be on the phone, with calls or I would go to my car and sit there, have a call and I would have all my notes on my phone and stuff like that. So, basically I was just willing to do whatever it took to succeed at that point because, I would still have to follow the rules. I didn't wanna get fired but I was like, I gotta figure it out, I gotta make it work.
Sam Ovens: I just wanna stop on this point here because, there are so many people that have jobs. They are trying to figure out how to fit it in. So, did you have your work laptop and then did you bring in your own laptop, too? So that you could do this stuff on the lunch break?
Alan Cortes: So, I was kinda sneaky and I would use the incognito tab on google, so that people wouldn't see. But, I would only do work related to consulting, during lunch break or after. Since I had everything on google, I would just continue and go home, and do that. I would just refresh my browser and make sure nothing was there. But, at the end of the day [cross talk 00:37:46].
Sam Ovens: But you're still ... yeah, because you gotta be careful with this stuff because, they can still monitor that, you know what I mean? It doesn't matter if it's incognito, I mean they can still see everything.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, probably but, at that point ... I got to a point where I was like, if they find out and they fire me, then you're doing me a service cause I was gonna leave, eventually. So, I was ...
Sam Ovens: It just gets tricky for some people because your company probably owned whatever work you did during that time and there's actually been lawsuits with this crap, you know?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, I mean it wasn't anything extensive to that point, where it was like hard core at it. It was more opening tabs and looking at stuff, not doing in depth work type of thing. It wasn't very in depth but, the majority of the work that I would do would be when I got home or on the weekends. So, if I needed to check an update cause it could be the same thing as you going on a browser and checking out a website.
Alan Cortes: I wasn't hard core in depth working on stuff and typing things up and stuff like that. I was just kind of watching videos and taking notes on my notepad and stuff like that. Or, if I had a call, I would bring up my work for document on my phone. I wasn't blatantly obvious type of thing. But, you know, the other option would be to suggest, yeah bring your other laptop or ... I feel like that was more suspicious though, because if you have your own laptop it's like, why do you need two laptops at work? So, I would just work the majority of the time at home and on the weekend.
Sam Ovens: I guess it does look like you're doing work if you're on your work laptop.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, basically.
Sam Ovens: If someone peeks through the conference room windows its like, oh Alan's working while eating lunch.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, there you go. Anyway, for me, that's kind of in the past. It's one of those bridges that I've crossed. But, the people out there, if you can, obviously be low key but, lunch break. If you need to do your calls or watch videos or do trainings. Or your down time, if you can do it on your phone, do it. But if not, you're gonna spend nights and weekends doing it until you get to where you wanna be.
Alan Cortes: But, going back to how I got my first client was, basically through email. So, I hired a virtual assistant. I used my funds from my nine to five job. I was basically getting all that money and investing it into my business, to try to grow it. I hired a virtual assistant and I had them go through google and literally go through every single city. Google gym owner, in this city, or personal trainer in this city and then take down name, email, phone number, website and compile it. And then, I would use software like Yes Ware. Copy, paste 20 to 30 ... I had an email template, 20 to 200 emails. Send, and then from there, two to three percent would respond and from there, I'd book two to four strategy sessions depending on if it was a good day. That's how I got my first client. Was out of Colorado, actually.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So, how much was your annual salary at your job?
Alan Cortes: It was 60 thousand dollars a year but, you gotta take into account taxes in California, probably 27 percent of that [cross talk 00:41:01]. Yeah, 27 percent of that, I did the math. 26.5 percent of that, I would never see cause I was single and didn't have any expenses. So, that was basically that. So, 60 minus that 27 percent [inaudible 00:41:19] 45 or something like that.
Sam Ovens: The reason why I ask, is cause I want other people listening to think, oh I got a job. I make 50 grand a year or 60 but they're not willing to pay for VA or they're not willing to pay for a software, like you might have had to use, a paid version of Yes Ware to be able to broadcast that out. So, if you went ... this is one common trait I see among winners, is that they're willing to do that. They're willing to do whatever it takes even if they might be spending some beer money or some Mcdonalds money on these things up front.
Sam Ovens: Don't be one of those people, that's in your job thinking, oh I need to save every penny and not be able to start a business. It's madness, you have to make sure you've got the money to invest something because, you need something. Then you hired this person. How much did you pay them?
Alan Cortes: I think it was, I forgot, like 250 bucks a month. It was very basic stuff but, all of the money that I was generating, was going back into my business because I wanted to succeed. Whatever I could use to leverage my time, I would and the irony was, it wasn't until my last two to three months at the company that my cash flow started being positive, because I got to a point where I invested, invested, invested for a year. Did the work, got on clients, kept the clients. Kept getting more clients, kept those and then it was like a snowball effect forward. My goal was to match my income that I was making at my nine to five job, my monthly income, with my consulting income. So, at least if I left, and reduced my credit card debt, at least if I left, I wouldn't be any worse off. From there, I could just focus all my time on getting results and just scaling the thing.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So this VA would scrap google. Gym owners in Colorado. Gym owners in San Diego, so on. Add it into a Google sheet, you'd broadcast it. What did that email say? That template you were blasting out.
Alan Cortes: So, I had a drip series of emails that would send three emails. What I would do was, on the first one, it would say something along the lines of ... it was very short, I'd try to keep it brief and it would be like, hey Sam! I was going through Google and came across your facility, and it would fill in the blanks for me. So, everything in the form would auto populate into the email so it's personal. It'd be like, I saw you were with Extreme Fitness and you're doing some awesome stuff. Well, I just wanted to connect and let you know that I actually specialize in helping trainers and gym owners or fitness businesses attract new clients using social media marketing. Then, I would say something along the lines of, are you free in the next two days for a quick five minute chat?
Alan Cortes: That's what I would say in the first one and I forgot what the other ones had. I still have it but, it would basically be ... first one would be an intro. Second one would be a common objection. Hey, I know you get lots of these emails and I would give them one or two reasons why they should jump on a call with me. Then the third one would be, hey this is your last chance. By the way, here's a case study of one of my clients and the results that they got with me in just 30 days.
Alan Cortes: Toward the last one, they would be like, oh yeah I'm interested. I'm free tomorrow. Not all of the, but some of them would say that.
Sam Ovens: What email did the best?
Alan Cortes: The one that had the three series of emails. The one where I did short intro, case study testimonial, followed by more case studies and testimonials and actual metrics of my campaigns and the results that they got.
Sam Ovens: But what email in the sequence? One, two, or three?
Alan Cortes: I was looking at the numbers and, I feel like they all had an equivalent reply rate because, I sent so many that just some people would open on the second one. Some would respond on the first one, and then on the third one, others would respond as well. I'd have to look at the numbers to be 100 percent honest with you but, I felt like it was very similar. They would just open the email at different times and other times, people would be like, hey asshole, leave me alone. I hate spammers like you.
Alan Cortes: At first, I took it, awe man I felt bad. After, I was like, what's wrong with this guy? I feel bad for him. Why is he hating on a random guy just trying to help him out?
Sam Ovens: It's funny how in people first get that, it's really actually upsets you.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, you get hurt. You're like, why? What did I do? Then you feel bad and then you start to ... you become immune to it. You're just like, wow I wonder what's going on with him and then, you go on to the next one. It's part of business. You develop thicker skin and the more quote, unquote you're tested, the more that you become tougher. As long as you don't quit as you go through that process, you start leveling up and your skin gets thicker and thicker. You're basically a tank.
Sam Ovens: This is actually pretty cool. I didn't know you did this. So, you kind of evolved direct outreach emails to a different level, like 2.0 direct outreaching emails.
Alan Cortes: Oh, 100 percent. I was sending about ... with a click of ten minutes, I could set up 200 emails, schedule Monday, Wednesday, Friday. When I knew gym owners, based on my market research, were available. To be honest, I feel like it could still work but the only problem is, I went through that whole email list and then I started to go back again through it. I kind of lost track of, who did I schedule a strategy call with? Which ones were my clients? It's something that I still have and I could probably use again. But, for now, I've found better success with direct outreach on Facebook, in terms of reply rate and booking calls than the actual emails themselves because everybody gets email. They can easily ignore it, but when you send a message and they see that you read it and they read it, its kind of like, oh man.
Sam Ovens: There is an identity attached to Facebook. Someone can see the person behind it. An email's just a damn email.
Alan Cortes: Right, it's not as personable and they actually told me that they would get dozens of emails just like that one, because other companies are doing that. So, other companies aren't involved with the direct outreach. So, I just looked like everyone else. The only way I was able to differentiate myself would that two to three percent that would actually reply and book calls with me was because, I was a specialist and I would show them content and proof that I could get results.
Sam Ovens: It reminds me of something funny. In one of the fist ever versions of this program, I included an example of sending trash can lumpy mailer to roofing business. I said in the training, I just picked this business for no reason at all. It's just a demo, don't think that this is the niche to pick. Everyone picked roofing. Not only that, bloody everyone started picking roofing companies in the state that this roofing company was in. They must have thought, oh it must be roofing companies in Venice Beach. So, they did that and this one guy ... I had students who sent lumpy mailers to him and they were like, oh my god. This guy just called me back and he said, what the hell is going on. I've received like 12 trash cans this month, from all of these bloody people. Like, what? I was cracking up.
Alan Cortes: That's hilarious.
Sam Ovens: Out of all these students, they just all were blasting this one dude with this damn trash can. That's why it's so important to be different cause that's what happens, otherwise. With what you said, with those emails. Spammer use email a lot and also sometimes Linked In messages. But, they really use Facebook because, you have to add someone as friend and they have to accept you before that could happen.
Alan Cortes: Right, right. Absolutely. So, basically, when they add you as a friend on Facebook, it basically ... they know because they look at your profile before, what you're about. So, when you reach out to them, they knew what they had coming if you ever reach out to them. Ironically, the response is never as negative. It's just, I'm interested or I'm not interested. It's easier to have that conversation and then they could look at all the content. I actually do the same thing. When I book a strategy call through Facebook, I will literally send them ... hey, look heres six case studies with actual results and the results are so good that they're like, damn. I might as well jump on the call with you.
Alan Cortes: I'd be interested if somebody was in my niche and they could literally show me six, seven, eight different case studies, even if they just blasted them all to me and I read them? I'd be like, hey it seems like he's doing something right, right? That helps.
Sam Ovens: So would Warren Buffet. If you've got the right solution to the right problem, it doesn't matter how high up the person is, they would write back. President Warren Buffet ... I mean, they would be interested if you were solving their problem. But, one thing I wanna ask is, how are you sending the case studies over, via Facebook chat? Is this a video, a link, or?
Alan Cortes: I do a combination of everything, Sam. I send them videos, metrics, snapshots of testimonials.
Sam Ovens: Don't you have a system that you use most of the time, or do you just kind of mix it up?
Alan Cortes: Well, I pull it up from my iPhone or mobile, and I have them all there, screenshots. I know where to scroll and I go, one, two, three, four, five, six, send. Would you be interested in learning more? After I have an initial small talk and conversation, that we'd built some rapport and then ... might wanna say 50 percent of the time ... well let's be more conservative and say 25 percent of the time, they jump on a call with me. Sometimes, they'll look at it and they don't know what to say but, I don't let them get away with saying nothing.
Alan Cortes: So I would be like, hey I'm just following up with our previous conversation. Then, it was kind of like, hey I noticed you saw my message, didn't say anything. What's up? Then, I make them give me a yes or a no.
Sam Ovens: So, why use your mobile phone? Why not use computer?
Alan Cortes: Well, because I'm always on the go. So, if I'm in the bathroom and I gotta go number two, I pull up my phone and I add friends on Facebook and I send messages. If I see someone on my newsfeed, ooh. Let me see if I've messaged this person. I click it. No, I haven't. Then I look at their business, make a small intro.
Sam Ovens: You're not doing that most of the day.
Alan Cortes: If I ever have downtime, I do. But, I usually block out time, where I do it and then I do some more. Because I figure, another one doesn't hurt, right? If I'm trying to get to my goals, I gotta get more volume out there and I gotta make more [cross talk 00:51:57].
Sam Ovens: Why are you always on the go?
Alan Cortes: Well, put it this way, I'm not always on the go but, when the days work is done, and I'm relaxing and I'm hanging out with my girlfriend or watching TV or going to the bathroom or something. You're going to be there doing nothing, so I might as well pull out my phone and see what I can get in there before the next thing. That's kind of how I think about it. Just being efficient with the down time, that's just kind of how I see it.
Sam Ovens: Got it. I think you'll honestly find that you're being more efficient when you don't have the Facebook mobile app. Honestly, everyone's that's successful that I know, they won't have that app. It's time suck and you can get more on your computer when you're on your computer and during that batch. After, when you're with your girlfriend, you should probably just be with your girlfriend. Instead of on your phone messaging, because you can't really have conversation, when you're direct outreaching and sending case studies on Facebook messenger. To a prospect, while talking to your girlfriend. That doesn't work.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, you're probably right and, I made her sign a contact. This is expected. No, I'm just kidding. No, but that's a good point and this is part of the reason why ... what I've kind of started to do to shift the efficiency, like you mentioned. First thing, when I wake up, check my to do list. Not to do list, I plan out my day and the first thing on my day is, add people and send them messages. But, every now and then I can't help myself and I see when I'm scrolling through Facebook, I can't help myself and I just send them messages.
Sam Ovens: There it is. Why are you scrolling on Facebook?
Alan Cortes: So, the reason why I'm scrolling on Facebook is cause I'm usually posting content or taking selfie videos with my phone and then, I upload my phone videos to a scheduling software and it's hard for me to take the large file, high quality iPhone, send it to my email. Do that. So then I just do it all at once and put it on all my platforms and push it out. While I'm at it, give it a scroll here, there and then add some people and message some people, and book some calls.
Sam Ovens: That scroll is costing you money.
Alan Cortes: Well, I gotta take notes then. I gotta take notes from a master [cross talk 00:54:15]
Sam Ovens: Every single look at the Facebook newsfeed costs you life and money because, it's like Pandora's Box man. You're just scrolling through there like, please Facebook. Just show me something that will trictrac me. It's like, come on. What do you got? What do you got? What do you got? What do you got? It's so damn addictive that I turn the thing off. So, I news a newsfeed killer thing on my desktop computer and then I don't have the mobile app. I haven't looked at a Facebook newsfeed in a long, long, long time. Life satisfaction is up, profits are up, productivity is up. Everyone else who has done that too, has noticed the same thing. So, there's how you double. There's how you get from 11K to 22K easy. Get rid of that shit.
Alan Cortes: Alright, I'll do that after our conversation and only stick to the desktop version, in the morning when I'm sending my messages.
Sam Ovens: You just bat shit. Maybe it's in the morning and then before, in the afternoon and then maybe you can spend more time working if you promise your girlfriend you have more quality time.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, I gotta take notes from the master of efficiency, Sam Evans.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, cause not all time is equal. If it's dedicated, it can be of richer value. Then you can, yeah. But, I've tried to do load full of things at once and it never works. Humans can't be efficient multi-taskers.
Alan Cortes: Right, yeah. Absolutely. I do agree and it's just more about me doing it, putting it away and then being efficient at it. But, the other thing I was saying, the only reason I want to check my Facebook feed is because of post content. When I post a content, I have call to actions that I want to see kind if any potential clients are like, hey I'm interested in learning more. Because often times, that'll happen every now and then so that I can get to them ASAP while the quote, unquote lead is warmer. And, I can just book them for a call, directly. Instead of kind of giving it 24 hours, two days, before I check Facebook again on my desktop and kind of lose them as a potential lead.
Sam Ovens: This is fascinating, cause this getting into the stuff I like. It's like, what is more efficient? To get to the lead faster or to get to more leads a slightly later time? Because, you could potentially do more volume when you have structured your day better and you're factoring things into intervals, you know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, no that makes sense.
Sam Ovens: It's all about through put. How can we get more through this machine and in every case I've looked at, you get more through when you batch it and it doesn't matter if it's a little bit later because you get to everyone. Trying to do everything all the time and be reactive to everyone all the time, it doesn't work and you've probably found it's limits right now, 11 grand a month. There will always be a notification on one of your damn apps at all minutes of the day, every day. So, you're Permanente like, dadadadada. You don't have time to put in a focused effort on this thing, trying to grow it up. You know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so what I do is, I actually take my phone. Even if it has an app or two on it, and then I go put it in my bedroom to charge and I put it on silent and then I walk over to my office, and then I do my work. When I'm ready for a break in one or two hours, I come back and check it and then I go back to work. That's kind of how I do it. I don't actually have my phone next to me at all times. I just put it away and then get to work and then come back. Get to work. So, it's like when you mentioned, every few hours, you wanna take little breaks. Or, every 90 days, you wanna take three to four days off. Every quarter. So, it's the same concept but throughout the day type of thing.
Sam Ovens: Got it.
Alan Cortes: But you know, I'm all ears because, you know something I don't and you've reached a level that one day I wanna get to. So, as humans, we learn by osmosis and if I feel you're doing something that's working, then I'm just gonna do whatever you do.
Sam Ovens: Every time you have an opportunity to remove any sort of thinking, you should do it. That's all we have. So, for example, we're doing a customer interview right now and it happened at six PM eastern. I only do customer interviews at six PM eastern and I only do them on Monday to Friday. That's it. So, I don't have to think, oh when is that customer interview? It's a six PM. You know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Right.
Sam Ovens: And, so it just removes all of that thinking. Lunch is at 12:30. I wake up at 6:50. Gym is a this time. Meditation's at that time. I wear the same clothes. I don't have to think about any of that stuff. It allows me to think into those different blocks throughout the day.
Alan Cortes: Right, I like that. That's something that I've been trying to implement in the next stage of evolution. Is not being as reactive but focusing times of the day in chunks instead of when they come up. But, the only time that I'll ever waver my blocks of time is, when I'm gonna do a potential call because if that's when the other person is available and that's my opportunity to jump on the phone and it's within a time frame that I give, then I'm gonna do it. If it's on Saturday, I'm gonna do it. If it's on Sunday, I'm gonna do it. If it's at eight PM ... I had a call with someone who was in the UK and they were ahead by eight hours so, I did my call at ten PM, I don't care. Let's make it work.
Sam Ovens: You're right. That takes clear priority. It's like if Warren Buffet was like, hey Sam, do you wanna talk to me on the phone? I'd reshuffle everything.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
Sam Ovens: But, you gotta be careful of that other stuff that isn't high priority, like replying to someone on Facebook or worse, checking the newsfeed and seeing if anyone's liked your post. That's a death trap.
Alan Cortes: Right. That's kind of my little hack to do it, that's why I'll do something and I'll put it away and I only check it every two hours [inaudible 01:00:32].
Sam Ovens: Yeah, it's like monk training, to just post and not check.
Alan Cortes: Right, right because the way that Facebook, social media programs do is, you fiend for the likes, for the comments and I think that's the whole reason why everyone's stuck to social media.
Sam Ovens: Yes, it's that instant feedback. Nothing, it's like a drug, right? What makes a drug addictive? It's the fact that you smoke it and then poof, there's the feedback and it's noticeable. You know what I mean? So, it's an addictive action because, there's an immediate feedback mechanism and the exact same thing with social media. It's even more addictive because you post something, bam, there's the feedback. I mean, so it keeps you chained in that habit. It's genius, the way they've designed it but, it's bad for humans.
Alan Cortes: Right, so what do you recommend from someone who is at 11K a month to get get to 22K?
Sam Ovens: Well, you've made the right decision by moving. You've moved into up level, that was the right call and now, you've built out your program. And that was the right call. I would say what's next for you is, machining everything you're doing. Batching it, and pushing it to its limits on the organic side of things. I think you could probably squeeze and extra 100 percent of performance out of organic, right?
Sam Ovens: Simply by machining and optimizing it. And then, it's gonna be ads, hands down. Because ads is that way to get more traffic and more throughput through the machine without having to do more manual labor.
Alan Cortes: Right, absolutely. So, those are actually the two things that I'm working on now but, you know, even with the machine, like ads, when there's one component that's not working properly ... so, for example, if the idle air control valve isn't functioning properly, the whole engine still works but it's not efficient because it's making your car idle at higher RPM's and you gotta tweak it and it's costing you gas in the long term but the performance is one. That's kind of where I'm at with the Facebook ads component but, it's one of those things where you make a hypothesis, you take action, you wait. You iterate and then you change and then you keep doing that until you get it right. But yeah, my ultimate focus throughout the day, now that I have the Facebook ads going is, aside from tuning that machine up is, focusing on efficiency. So, I'm actually bringing in a cleaner, a house keeper twice a month. We'll see how that goes, hopefully it's once a week.
Alan Cortes: I was telling my girlfriend, I give up on dishes. No more. I don't cook my meals anymore, I have a meal prep company do it for me, so it's time to eat, walk to the fridge, eat food. Sit down, repeat. So, it's more about. [cross talk 01:03:32]
Sam Ovens: How much better is life when you do that?
Alan Cortes: Oh, it's so much better. I mean, just to cook, it will take you four hours. Two hours to cook, two hours to wash the dishes, and then not to mention, getting the groceries. So, I came up on this thing recently called Instacart. Where they deliver the groceries for you from Costco. So I'm just gonna do that, now for whatever I need. On top of that, the housekeeper, since I work where I live, when the space is good, you feel like you're more mentally productive and you feel more, I don't really wanna say luxurious but, you feel like you're living a better quality of life. Even if it's the same apartment. Just because it's clean, it just feels better.
Sam Ovens: It's true.
Alan Cortes: [inaudible 01:04:16]
Sam Ovens: Your environment affects you. If you see something that's basically a breach of standards, like a mess and laziness, then it seeps through into every other facet of life, you know what I mean?
Alan Cortes: Right, absolutely. That's one thing I've learned from you, so shout out to Sam Evans.
Sam Ovens: Cool, I think you're gonna just squeeze that efficiency out. Just look for more areas. I just wanted to .... dude, what you're doing on Facebook is taking more time than cooking any meals. I can tell you now. That's more of a saving then getting the chef and the cleaning combined. That thing is just ... it absolutely steals everything from you. That thing.
Alan Cortes: Right. Yeah, so I'll delete my app after this. You can check on me in a day and message me on Facebook and it won't show mobile, anymore, mobile messenger.
Sam Ovens: Good, and then yeah, get into ads. Start scaling that up and then bam, you'll be at 20. Once you're at 20, you'll be able to see 100 and then within two months, you can be at 100.
Alan Cortes: I like that.
Sam Ovens: Depends how disciplined you are.
Alan Cortes: Right, so I think it comes down to efficiency and discipline at this point, from your perspective. Not just doing the work, because I do the work but, yeah be more efficient at the work and more disciplined at consistency.
Sam Ovens: Cause there's doing the work, which is way better than not doing the work but, you gotta think, how do some people do 1000 times better than other people? They're both doing the work, it's because they're doing it 1000 time more efficient than the other guy. So, once you've gotten into the habit of doing it, you've gotta try and just ratchet the hell out of it. Get rid of every piece of waste. Find the cause effect relationships, which have asymmetrical, if it to reward profiles. So, you're looking for the things that is a small amount of effort but a big result. And then, you're trying to get rid of everything that has a bigger amount of effort but a small result. And then you're just machining, machining, machining and just obsessing over those asymmetric ones and then that's how you get the boom.
Alan Cortes: Right, what would be an example of that, when you were in my shoes, at one point. What do you do now, or what examples can you give as well as to asymmetric relationships in a consultance, day to day life or business that you can improve to get expensial results?
Sam Ovens: Sure. Well, I mean, the systemizing things is huge because, it has a fat tail. What I mean by that is, you do the job once, you get the benefits from it for years. Whereas, just doing a direct outreach email, that only works once time and then that's it. It's lifetime is over. So, anything that's gonna live long, and keep producing dividens, is a really good thing to do. That's what I typically look at. What work can I do today that'll keep working for me, for years?
Alan Cortes: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and what would that be an example of?
Sam Ovens: Systems, so creating a structure like, each day I'm gonna do this at this time, that at that time and then having templates, then even creating documentation. You can have it in Help Scout or something, in a doc center. Where if someone messages this back, then we should send them this back. And if someone messages this back, then we should send them this back. Having all the images in a place where you can just drag, drop straight into the chat because, once you it to that point, man, you can pretty much get your VA back on the job.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, so it's ironic because, that's actually what I was having a conversation with my girlfriend about. I said, you know what, I'm gonna make my VA's sole job to do DM outreach on my behalf and I'll just show them exactly what to say based on what I would say it. But then, I was kind of like, well I don't know because the guy's not really vocal and he's gonna have access to my personal account. But then, [cross talk 01:08:34].
Sam Ovens: So, how many people have access to my personal account?
Alan Cortes: How many?
Sam Ovens: Sam Evans, it's about ten people.
Alan Cortes: That have access to your account?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, so like when you see all of these things happening, posting this or it's most of the time, it's not me.
Alan Cortes: Oh, interesting. Okay. So, that time when we said hello, it was probably Nick Hauser responding. No, I'm just kidding.
Sam Ovens: It's just customer support related stuff. It's anything that wouldn't ... if I'm trying to actually be me, then it will be me. You know what I mean? We don't ever fake me being me because it's kinda weird. But, it's just all the other stuff and it might be posting a customer interview. I don't have to do that, you know what I mean? I did the interview. But, I don't have to post the damn thing. And all of that, because that doesn't have to be me.
Alan Cortes: So then, in that context ... well my VA is in India, so if anything happens, I can't really hold the dude accountable. Although, I do believe he's been very trustworthy up until this point.
Sam Ovens: What's he gonna do man? What's he gonna do to you?
Alan Cortes: The only context that I mean is, so he has access to my personal profile and he's sending messages on my behalf to people but, he can technically [cross talk 01:09:54].
Sam Ovens: It might be sketchy how Facebook will just detect the IP because it's over there but, you know, it's worth a try. It is definitely that but, first of all, you've gotta get all the documentation done. That's crucial before you can train anyone. Good, really good documentation and examples and all the logic of your system. Because, you can turn an offline process into a process, into a machine. You've just gotta create all the if this then that's scenarios and document it, so they know how to work it. If it gets to a point where they don't know or its at the point where someone has 80 probability of purchase, then they shouldn't touch. They should just notify you. Then it's now up to you.
Alan Cortes: Right, I like that. Cool.
Sam Ovens: Because we have some bots programmed in our something we've got where, the first touch is a machine and then it can reply back and do a couple of things, but then once someone reaches a probability of likely to purchase, hands it to a human.
Alan Cortes: Oh, okay.
Sam Ovens: But in this case, we can't use a machine so, we can use someone in India.
Alan Cortes: Right, so we can use my VA to set it up and then if he doesn't know what to do, which is usually what he does. He's like, hey I'm not sure what to do, please respond and then that's kinda how we work out. I like that. So, there you go. We figured out an efficiency system that I can document and get this thing up and running by Monday. I love it.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, the documentation's key. That makes the role ... that means he doesn't need to think. He just finds the scenario, oh this is what I do. Find a scenario, this is what I do. It's basically a bot, but a human.
Alan Cortes: Right, and then would you recommend, if they do respond because I'm obviously gonna have access on my behalf as well, if they were to respond to something like that ... obviously the VA wouldn't respond. If they responded, I would respond directly, or you would have him have the whole conversation up until the point of them booking a call?
Sam Ovens: Well, it depends, right? This is the fun part. So, you need to get enough responses back first, which you might already have. And then you need to take a random sample of, say 100 responses back from that initial message and then bucket their responses.
Sam Ovens: So, if there's 100 responses, they should bucket into roughly five to ten categories, right?
Alan Cortes: Right.
Sam Ovens: They're not exact replies but, they're the same thing in different words. So, then you can start to create if this then that scenarios. So, if this comes back and it has a common sentiment with this bucket, send this back.
Alan Cortes: I like that.
Sam Ovens: Yeah.
Alan Cortes: I think we have a DM outreach 3.0 coming up soon.
Sam Ovens: A human bot.
Alan Cortes: Human bot. Human bot for hire. Yeah, I like that. Okay, cool. I like that. I'm definitely gonna get that going ASAP because now that frees up even more of my time to be more efficient and just jump on the phone and do calls. Because, once they're booked, my VA adds into my calender, they're all on my calender and I just gotta show up for calls every day and focus on making a sale and getting good results in the training program.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, and then it's ads. And then, once you get ads going, you won't be able to do more damn calls. So, then it's gonna be hiring a sales rep. And then when you get a sales rep, then you do more ads. Then you get two reps, then three reps. Then four reps, then you're gonna need a manager to manage the reps. Then more ads and then you'll be making 300, 400 grand a month.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, and then I'll move in next door to you. We'll be neighbors in New York, or maybe you'll come out to San Diego. Who knows?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, it's got good weather over there. But, I just like the energy over here.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, it may be a little laid back for you in California, right? California is more of the laid back vibes, living good.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, cause if I wanna work, I wanna be surrounded by people that are really hungry to work. If I wanna relax, I wanna get the hell outta here. I wanna go where everyone's relaxing but, I don't wanna be tempted to relax when I'm trying to work.
Alan Cortes: Right, I like that. I like that. It's good.
Sam Ovens: Cool, man. Well, it's been interesting, this interview. Because we've been interviewing and then conversation but, I think it's valuable, cause you got something out of it. We've found a way to optimize this process even further and, it's good. But, to wrap this up, what would you say has been the one more transformational part of the Accelerated program for you?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. So, I was actually thinking about this the other day and, I think that the part or the training that I watch more, if you were to just look at my profile, in terms of hours of content consumed, it would be the mind set portion. The mind set and really understanding thy self and understanding how humans think and basically, how you have to destroy your old character and, who you are today is basically a combination of experiences and what you think and believe about yourself. In order to get to the next level, you have to transform yourself and transcend yourself. Like the example that you gave with the Facebook app. That's been, by far, the most consumed and most relevant part to my transformation, because it's something that I would always go back to when my mind was going adrift, or I wanted to quit. Or, I wasn't feeling like getting up and doing the work and, things like that. That basically pushed me and refocused me to doing the work and doing what was in front of me, to take action and get the result that I wanted.
Sam Ovens: Nice. You've been in the community for a while now, and I'm sure you've been seeing a lot of the conversation and talk to other people in there but, what would your number one piece of advice be for other members?
Alan Cortes: Yeah, I think it's a piece of advice that I learned from you. I think that would be consistency. Following the process obviously, that comes with consistency but, most importantly, creating a plan, having a good mindset. Taking action on that plan and then listening to that feedback, and then going back to the drawing board and repeating that cycle over and over and over again.
Sam Ovens: Plan, execute, iterate.
Alan Cortes: Yes.
Sam Ovens: Nice, I like it. Cool, man. Well, thanks a lot for jumping on and sharing your story. It was a good chat, I enjoyed it.
Alan Cortes: Yeah, absolutely. Likewise, Sam. I appreciate you taking some time out of your day and jumping on this interview with me.
Sam Ovens: What sort of La Croix you got there?
Alan Cortes: Oh, this is the deluxe. I don't know how to pronounce it but, it's La Croix Kiwi Sandia. Oh yeah, that's my favorite one. Hey, by the way, I think it's pronounced La Croix. I think it's french.
Sam Ovens: I know, but I purposely like just saying ... it's like Moet, it's supposed to be Mo-it or something. I just call it Mo-eh. I just call it whatever the hell I want.
Alan Cortes: I love it. That's awesome. Well, cheers to success Sam Evans.
Sam Ovens: Cheers. We'll speak soon.
Alan Cortes: Alright, sounds good.