Sam Ovens: Hi everyone. Sam Ovens here and today I have Nick Kozmin on with us. And Nick is one of our Consulting Accelerator customers. He's also an Up Level Consulting member as well. And Nick's got an awesome story.
Sam Ovens: So he joined Consulting Accelerator in January this year. So he's pretty new. In 2018. And at that point, he was selling, or he was helping SAAS business reach their first million dollars in sales by helping them with their sales funnels and inbound marketing and lead generation and all of that stuff. But back then he was doing done for you. And what I mean by that is he was actually in the trenches with them, doing all of the work, and actually implementing everything for them. And he was making around 20000 dollars a month.
Sam Ovens: Since then, through the program, he's been able to move from done for you to training programs. Where now instead of doing the work for these SAAS companies, he's still helping them with the exact same thing, but instead he's telling them what to do and then they're doing it themselves. And by doing that, he's been able to free up a lot of his time, and scale, and be able to serve more people, and he's been able to get to about 50 grand a month. So first of all, congrats on that progress and I'm looking forward to digging into your story and seeing how this all happened.
Nick Kozmin: Thank you. Sweet.
Sam Ovens: So let's start with, first of all, let's go right back to why you got started in the done for you space in the first place. Think back to when you first started your own business, right? And when was that, first of all, and what made you want to start your own business and why did you choose this space?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, so the story is I was in school. I was at a university called Queen's in Canada. So I'm Canadian. I was studying engineering. And between semesters, I got a job selling door to door for a company called Canadian Property Stars. And these guys were like ... They had 400 employees. They were all over the country, 17 locations or something like that. And I went in there for the first summer between semesters and I started knocking on doors and I was mentored by a guy name Ben Stewart. In my first couple of days I did really well. I just had a knack for selling door to door cold. It was a commission only job. And I did really well in the first couple of days and then he just really invested in me and he taught me how to sell.
Nick Kozmin: Throughout that summer, I made a ton of money. I was doing like a thousand bucks a day as a 20 year old. And then when I go back to school, I was studying engineering physics and I'm sitting in the classroom like "Well, I just made more than my professors. What the hell am I doing here?". I was already three years in, so I finished up my degree. But after I got out of school, after I finished up, instead I was like "Well, I probably wanna take this door to door model and apply it somewhere. Whether I go back and work for Ben or I got do something on my own."
Nick Kozmin: So I decided to take that door to door model and provide a detailing service. It was basically an expensive car wash. It was 180 dollar car wash. And I would go out door to door. I hired a bunch of people off Kijiji. It's like a Craigslist site. Hired like five people, bought a van, threw them in the back of my van. And I would go out door to door every day for like 12 hours and I would just sell these $180 detailing jobs. I'd sell like 10 of them and then the guys would just go and do them.
Nick Kozmin: That was my first business. It was called Midnight Detailing. It was a pretty solid business. It was cash flow positive in day one. I spent 600 bucks at Home Depot, made 900 dollars the same day with my revenue. And then the next day was all cash. So it was a solid business. It did really well. The problem was it was seasonal, which in Canada, if anyone is familiar, gets cold as hell up here and you can't provide that service in the winter time. So we have to fire everybody in the fall and then ramp everybody up in the spring. So it was really a tough business to scale up. So I did that for a couple of years. We got to 3000 customers. And then I sold it to another company who provided brakes and all this other stuff, because we didn't really wanna deal with it anymore, even though we made a ton of money. It was great. We wanted to pass it off to these guys.
Nick Kozmin: After that, I started working at a software company, because I knew that there was a lot of power in SAAS and some people in Toronto, they were raising big rounds and I was getting all excited. I was like "Hey, if I could sell this ..." I had a technical background, I studied engineering and physics at school, so I was comfortable learning about all this technology stuff. I started a company, I guess you can call it. It was Sales Process IO, it was just a numbered corp. The reason I did that is I didn't want to do the taxes stuff with the employees, so I just made it a corporation.
Nick Kozmin: So then I went to work with some of these companies. The first company was Wirkin, W I R K I N, and they were an [inaudible 00:05:26] startup. The just raised like 400000 bucks and they built and app and they needed some help getting it off the ground. They didn't know how to sell: they were tech guys, right? So I built them a sales team. Basically I went door to door in a mall and I just signed up people, managers for the app in the mall, and then when I came back to the office they were like "How the hell did you do that?" We got like Sport Check, we got all these other businesses signed up.
Nick Kozmin: And they were really impressed, and then they gave me a contract to build out a sales team, so it's like seven people and we took that, instead of going door to door we used phone sales, and that's when I started getting into internet marketing. So I was kind of forced to figure out how to do lead gen online, and then we used a sales team to convert these accounts. There was like no windows, there's like seven people stuffed in this room, and I had them going with their headsets and they were just doing like 150 calls a day. And that worked. We got their first customers, and that was the first success with SAAS. These guys brought in some great customers.
Nick Kozmin: The next company was in the same incubator, a company called Advisor Stream. They raised a little bit of money, they had this product, they had no customers. And same story, right? A lot of these SAAS companies, they're really smart cats but they don't know how to sell, they don't know how to get customers. I helped them out. Same thing. I was a little bit sharper after working. I built out the lead gen funnel, I was using LinkedIn ads and cold prospecting and cold emails and stuff like that. Was able to generate leads.
Nick Kozmin: Then we were able to generate appointments using the calendar booking schdule, all that stuff, and then we were able to close. I hired a couple salespeople to go and close accounts for Advisor Stream, and it was profitable. They were selling a service for 149 a month, their lifetime value was like 3000 bucks, people were staying on. They had a little bit of money in the bank to front load some of the cost per acquisition, and we ended up hiring four or five sales reps and we took that business from zero to a million bucks in like 12 months. We really stepped on the gas, and they're just pumping along now.
Nick Kozmin: I've been doing this for six years or so, and same process. Generating leads online, closing with the inside sales team, and then from there I just started working with other SAAS companies and same stories. Really aggressive growth, really aggressive acceleration with this stuff. And then when I saw what you were doing ... I knew about you because I watched your webinar and stuff like that, and Ty Lopez, I'm familiar with him too. Some of my buddies are in this industry, and I saw your stuff and I knew that I was kind of like a consulting business, but I didn't know how to structure it to provide it to more people. That was my problem. I knew how to sell it. I just didn't know how to structure it.
Nick Kozmin: So that was the before story. Then I went through this stuff. I didn't go through this Consulting Accelerator. I just went straight to Up Level, just because that's what you said to do. Just go, I told you the story, you told me what to do, and yeah, just kind of executed. Spent the last couple of months building it and selling it. Yeah. That's kind of the story.
Sam Ovens: Cool. So let's talk about, now we know how you got into this, which is a cool story, and let's talk about now why you wanted to switch from done for you to the programs, because I remember chatting with you. I remember you bought Accelerator and then for some fluke reason you messaged me, and then you were like "Hey man, this is my situation. What do you think I should do?" And I was like "Oh, well you should do this," but if you hadn't messaged me that would have never happened.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And so it's funny. Somehow you must have known that this was like, that there was another program that was about creating programs or something, because it all happened perfectly and I was like "Oh, this is just exactly what you need to do". But let's talk about why you wanted to move from done for you to programs, because I know there is a lot of people out there who are exactly, because you're like a textbook example of someone who started in the trenches doing done for you, then got a bunch of clients, was making like 20 grand a month, and then you're maxing out and doing all of these different things, and you want to scale but you can't really scale, and then the only way to get to that next level is to change. I know there's so many other people out there like that, so I want you to explain from your point of view what that scenario was like and what were the pains and why you wanted to move.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah. Basically I couldn't take on more than two clients. That was it. And I would do a rev share deal with these companies, and some of them were really great deals, but it was a lot of work and I was kind of starting from scratch with every company. I can only do two, and I was working my ass off, man, and stressed, couldn't sleep, all of that stuff. It wasn't very nice. I don't know how I ... Here's a guy, you told me your story. I did a little bit of research on you: you had a similar story to me. You were in SAAS, you sold a bunch of other stuff, you had that company for inspections right? And then somehow you started building websites, you started building funnels, and then you scaled up to whatever you're at now.
Nick Kozmin: So I was like "This guy probably, he's a little bit further down the road than I am". I didn't really know what the Consulting Accelerator was: I just thought I would give it a shot and see if I could ... I'm an easy sell, so I thought I might as well just see how he's doing it. I just wanted to go through your own funnel, and then I messaged you. I said "Okay, this guy is the real deal, and yeah". But the main thing was, I can only do two clients. Actually, I could probably only do one client really, really well, and then two clients I started spreading myself a little too thin, and I was like this is not cool, right? Because I was making all of this money with my detailing, and I was trying to solve it in the same way for this business and I was really frustrated, because I knew the power. If I was on the phone all day and I was just selling and just calling, I knew how much money I could make, because I was a door to door sales guy.
Nick Kozmin: And now in my business before this, it was like I would sell one every couple months and then I would just work my ass off and I wasn't on the phone, I wasn't making enough money, right?
Sam Ovens: So really, you were frustrated because the bottleneck was in the fulfillment side of the business. You wanted to just open the floodgates on the sales side and just scale, which you could, but you couldn't because on the back end, those orders wouldn't get fulfilled properly, the customers wouldn't be satisfied, the job wouldn't be done to a good enough standard.
Nick Kozmin: Right.
Sam Ovens: I know that pain. I think all agencies feel that pain, especially website people. The more complex the service, the more the person feels the pain. Because when it gets complicated enough you can only do one at a time, like you said. And then you might be able to do two, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's going to be the same quality. It's going to be worse.
Nick Kozmin: Exactly. So yeah, I was just frustrated because I was trained to make money, you've just got to hit doors, you know what I mean? You've just got to hit more doors. That's how Ben trained me. He would always just say "One more door".
Sam Ovens: But what were you selling at that point again?
Nick Kozmin: I was selling lawn services and driveway services. So I would go door to door and sell like 30 lawns.
Sam Ovens: So you just didn't have, you weren't responsible for the back end operations side of it at that point. You just knew if you signed it, the company would deliver it.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, like eventually I started doing the work, and then I got, when you get good enough you have just a farm of people following you around. It was cool man, like we started at 8 in the morning, you would knock like 200 doors a day. So you could imagine how good you get at sales if you just stuck with it for seven days, because we would go on road trips right, for seven days, and you're just dreaming of your script, right?
Sam Ovens: It becomes automatic, right? You're speaking and sometimes you're like "Man, I'm not even thinking about what I'm speaking," and you're speaking and you're like third-person watching it and you're like "This is interesting".
Nick Kozmin: Exactly. I was in a motel, we were not in hotels, because the company was real cheap, right? We were in a motel and we had to split the rooms, and I was laying next to a guy, like we had two beds in the room, right? So I was laying next to the guy, he's sleeping, and he's just saying his script out loud in his sleep. I was like "Oh my god," but this guy Benny had his brain washed, and he made us into just killers. And I liked that, because as a young kid you're making all this money, and I knew I needed to do that in another industry. I just didn't know what it was.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. I think you've felt, like every businessman feels this pain. As soon as they get good at sales they're like, well most of the time, first someone gets a skill, right? And then they can do that, and the bottleneck is the sales. They're like "Oh, I don't know how to get customers," so they go over there and they figure that out, and they start getting the customers and then they get good at it, and they're like "Oh man, I can get as many customers as I want now". But then the bottleneck switches back to the service delivery where they're like "Shit, that's a problem," and then they've got to jump back there again, and it's like a constant, they're constantly seesawing back and forth between these things.
Sam Ovens: And why programs are so awesome is that it unlocks the scale on the delivery side, you know? You can really sign people up like that, because it takes the burden of the work off of you and puts it onto the customer. They have to do the stuff.
Sam Ovens: and I remember thinking, and I want to talk about this too, because I remember thinking when I first moved to programs, I was like "Well, no one will want to do the work. Everyone is too busy. People don't have any time, and they want someone to do it all for them. Why would they want to do a training themselves?" And I know this is the huge, limiting belief that everyone has, and I know you had it too because I remember you saying it to me at least 30 times. Explain to me your, what was it like for you when you started thinking about moving to programs and away from done for you?
Nick Kozmin: I just did what you said. I didn't even care. I was just like, okay, because you were an expert. I didn't know this game so I just did it, and I messed up a few times and whatever, but I didn't believe that you could do it, but I just did it anyway.
Sam Ovens: That doesn't change your emotions and your thoughts, you know? Like you can follow someone's advice and you're like "I just trust this guy," right, and that's what you did. But that still doesn't change all of the emotions and beliefs you would have had along the way. So what were those like? Let's talk about those.
Nick Kozmin: I guess the emotions were, I've been in this situation a lot where it's just like, you're in uncertain soils, right? You're like "I don't know if it's going to work but I'm just going to do it," and then you have customers that are like, some of my first sales calls were choppy man. You listen to them, you'd be like "What the hell is this guy talking about," but yeah. I just got on the phone and I just started pitching it. That's all I did. And then I started pitching a program, and then the customer was like "Oh, okay, so you've already mapped everything out?" And I was like "Yeah," and I didn't just pitch the program at first. I pitched a hybrid, so I positioned it as you work with me, but then you get my assets and you can use them. That was the transition, right?
Nick Kozmin: And then eventually people are like "I don't want to talk to you, Nick, I just want the program," and I was like "All right," and that's how it went. But I kind of creeped into it. But I knew that you can't scale with doing the done, with the service. But yeah, it was really tough, and some of the initial customers, like I got sign ups. I knew how to sell, right? So it wasn't as hard for me as probably other people, but I was just like what am I selling? My first couple deals were like six grand a month, but I was like oh crap. How are we going to do this? Because the churn rate is going to be way too high because they'll get the value up in the first month and then they won't renew, right?
Nick Kozmin: So yeah, that's pretty much how it happened. I crept into it.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And let's talk about, so that people who are listening can understand, let's talk about the niche that you help, we know what that is. It's SAAS business, early-stage SAAS businesses that don't have their own inside sales teams and they don't have their own machine and internal systems to turn strangers into clients, right?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And I guess that is their problem, that they don't have that thing and they need. And then let's talk about your solution. How do you help them solve that problem?
Nick Kozmin: In SAAS it's kind of a neat niche. Basically, they have a solution, they're really smart people and they usually build a lot of technology, but some of that technology, it's not useful for the customers. So the way that I help them is with, I go in and I look at their market and I look at their solution, and kind of what they're offering, and I help reposition it to be more benefit-driven for the customer. Because there's only two problems: one they can't generate leads, and two they can't really ... Well there's three. One they can't generate leads, two they can't sell it, three their product doesn't deliver value, right?
Sam Ovens: If they have all three of those man, they've got problems.
Nick Kozmin: Right, but that's common. That's common. A lot of the times they have the deliver value part, like they're not on Pluto, right? They can deliver some value, but they haven't solved lead gen, they haven't solved conversion. So I help them solve lead gen, I help them solve conversion, and then what ends up happening is their product is yanked, right? Like after they start selling, it's kind of like what we're doing. Their product is yanked to meet those promises that are made on the call or on the pitch, right?
Nick Kozmin: So yeah, I usually work with them for three months or so, four months, and we come up with a message, we come up with a way to position the product, I help them with their scripts, and then I'm pretty technical too, so I know how all these SAAS companies are delivering the value and how you can onboard people really effectively without any friction and that kind of stuff, so I help them with that, yeah.
Nick Kozmin: So the goal is just get them to a million bucks, because with SAAS it's pretty interesting. A company like, a founder can raise some money and let's say their company is valued out of thin air at four million bucks. They call it like a pre-money seed evaluation, right? If they get a million dollars in revenue, then all of a sudden that valuation shoots up to like 10, 12 million bucks. It's kind of cool because you're not just helping them get the revenue, you're helping them really increase the valuation of the business where they can raise what's called a Series A round, and then they can scale it even further. It's a really high quality problem to solve, and it's difficult. I spent six years trying to figure it out, so it's a difficult problem to solve and there's not a million of these companies. My market is probably only 200000 people. It's a small market. So when I exhaust it, I'll have to figure out ...
Sam Ovens: How did you figure that out?
Nick Kozmin: What the market size? I went on LinkedIn. You can get pretty accurate numbers with LinkedIn, you can go in ...
Sam Ovens: Really your market is any early-stage SAAS business in the world without an inside sales team and the ability to predictably get sales.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: That's got to be more than 20000.
Nick Kozmin: Basically established companies, similar to what you did. You started by selling to guys like me, right, that already had a business and wanted to make a coaching business, right? But then you transitioned to helping people that were earlier on in their journey, right, so you can get them to where I was and then further on. So I think there's an opportunity to help out with these [inaudible 00:24:30] million of them, I can probably help people start building a SAAS company from scratch.
Sam Ovens: Got it.
Nick Kozmin: And there's probably a huge market of people that just want to do that.
Sam Ovens: What I love the most about helping people start from scratch is that you can set the foundations right from the very beginning. Because one thing that pissed me off about working with existing businesses was that they were floored and rotten all the way through, right? They'd come to me, sure they're already in business, sure they're already making money. But their value is off, and because the value of their product or service is off from what the market wants, that means that their message is off and their marketing is off, their lead gen and sales is off, right?
Sam Ovens: So in order to fix up the marketing and the lead gen and the sales we have to move all of that and readjust it, but we're bound and limited and restricted here by the actual product and service. And sure we can move some incremental things here, and that means we can only incrementally move the message and everything. It always pissed me off that I was fixed it. But when I get a blank canvas, we can make sure we get that right from the day one, which means that we can get right from day one. You know what I mean?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So honestly I've had more success sometimes working with the bloody starting out businesses, because we could get every brick laid the right way.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, I'm starting to see that too. Some of my customers they're developers or they own development shops, right? And these guys, their dream is to build SAAS companies, so when they get into my accelerator, they can start developing their SAAS company properly, and I think you're right. Fixing a product, helping a produce that is fundamentally flawed is so hard.
Sam Ovens: Everything is systemic, you know? It's not like, let's say you've got gangrene on your arm. You can't just cut it off and then put a new one on. It's systemic with most businesses. It's gone, it's spread through the entire body, you know? So you can't just change the message or change the sales script, because it comes back to the product, and then that comes back to the team, and that comes back to the culture and that comes back to everything, and that's why when you help someone from scratch you can make sure that all of that stuff is right.
Sam Ovens: That thing really pissed me off when I was doing done for you a lot, because a lot of the time I found that I'd work with a company and I'd do an amazing job of building the funnels, the landing pages, the ads, and all of that, then running it, and then bringing them leads and everything, but then they would mess stuff up either in the store or on the phone or via email. They just wouldn't handle the leads properly, or they just weren't focused so they would launch some other product line which was totally off, and then put their attention there when their main thing was here. And then when it didn't work they would look at me and be like "Hey, I thought these ads were going to help us make more money," and I was like "Man, this is annoying". But then, and this would happen all the time with done for you, but then when I put the burden of responsibility on them, surprisingly they actually got better results.
Nick Kozmin: That happens to me, man. It's the same thing. It's like the fundamental. What I found is usually the company owners, you made it really clear and that resonated with me. It was like the before and after state, and then whatever the hell you're selling, the vehicle, whatever it is, could be a program could be a pill could be black magic, whatever it is, all it is is that mechanism to take that person from this over here and over here, right?
Nick Kozmin: So that's what I saw with my own business. I've used that principle to really help me, and in my clients' businesses I use that principle to really help them. Most companies think that their business is some product or whatever. It's not, right? It's helping the customer go from here to over there, and so what I've found is when the business owner understands that then the solution can change and they're a little bit more flexible, because they're just laser-focused on the end state, and that's what I've found. But for someone who doesn't understand that, they're just married to their product and they're married to whatever their solution is, that is really challenging to change anything. So I ran into that problem too, man.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, it's like I know Jeff Bezos refers to that as like you're either, companies can be competitor-focused or technology-focused or customer-focused, right? If you're tech focused you're like oh man, it's got to be block chain, it's got to be big data, cloud computing, you're like obsessed with this stuff. And then the competitors, you're constantly looking at them and trying to copy them, and the customer is the one where you're looking at their current situation and their desired situation, and you're helping them really get that customer-centric focus.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, exactly, and that's what helps, that's what sells. As soon as we figure, one company, we completely turned around. They were building this really involved technology, they were doing it with block chain and all that stuff. Block chain, marketplace, whatever. I didn't buy it. So then I asked them, "What do these customers want? Where do they want to be?" And it was a financial advisor, right? And these financial advisors, they didn't care about their technology in the back end. If you know anything about financial advisors, they're salespeople. They're not wizards that multiply money in their sleep. They don't do that. What their main job, they probably spent to 10 to 20 percent of their time managing the portfolio, and then there's people in the back, they call them "[quants 00:30:51]", that build all the technology to help them do that. Financial advisors just want more customers.
Sam Ovens: They're actually really bad financial advisors, which is the ironic thing.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, right?
Sam Ovens: Because it's funny. Everyone's like, as soon as you start making a lot of money they're like "Oh dude, you should speak to a financial advisor," and I'm like fuck, if only know knew.
Nick Kozmin: I know them! Their job is selling. They don't know. They take whatever the quants give them and they sell it.
Sam Ovens: They don't know anything about finances or advising on them, they just know how to sell people shit.
Nick Kozmin: Right, exactly. So I understand that, and the company had just raised 750000 dollars and they were building all of this technology and they were trying to sell it but it wasn't selling through, because financial advisors didn't really want this technology. They just didn't care. And I was like "Well, we should build some technology that helps these guys get new, a biz dev tool," so I actually was like hmm. If I was a financial advisor, how would I go and generate my business. And I would use LinkedIn, right?
Nick Kozmin: So first Henry the founder, he's a great guy, a good friend of mine now, he kind of pivoted his business and his technology team was really sharp, and in like a month they built this brand-new tool that generated leads and opportunities with LinkedIn and had all the nurturing stuff, and it was financial advisor specific. They got all the messaging down.
Nick Kozmin: We sold that, we started selling that, and it was just a fit. Like, people were spending 599 a month on it, no questions asked, and we're like "Holy shit, we hit the nerve with SAAS," and it was because we went back to the drawing board and we're like what's the state these people really want to be in, and then we weren't married to the block chain bullshit where you're like well, I would probably use LinkedIn.
Sam Ovens: How do we manipulate financial advisors to care about block chain versus how do we help the guys?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah exactly, and then that company with that product, within a few months they got up to like 600000 annual recurring revenue, like 50k monthly recurring revenue, and it was so clear that that tweak, we went back to the drawing board, tweaked it, and then ramped it back up. The execution was great because the tech team was so smart, but it was a really clear example of that principle, you know what I mean?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, and this is really good, this is something that most people who are listening should like write down. Most of marketing and sales isn't really even marketing and sales, it comes back to the offer and the value in the product and the service. That's why in week one of the program we go over niche and then we go over their problem and then we go over the offer and the result and the current situation, the desired situation, because if you just get that right, it doesn't matter that much about like ... Anyone can come to market and sell something that gets that right, you know what I mean? But you get that wrong, even the best wizards in the world can't figure out a funnel to sell that damn thing.
Nick Kozmin: Right, exactly.
Sam Ovens: So what's it been like now that you have transitioned over to programs instead of done for you?
Nick Kozmin: It's interesting. I'm realizing my goal of selling over the phone all day. I like doing that. And I'm able to help more people, and it's [inaudible 00:34:28] like each day ...
Sam Ovens: Hold on one sec, it broke up there. So can you say that last little bit again?
Nick Kozmin: Oh yeah. So you always say that, it's really hard work you can't BS your way through a program, and you always say, never, you can only teach what you know. It's been any interesting experience. I've just been iterating and doing my weekly calls with my customers and really getting into the trenches with them, like doing product development stuff, and it's been really helpful to the customers. Like I get people saying "Ring the bell," like what you're doing. Whatever you started, people know the ring the bell thing. I didn't even introduce that, but I had a guy yesterday in my Facebook group, he's like "Ring the bell," I'm like "Are you talking to Sam Ovens?" But this guy is a SAAS guy, right?
Nick Kozmin: So it's been interesting, and it's a lot of work, but the customer gets more value out of it, and it's just a better model. So it's not like I killed it yet. You know my numbers, right?
Sam Ovens: So what what were you at again? You said 50?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: 50k a month. Cool.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, 50, 55, somewhere around there.
Sam Ovens: But that's still more than double what you used to be doing.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, yeah. And it's a little bit more, I have less anxiety. Because if you can imagine, the done for you, you're sending an invoice every month and you're hoping to god that they pay you, you know what I mean? And sometimes these companies get in trouble, they get into cash crunches and stuff like that, and then we have to go through all this BS, right?
Sam Ovens: Were you working for them for the month and then invoicing them at the end of the month?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Oh shit man.
Nick Kozmin: Oh you've got to do a video on that. I'll be your guy. I'll be your spokesperson for getting ...
Sam Ovens: But you could have fixed that problem with done for you by just invoicing on day one in advance, right?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: You don't have to move to programs to solve that problem. You can just change your accounting structure.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah I know, and the thing was, my payments were huge, right? So they would pay me like 10 grand, 12 grand a month to do it, and to drop that kind of cash upfront, they would always ask like "Oh, can I pay you a third now or half how, half at the end of the month," that kind of thing. So it was tough, and then when you do really good work, because I was getting comped on commission, like I had a percentage of the sales, the commissions would get really big, and then as a company paying that, it was like pulling teeth man. It was hard, because they owned you all this money but they were still a growing business and you couldn't bleed them of their cash, right? They still need their cash. So it was a challenging model, and I was really, I didn't like it. It was providing value, but it was really stressful.
Nick Kozmin: With this it's like okay, we got the payment upfront, we provide the value, and it reminds me of doing my detailing business. Sell my 180 detail, my guys would go do it for 80 bucks, and I would just run around the street picking up 100 dollar bills. And I've slept like a baby doing that, you know? So that was the emotional transition for me. There was way less anxiety, and yeah.
Sam Ovens: I've always, a lot of people think oh, you should do deals based on commissions, like you'll get so much percent of additional revenue. But I know that you've got to, that's so much work, right? Because you've got to basically police that. First of all, you're relying on that company to be honest and transparent with their numbers, and more than that you're actually relying on them to know what their numbers are, which most of them don't, and to keep accurate, up-to-date books, which most of them don't. So first of all they've got to keep the books, then they've got to share the information and be transparent, and then someone's got to calculate all of that stuff which is complicated, and then they've got to pay you and you've got chase it up and invoice. So there's so much that can go wrong.
Nick Kozmin: And then for me in addition to that, if they realize they're paying you so much money because they did a deal at the beginning and they're like hey yeah man, if you can actually do that then this is what you get, but then when it comes to fruition, they're realizing how much money they have to pay and then it makes business sense to fight it, you know what I mean? So it's like well, I'm between a rock and a hard place, right?
Sam Ovens: The only time that works is when you own the gateway? So the IOS app store or Amazon, they own the cart. The shopping cart. You want to list your iPhone app on the IOS store, someone pays two bucks for it, Apple collects that two bucks and then they kick back the developer. They take their 30 percent and then they kick it out to the developer. So there's no potential for anybody to think oh, maybe we won't pay this guy, you know what I mean? That's the only time that shit works. If you control the gateway.
Sam Ovens: So if I was you back then or someone else, if you're listening to this and they're like oh, let's do it on commissions, be like okay sure. But we'll use my merchant account. I will give you a login to it, but we'll use my one, my Stripe, and we can have the shopping cart here or the order form here, and then we'll collect all the money here and then I'll kick you, I'll take my piece and then I'll kick you that out every month. And then watch their faces.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah. I don't know.
Sam Ovens: Otherwise dude, you're just asking to get screwed over, you know?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah. I had another client tell me the same thing. He's like "Dude, you're going to get robbed," and I was like "Yeah". So I learned the hard way, I guess. I went through the trenches. I think that I'm pretty qualified to be doing this, so yeah. I went through the trenches and whatever, but at the end of the day I learned the skills to help the companies, and it wasn't like I was starving, you know? I wasn't broke or whatever, but it wasn't optimized for sure.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then what's next for you now? Where do you want to be at the end of this year, end of 2018?
Nick Kozmin: I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, and I joined the Quantum thing, so I think that there's guys that are way ahead of me, and I've got to ... For me, I already know what I have to do. I think I went through the hard part of finding the niche and making the product work. My customers are like, they love it, you know? I really looked at what you were doing, I really took it to heart, and I had experience building SAAS before so I knew the product development process.
Nick Kozmin: I solved that part, and now it's just about getting the solution out into the hands of more people. So I know that it works, I know that people will pay for it, I know that it's getting them the value and they're happy. That's the hardest part. Hopefully I can learn from these guys in Quantum that are doing seven, eight figures.
Nick Kozmin: I need to solve paid advertising and I need to solve the conversion process at scale. Whether it's having more reps or doing a VSL or an automated webinar, something like that, I need to solve that. I'm not sure what the numbers are going to be looking like exactly, but I'm just going to keep trying to solve that. Right now I'm busting my ass trying to solve paid ads, and like you said, fill the calendar or get seven demos a day.
Sam Ovens: It's kind of like spinning plates on different sticks. You've got to keep air, you get one balancing, all right now I've got to get this other one, then you get this other one. And so you've, early on, learned to balance the sales side, right? You learned that from door to door, which is good. You've got that plate spinning. But then you needed to solve the fulfillment side with a good product that offered value and could scale, and that took you ages and now you've got the program and that's spinning. And now you need to spin the ad side so you can get enough volume in.
Sam Ovens: And then once you solve that, I can tell you that the next problem will become the sales calls, because you'll become the bottleneck then. You'll be able to generate enough sales here, get enough traffic from Facebook here to more than fill your calendar, and then your program will be able to take it. And so the bottleneck is now here. So then to solve that problem you'll need to hire reps, train them, get them to do it, and then the problem will come back over here.
Sam Ovens: Actually, yeah, the problem will come back to the program and it will need a version 2.0 to plug holes in it and handle that extra volume. And then I can tell you that your next problem is going to come over here, a new one you haven't had before, which is operations. Then all of a sudden you're going to have a support person, a community manager, and then different people that because all of a sudden the new problem emerges, which is running the day to day operations, you know?
Sam Ovens: And then it will come back to ads, because now you've got a machine that can handle it all, and now you need to push more volume in and it's funny. That's the beauty of going through something, because you learn what things kick at what times, you know?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, yeah exactly. And I know you're the real deal, and I've already got results, right? So for me it's listening, I don't have a big ego when it comes to this stuff. I'll just listen. If someone is making more money than me, they're probably smarter than me, so I'll listen and I'll try and go through the steps.
Sam Ovens: Cool. So what would you say has been the most transformational part of the entire program so far for you?
Nick Kozmin: The most transformational part.
Sam Ovens: What one thing changed the most stuff for you, like shook you up, totally changed your life?
Nick Kozmin: It was one, the first thing was the niche thing. Like I didn't really, it was right under my nose but I couldn't see it, right? I was like oh, I can build funnels, I can grow companies, that was what I thought my skillset was, and I could go and do different sorts of deals. And then I realized after doing a bunch of trial and error, like I brought on customers that were not good fits and they churned out. And then the only people that were left hanging on were the SAAS companies, because that's what I knew, right? I sold these service companies or sold these other companies, but then they were just like no, it didn't work. So it was pretty clear, that was pretty clear. I was like well shit, I spent six years, seven years doing this, so the niche is probably SAAS. So that was probably the big realization.
Nick Kozmin: And the second realization which is what I signed up for, what I paid the money for, was to figure out how to provide the value at scale. In your videos you're like oh, I run an 18 million dollar consulting business. How the hell is he doing that? What do you have, 100 consultants in a big building? I live across the street from Deloitte. I'm downtown Toronto. I know consultants. My friends are consultants, right? How the hell are you doing that.
Nick Kozmin: And then I was like okay, he's probably doing something and then I just got into it, and knew that the online programs were where it's at because one of my clients, Greg [O'Gallagher 00:47:24], he's a [inaudible 00:47:27] if you've ever heard of him, I help him with his funnels, and he's doing just online programs as supplements and he's killing it, right? And he knows a lot of these guys in the internet marketing world, and it's interesting what that industry is like. So I knew there was something there and I just took a, I was like okay whatever. Let me just try this.
Nick Kozmin: So the transformations, one is the realization about the niche, and the second was the delivery through me not doing it.
Sam Ovens: Got it.
Nick Kozmin: But it's a lot of work, you're right. You can't just whip up a program. I spent four months building the program. I would do a video and then I would listen to it, and then I would be like "This is shit," and I would have to do it again. And I'd have to do it again, and then I'd listen to it again and I would be like "This is shit," and I would have to do it again. And the customers were eventually, the customers were like "Wow, your videos are awesome," you know what I mean? And I planned it. I would spend a day planning it and writing and distilling it, kind of like what you're doing. I know you work hard building your things, you know what I mean?
Nick Kozmin: So yeah, that's the realization. But it is hard. For anyone who wants to do it, I agree with you. You have to go through the trenches of learning how to do it manually, and then you've got to be really good at getting it all down on paper and recording and all of that other stuff.
Sam Ovens: Cool. And then you've been in the community for awhile, since Jan, and I'm sure you've seen a lot of other members. What would your number one piece of advice be for them?
Nick Kozmin: For the other members? I would say like, you know what really helped me the most? One of the things, I have the skills to do it, but the distractions. One of the things that you said, you made a little video on your energy is finite and your focus is finite, you drew a little circle and you had these little sticks going all around, and then you drew another circle and it was like one, if you only focus on one thing you go a lot deeper and further.
Nick Kozmin: So that has really helped me. For people that are going through that, I would suggest just like, I deleted my Instagram. I hired a life coach actually, to help me get my day together, because I know the importance of focus. And yeah, for anyone who is just starting out I would just be like yeah, gas all of that social stuff. Don't go out drinking, don't do any social stuff, whatever, and just laser focus on it and get rid of your stupid Instagram, get rid of your stupid Snapchat, whatever, and just focus and that's where ...
Nick Kozmin: That's for me at least, that's where I got my returns, because I track every day. I do a little spreadsheet, similar to what you do, and if I'm up, if I'm distracted or I'm doing Instagram or whatever or some stupid thing, my results go down. I traced over a few months as I was going through this process. I gassed everything, I stopped going out to dinner a lot, and blah blah blah, and the results were pretty incredible. That's me, though. Maybe I have trouble focusing.
Sam Ovens: No it will be everyone man. If someone is on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and everything else, and watching Netflix, and drinking on the weekend, and playing Xbox, they're fucked.
Nick Kozmin: Oh man, I agree 100 percent. I've never been a big drinker. Obviously in university and stuff like that, in high school you go through your party stage and stuff like that, but in university I had a pretty rigorous program so I wasn't always a big drinker. But I always saw my friends do this, and I would slip up once in a while too. I'm not Jesus by any means. But for me, and this is the big thing, I notice that if someone goes out drinking, it's not the next day. You talk about second and third order consequences. It's not the next day. it's like three or four days of you're incapacitated, and it's not like, you don't feel it but your brain doesn't make good decisions. So you keep making errors that compound, and then by Thursday you're feeling okay and you can actually start making really good decisions, but then you only have two days, Thursday Friday, to do them, and then you kind of just reset.
Nick Kozmin: So man, I went to school with people that were way smarter than me. I was in this engineering physics program, I did okay. I was probably like 85th percentile, right? There was this cohort of people that were way smarter than me, just on another plane. In class the would raise their hand and they would ask these crazy questions. I was friends with some of them. But they got into the drinking and doing a lot of that kind of stuff, and you see them now and they're nowhere. They're just kind of like, these guys have 50 horsepower engines and I had like a 30, and these guys, I'm doing better than them just because I didn't get sucked into that drinking and that social stuff as much, you know what I mean? To me that's the biggest thing, but maybe I'm really sensitive to that.
Sam Ovens: It's not, dude. If anyone is intoxicated, their intelligence, it just disintegrates. You take Einstein or Warren Buffet or anyone and you get them plastered, they ain't smart anymore! If I have one beer man, I'm lazy and just stupid, and that's one. It takes all of your edge away, you know? If you feel laser focus, you've got hyper-awareness, you can see everything, you can sense everything, it's almost like you've got X-Ray vision on people and you can catch everything. And then after one beer it's like ugh, hazed over again, you know?
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, yeah. All of a sudden things start breaking. And I think the value in the community for me, because a lot of my friends, they're not in the same position, and if I'm like "Oh, I'm not going to go out," or I have to be focused or I can't be on my phone or I put my phone on airplane mode, they think I'm a lunatic, right? They're like "You're insane". My girlfriend, before she knew what I was up to, she would think I'm insane.
Sam Ovens: You're being radicalized. It's like you're going to some sort of camp.
Nick Kozmin: Exactly. So it's interesting seeing what people and friends do. You shut off your phone ... I even asked, I was in New York last week and I hit you up and I'm like "Hey Sam, you want to go for dinner," you're like "No, can't". I was like yeah, he's probably just really focused. So it's interesting to see other people that have that, you're not the only one, you're not the lunatic, and I think that's really helpful.
Sam Ovens: That's good advice for other people listening too. It's going to seem weird to people who aren't in this world, but to people in this world it's normal. And you've just got to understand. It's kind of like, I refer to it sometimes as changing religions. You imagine if you were like, this is an extreme example, but imagine if you're a Catholic and then you became a Satanist, right? You're going to totally upset everyone on the other side, because you literally just turned your beliefs upside down. This isn't that extreme, but it's kind of like you're doing the same thing, you know what I mean? They're different worlds, different beliefs, different everything.
Nick Kozmin: Exactly. yeah. And I was in a cult before, like with the door to door, it's kind of cult-y, you know what I mean? In order to get all these people to go knock doors commission only, you had to be a leader. This Ben guy was a leader and he somehow, he rallied 400 people to go out door to door, commission only. Some people would make like 20 bucks a day, but they would still do it. So I was part of that, and the money doesn't lie, right? To me. If I'm doing all this stuff but when I was 20 years old I was making like a thousand dollars a day, 20 grand a month sort of thing, the money doesn't lie. I'm like well, I guess this cult works, right? I didn't really care.
Nick Kozmin: So I was looking for that, because I knew the power of that. These people, I forget where I read it, but I think it was in the book Mastery by Robert Green. He's like you look for anomalies, you know. You don't look for the herd. If you follow what the herd is doing you're going to get the same results, but then you look for anomalies. And for me when I came across you, I'm like, "You're an anomaly," you don't make 18 million bucks or whatever you made at that age right, right? So I was like "This guy is an anomaly". Ben, my first mentor, he was an anomaly. He was 32, he was making like 50 grand a day, right? And so I knew that I needed to find another guy like that, you know?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, yeah.
Nick Kozmin: And I was perfectly fine joining a new religion, because I knew the benefits.
Sam Ovens: It's good to be a part of a cult if it's doing a good thing, you know? Because one thing that's absolutely a cult is CrossFit. Everyone goes to those things and they all become friends and it's all kind of like that. What are the benefits of that? Well, you get fit and healthy and everything. So is it that bad? No. But you go join some sort of cult that's bad for you, then yeah okay, that's bad. But you want to find something that's what you want and that has good outcomes and then submerge yourself in it, because that's how you get good.
Nick Kozmin: Yeah, exactly.
Sam Ovens: So how can people learn more about you. Like we're going to put this on YouTube and share it in our community. If other people know someone who has a SAAS business that needs to get to a million bucks and they need an internal sales team, of if someone with a SAAS business is watching this, how can they find you?
Nick Kozmin: Just go to salesprocess.io, Sales process dot IO, watch a little video, you can see my stuff, and sign up for a call, and I'll hop on the call with you, I'll determine if we can help each other, and if there's a fit then we'll show you what we have.
Sam Ovens: Awesome. Cool man, well thanks for jumping on and sharing your story.
Nick Kozmin: Thanks Sam.
Sam Ovens: I'll see you this weekend at the Mastermind.
Nick Kozmin: Sweet. See you there.