Starting A $50,000 /month Business With A Job & A Family: Here's How Todd Did It

Starting A $50,000 /month Business With A Job & A Family: Here's How Todd Did It


I hear it all the time: "I don't have enough time to do _______".

(Insert life dream and important goal).

Why is it that everybody is too busy being average and claiming they're too tired to be great?

It's messed up.

If you think you don't have enough time to start your own business, then you're delusional.

You do have enough time, you're just being lazy.

Don't believe me?

Meet Todd Warren!

Todd had a sales job that demanded 80-hours a week and a young family.

If most people had either of these, they would claim they "don't have enough time" to start their own business.

Todd did it with both.

Not only that, he grew his business to $50,000 /month while still working his job. Now he's quit his job and gone all in 100%.

Here's what we cover:

1. What motivated Todd to realize he didn’t want to stay at his current job.

2. How Todd picked his niche and landed his first dental client.

3. How Todd sold Google Adwords without knowing how to run a campaign.

4. Todd’s lumpy mail process for getting clients.

5. Setting yourself apart in a competitive digital marketing niche.

6. Why Todd doesn’t have the words “I can’t” in his vocabulary.

This is an awesome interview that will light a fire under your ass and motivate you to take action. I highly recommend you check it out.

Further Reading: "How To Start A Consulting Business"

Transcript / MP3

Sam Ovens: Hey everyone, it's Sam Ovens here, and today I've got Todd Warren on with us. And Todd Warren is a Consulting Accelerator member and he joined Consulting Accelerator back when he had a 9:00 to 5:00 job, although it wasn't really 9:00 to 5:00. You told me before it was a lot more like 9:00 till 4:30 sometimes, 4:30 in the morning, that is. Todd Warren: Yeah, in the morning. Sam Ovens: And you were a sales engineer working a job and you joined Consulting Accelerator. And since then he's been able to grow his consulting business to $50,000 a month. And what Todd does is he helps dentists get clients with digital marketing. And we're going to dig into that, like what does that mean? What type of digital marketing? What type of dentists? We're going to dig into his story today and really go through every step in the evolution to go from working a 9:00 to 5:00 job to quitting, starting your own business and getting to the point where you're at now. Because you've really done it. You've made the transformation that all 9:00 to 5:00 employees want to make. Todd Warren: Yup. Sam Ovens: So, let's start back when you had that job. Why did you want to quit? Why not just stay in the job and keep working there? Todd Warren: Yeah, I mean, and I got to say that job was a blessing. It supported my family for 10 years. It's just the physical requirements of the job, even though you're sitting in a cubical or at home in front of a laptop from 8:30 in the morning till, I mean, my longest shift I ever worked was 31 hours straight, no breaks, nothing. And at some point depending on client needs and proposals that needed to get out I was working 70, 80, 90 hours a week and my family time, there just, there was not family time. It's like, "There's dad off in the corner on his laptop working on a proposal designing something for a client he's never going to meet." And so I just, in the back of my head I always knew that wasn't a career path that I could maintain physically. But also just it didn't feel right for my family, and I knew I somehow had to get out of that, get out of the rat race, so to speak, I guess. Sam Ovens: That's funny because usually entrepreneurship's harder work, and even longer hours than that, but that sounds like longer hours than I work anyway. Todd Warren: Yeah, I mean, I think the last two weeks at my job I had over 100 hours just my last week. It was insane. Sam Ovens: That's pretty messed up, man. Like even when I've tried to work real hard, I think the max I've ever done was like 110, but that's because I own the damn company and everything was on the line. How do you make an employee do that? Todd Warren: For me, it's I am incredibly competitive. Like you said, I'm in the dental niche. It is one of the most brutal niches in digital marketing as far as competition goes. And with my sales engineering job, we were up against just massive, massive companies and when someone says yes to a 30 million dollar design that has come out of your head, that was very rewarding for me as an engineer. So, the competitive side of me is what drove me to put in those kind of hours to put the best design forward to a client that is going to support a company of 200 people. Sam Ovens: Got it. And then, so what really made you want to quit? Was not so much the money thing, but more time with the family and everything thing? Todd Warren: Yeah, absolutely. It was freedom because there was nights where we would have family gatherings. My wife has a very large family, we love being around them. And I just said, "Sorry, guys. I got to stay home." And I had, at the time, I had a two and a four year old, so they're eight and 10 now, but that's when the thought entered my mind that I can't keep doing this, and I started to look into different entrepreneurial opportunities. My entrepreneurship actually started out with network marketing and I was successful in that. And then later on, that's when I found your program. Sam Ovens: Got it. How did you find the program? Todd Warren: Actually, you did a JV with Alex Becker. Sam Ovens: Oh, yeah. Todd Warren: You did a webinar with him, and I friggen whipped out my credit card on the spot. Sam Ovens: Cool. Yeah, I think quite a lot of people felt like came to me through that. I think there was at least 100 people. So it was a big one. So, you came to me through Becker. You were interested in consulting. What happened? You joined the course, I mean, what happened next? Todd Warren: Yeah. It was a lot of hit and miss, honestly. Should I watch every single video or should I watch everything twice like you said with mindset, and then start taking action? Or, should I just watch a video, take action, watch a video, take action. And I started just taking immediate action. Sort of the mentality I have a lot of the times is ready, fire, aim. And that's what I did with your program. I just started taking massive, massive action. In my first month I sent out 150 lumpy mail garbage cans in my first month, and got my first client from it, which was my own dentist. Sam Ovens: So how did you, like before that, because the first thing I get you to do in the program is really define your niche. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: How did you arrive at dentists? Todd Warren: I saw a bunch of people in the community, the Accelerator community talking about dentistry and I was like, "Well, my dentist sucks at marketing." And because I've had some experience previous with digital marketing for my, like I said, I was in network marketing where I was an online health and fitness coach, and my dentist was trying to lose weight and he kept seeing me all over Google. Every time he'd do a search, he would see one of my videos on YouTube or something at the top of Google. And when he received the garbage can from me, he was running a crappy AdWords campaign that was going to his homepage. And I took your exact template for AdWords management services, sent that to him with a lumpy, a garbage can with a $100 bill poking out of it, and he thought it was the most creative thing in the world. And he goes, "I've been meaning to talk to you the next time you come in for a cleaning. I see you everywhere on Google. I want you to get my website to the top." So that's how I got started with dentists. And then eventually one of his sterilization staff came up to me at my next cleaning and she said, "Todd, I have no idea what you're doing, just keep doing it. We're getting production bonuses." And that's when I knew, "Okay, I'm only focusing on dentistry. I'm not going to try and split my focus between all these different kinds of businesses. I've had a real impact on the sterilization staff of this practice, so I'm just going to work exclusively with dentists." And that's when I really started ramping up my marketing as far as lumpy mail went and I was sending out anywhere between 1,000, 2,000 pieces of lumpy mail a month. Sam Ovens: And was there any passion of yours, or interest in dentists, or ... Todd Warren: Not at all. Sam Ovens: Is there now? Todd Warren: It is. The industry is amazing. I mean, I have learned if you put me in a room full of dentists, I could pass off as a dentist because I know the language. But these guys have an amazing passion for what they do. It's phenomenal some of the work that my clients do completely pro bono. I have a client that spends three months out of the year down in Guatemala doing 250 fillings a day for people who can never pay him. It's a phenomenal industry, really. Sam Ovens: Cool. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: So that's how you got your first client. You just chose dentists because you had seen your own dentist. You knew he sucked at marketing, so it was a pretty ... You were just racking your brain of all the businesses you know and whether they were good at marketing or not. You came up with that one. Todd Warren: Yup. Sam Ovens: And you also saw it from other people in the group. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: There's always a few influencers like that. And then you sent him a lumpy mail, you got him as a client. I mean, what were you offering to him back at that stage? What was your offer to him, and how did that work? Todd Warren: Yeah, again, I took your exact template about the fact that he was sending all of his paid traffic to his homepage and that prompted him to look into it more. He contacted his, the AdWords management company he was currently working with and found out that he was only getting three clicks a month to his ads for $1,500. And when he finally got a report from them, it was his first report he got from them in three years. He flipped. I had described to him the benefits of sending traffic ... In dentistry you have lots of different types of searches going on. You have people searching for dental implants, root canals, wisdom teeth removals, oral surgeons. All these different procedures that dentists offer, Invisalign. And I shared with him that if you send that traffic to a landing page and limit the number of decisions they can make on that page to calling your office, or requesting an appointment, you're going to see those conversion rates skyrocket. And it just clicked with him. He's like, "That makes so much sense." And he got in a big argument with his current AdWords provider, and then switched over to me. Sam Ovens: Nice. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And, what were you offering to do for him? What did you say I'll do for you, and how did you price that? Todd Warren: Yeah, so I offered to build him individual landing pages for every single procedure that he wanted to target with his AdWords campaign. And the landing page was ... Actually there was a number of things. Because of my previous work with my health and fitness website, I knew a lot about website conversions. So I told him, "Hey, your website looks pretty outdated. Let's get the conversions up on your website as well." So I priced out, since this was my first client, I pitched him a $6,000 fee for the website. He said, "Since I'm your first client, I want a discount." So I did his website for four grand, and then I priced out his monthly fee. I charged him a $4,000 set up fee for his AdWords campaign at $2,000 a month and that included $1,000 a month of ad-spend. But after three months that went up to $3,000. So, I gave him a, it was a $4,000 set up fee for AdWords, $2,000 a month for three months and then it went up to $3,000 a month. Sam Ovens: Got it. Nice. Todd Warren: I did a little bit of price cutting and incentivizing to, obviously my first client I wanted to get him some good results and he's been a phenomenal client. He's still actually my client today. Sam Ovens: Awesome. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And, did you know how to do AdWords back then? Todd Warren: No. I just contracted it out. Sam Ovens: Okay. So when you sold it to him you didn't know how to do it. You just knew how it worked and how to explain it and sell it and things like that? Todd Warren: Yup. I knew enough about AdWords to know ... I know conversions very well. I know what converts and I was able to express that verbally in a way that gave him confidence in moving forward with my services. So, yeah, it was ... You don't need to know the service. The only thing that I do is website design when I want to. Everything else I contract out. Sam Ovens: Got it. And did you have a contractor lined up to deliver the AdWords at that time? Todd Warren: Actually, I reached out to Courtney Martin and asked who she recommended. She was an early member of your program and she was kind enough to give me a gentleman's name who's just been amazing with our AdWords campaigns. Sam Ovens: Nice. And then you went to him and you were able to contract it out and you just kept the middle? Todd Warren: Yeah. My only focus in those early, early months was sales generating activities. That's it. I didn't want to focus on campaigns. I would check in on them once in a while just to see how they were performing, but I didn't want that to be a focus of my business. I want to focus on sales. Sam Ovens: Got it. And so how were you doing the marketing to get clients back then? I mean, you sent a lumpy mail to this guy. You said you were sending out a lot of lumpy mail back then. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: How did you get ... Walk me through that process. Did you start with Google just finding dentists, building a list? How did you find the people, build the list? Then what did you put in the mailers and how many did you send and all of that? Todd Warren: Yeah, so there's another member of your program, and I've got to say, if anybody is not taking advantage of the consulting community, you're at a huge disadvantage. I had a question, "Hey, what's the best lead scraper on the internet?" And a guy named Lior, he has program called Scope Leads and you can actually type in your parameters like Spokane, Washington, keyword dentists, and it'll spit you out every single name, phone number and address of dentists in Spokane, Washington. So I did that with a little bit of just manual work of searching Google for every single dentist in a particular city. I would get that list and after my work day of between eight to 12 hours, sometimes even more, I would spend four to six hours hand addressing every single envelope. I would stuff, fold my unique letters into that envelope. I would wax seal those envelopes, mark "Private" on the envelope and I'd make a trip to the post office every single Friday with 250 to 500 letters. Sam Ovens: Every how often? Todd Warren: Every Friday I would go to the post office with- Sam Ovens: So every week 250 to 500? Todd Warren: Every single week, yup. Sam Ovens: That's a lot, man. Todd Warren: They knew me by name at the post office. Sam Ovens: Yeah. And what was in these letters? Todd Warren: So, Lathan, again, Lathan Fritz another member who just [crosstalk 00:15:03]- Sam Ovens: He came from Alex Becker's thing. He's the guy I was talking about. Yeah. Todd Warren: Okay, so small world. But yeah, he posted his letter that showed how he was getting clients through lumpy mail. Sam Ovens: The wax seal one. Todd Warren: Yeah, the wax sealed letter, and I really liked the way it was formatted. So in my letter I included, I said, "Hey, there's this many people searching for a dentist in your city and not a single one of them can find you. Do you have a problem with this?" And I put the current search results of Google showing that they were nowhere to be found on the first page and then I put a short blurb as well as a challenge to, for them to go search a specific search term that showed the results I got for one of my clients. I said, "I'll prove to you that I can do what I can say. Go to Google and search this." So there's a little bit of proof in my letter. And then also something I've been doing recently is guaranteeing. And this is really important when you're working with doctors or if you're doing dentists, chiropractors, plastic surgeons, I guarantee their time. I say, "If you feel like I've wasted your time on a strategy session, I'll cut you a check for $100." And that really resonates with doctors is their time is very, very valuable. So if you're willing to pay them if they feel like you've wasted their time, that shows them you're confident. Sam Ovens: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Todd Warren: So I include that in my lumpy mail as well. Sam Ovens: Nice. And what was the lumpy item? Todd Warren: Two pennies. Sam Ovens: Okay. Todd Warren: Yeah, the idea of here's a dental marketing expert's two cents on getting new patients every month. Sam Ovens: I like it because that's cheap to give two pennies. I mean, that's there's two cents and it's flat, too. You get a flat mailer because it's expensive to mail really lumpy ones. And I was thinking, man, if you're sending 500 a week, that's a lot of money. Todd Warren: Yeah, so what I did, I tried to reduce that cost. What I have to purchase for my lumpy mail letters is the forever stamp and then because the wax seal on the back of the envelope makes it thicker, they make me purchase an additional ounce stamp. So I can send one lumpy mail letter for $1.83, basically, total, all my costs into it, the price of the envelope, all that. Sam Ovens: That's like a cost per click anyway. Todd Warren: I know. And then recently I've moved away from pennies because a lot of times banks don't have 10,000 pennies for me to purchase. So I hit every one of my bank branches in town and I bought up all their pennies. And I ran out of that pretty quick, or they ran out of pennies pretty quick, so I actually switched to two playing cards and I tell my prospect to stop gambling with their marketing. Sam Ovens: Nice. Todd Warren: Just something a little creative that sticks in their head. Sam Ovens: Yeah. Todd Warren: And obviously is cheap and fits in an envelope. Sam Ovens: I like it. And so you'd send out 250 to 500 a week and from that what sort of response would you receive back? Todd Warren: Usually I get about ... Honestly it depends on the season with dentistry and this is something, if anybody's working with dentists, you'll learn or any insurance based practice, you'll learn that there are ebbs and flows in their business. So, November, December, January and February I don't see much traffic. I don't get very many phone calls because there are so many people using up their insurance benefits at dentists, dentists are crazy busy at the end of the year. And everybody has renewed benefits at the beginning of the year, so dentists are crazy busy, and they're not thinking about marketing because they don't have to, their schedule is full. But as soon as March rolls around, that's when you see dentists start to, it's like, "Okay, there's gaps in my schedule again. I've got to come up with something." So definitely that's something I've learned with dentists is that there are ebbs and flows. But the results I got from the lumpy mail letters was about anywhere from a half a percent to one and a half percent response rate. So out of 1,000, I'd get 10 to 15 phone calls. And of those 10 to 15 phone calls, I would get seven or eight strategy sessions. And out of those I would sign three to four clients. Sam Ovens: So three to four clients out of 1,000 mailers. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: So that ... What's that as a conversion rate? That would be three to four ... That's 1.5 to 3%. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Is it? No, it's lower than that. It's lower. Todd Warren: No. It's way lower. Sam Ovens: It's way lower because that's out of 100. So that would be ... Yeah, that's like 0.15 to 0.3%. Yeah, got it. And what does that mean cost per acquisition wise? Because to send 1,000 at $1.80, that's $1,800. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And to get ... That's pretty good cost per acquisition when you add it up. Todd Warren: Yeah, cost per acquisition is great, but if you're doing the letters yourself, the time is the big one. Sam Ovens: Were they personalized? Todd Warren: Yeah. Every single letter was personalized. Sam Ovens: So you would type a different thing to each person? Todd Warren: No, actually, what I do in Microsoft Word I create a specific letter for each city and I go to Google's key word planner and I can say, "Hey. 8,962 people searched for a dentist last month and you were nowhere to be found." So I know the exact number of people searching for dentistry related terms in their city. And then I use on Microsoft Word and Excel, I get my lead sheet that has all of their names, phone numbers, addresses, everything, and I do a mail merge with Microsoft Word. So, when I hit the print button, it prints the next dentist on the list's name on every single letter. Sam Ovens: Nice. Todd Warren: [crosstalk 00:21:16]. Sam Ovens: Where's all the manual labor in that process? Todd Warren: What's that? Sam Ovens: You would generate the leads using a software like Scope Leads, right? Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: So that's nice and automated. Then you'd use a mail-merge to mail-merge it and you could use one template for a different city. I mean, there's one template. It prints it out. Is the real crux of the manual labor in that process the stuffing and stamping of the letters? Todd Warren: Yeah. And especially I had a system down where I have my stack of letters, I would grab them, fold them, stick them in. Peel off the stick, or peel off the seal. Put it down. I actually used a glue gun with wax sticks that I got off Amazon instead of lighting a spoon with a lighter or anything and pouring wax. I got a glue gun with wax and I would be stamping, letting the wax dry on three letters, while I was folding and stuffing the next ones. So it was four to six hours a night of stuffing and stamping letters. Sam Ovens: Geeze. Yeah, but I guess in the end it's worth it. I mean, because the cost per acquisition's not that bad, and yeah the time, what? So it'd take you four to six hours a day and 1,800 a week to do this, but from that you'd get three to four clients which were paying you a grand to two grand a month. Todd Warren: Yeah, yeah. And it's actually since then I actually upped my fees. I had one client two months ago. She paid me without any argument over the phone, it was $4,000 set up fee, and the first month's campaign management was three grand. And she just [inaudible 00:23:04], "Okay, let's do it." And paid me $7,000 up front. So it's ... You do have that 3% of potential clients who will pay you on that first phone call with no followup with no questions asked. Sam Ovens: Especially when you get more confidence and more case studies and all of that. Todd Warren: Yeah. When I can talk to a dentist, because in dentistry I would say 99.9% of dentists are just completely jaded by marketers because they're getting phone calls every single day, they're getting emails every single day. They're getting marketers dropping by their office every single day. It is ... They're just annoyed by marketers and they've had their ... They've been burned so many times where marketers have over promised results and under delivered. So it's easy to set yourself apart if you're able to provide them with the result. Sam Ovens: Nice. How much does it cost to get your teeth cleaned at the dentist? Todd Warren: For me it's $278 bucks. Sam Ovens: I was going to say, imagine if you got, started paying kids to go get their teeth cleaned and then start a conversation. Wonder what that cost per acquisition would be? Because it's always the best infiltration when you come in as the customer. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Because everyone looks at their customers different than marketers. You know what I mean? Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Back when I used to do digital marketing for local businesses, whenever I needed to hire a trades person, I would hire the one I wanted to get as a client, right? Todd Warren: Yup. Sam Ovens: So if I needed a locksmith, I'd look through and I was like, "Which one's the locksmith that I want to have as my client." I'd call up, hire them. Then when they were fixing my door, I'd start talking to them and start asking them questions about all of this and that and I'd always ... Well, not always, but I'd say at least 60% of the time I could get them as a client and get my thing fixed. So it ended up being a profitable [crosstalk 00:24:59]. Todd Warren: I did that with a ... I tore my ACL playing soccer two years ago, and I chose a physical therapist that was on page two of Google. Sam Ovens: Nice. Dude, I even did it with Persian rugs. I needed to buy ... I didn't need to, but I wanted to buy some Persian rugs for my apartment back in New Zealand. So I found the one and they ended up being a 10 grand a month client. I was like, "Dude, if I can make Persian rugs, buying Persian rugs a profitable exercise ... Shit." Todd Warren: That's awesome. Now you've got me thinking about what kids in the neighborhood I can hire to go into a dentist. The one, I'll give it, the one limitation on dentistry is especially if you're offering a service like AdWords or SEO, you really sort of limit yourself to one client per city because you can't tell, ethically tell one dentist, "Hey, I'm going to get you to number one." And your next client, "Hey, I'm going to get you there, too." Sam Ovens: It depends how much they're going to spend, though. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Because I remember that. In New Zealand when I was doing it for plumbers and things, I would promise it to them because I knew that they couldn't buy enough traffic to occupy number one all day, right? Because let's say there's, I don't know, 10,000 searches for "Plumber, Auckland." And their budget's only going to be at max 10% of that, right? They're not going to serve an impression every single one of those searches. So, I was like, I can actually, in theory, provide that to 10 people and still be ... And still none of them are getting a haircut. You know what I mean? Todd Warren: Yeah. That's true. Sam Ovens: So you can do that if you look at it. But if you're in small cities and they're spending max and they're spending as much as they can on that volume of keyword, then yeah, all the search traffic's going and it would be unethical and you'd be cutting yourself short with that client. But if there's still volume left, you can do it. Todd Warren: Oh, yeah. And now I separate my services so that I can have more than one client in a city because I let my clients reserve a targeted keyword. So for me if they want to target, "New York dentist." My client that's targeting that keyword has exclusive rights to that particular keyword. But if another dentist in New York City wants the keyword, "Dentist in New York City." That's a completely different phrase. So I can sell him that service to rank him for that keyword, if we're doing SEO. Sam Ovens: Got it. And your story's pretty good because you just did the work. I mean, you just followed the process. And you join the program, and I mean, shit, you were working ridiculous hours and still somehow you found the time to stuff six hours of envelopes [crosstalk 00:27:48]- Todd Warren: I'm still doing the work. It's right here. Sam Ovens: Yeah, but what's fascinating to me, though, is what separates the people that get results and are successful from those that aren't. Right? Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And sometimes I think it's maybe it's the tech they use, maybe it's the niche they use, but you chose a hard niche, dentistry. That is by no means easy. And then you weren't a dentist, so you didn't really have an insider ... You didn't have a way to get to them better than the next guy. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And you also didn't know how to do AdWords. So it's not like you could come in and say, "I'm the best." And so, you had ... And you had a job, and you have a family. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: So, how can no one else ... How can other people say, "Oh man, this is too hard." Because what I see is you were sending out 1,000 a week. So you would put in the money. I mean, you were doing [crosstalk 00:28:43]- Todd Warren: Actually, it was about 1,000 to 2,000 a month. Sam Ovens: Okay. Todd Warren: Yeah, so I would go to the post office each week with about 250 to 500 letters. Sam Ovens: Got it. Because yeah, 1,000, that's 1,800 bucks just in letters a week. That's like eight grand a month. Todd Warren: Yeah. I was spending about 1,800 to 2,300 month on letters. Sam Ovens: Got it. So, you'd put in the time, you'd put in the work and you just grinded at it and you ended up being able to quit your job and get to 50 grand. I mean, why do you think you were more driven than other people? Because I know other people, they spend six months trying to pick their niche, or they try sending out five letters and they don't get a sale so they give up. They think, "Oh, this might not work." Or, "Maybe the niche is broken." Why do you think you were able to stick to this niche and just keep driving on it compared to other people? Todd Warren: I honestly don't know. And I hope that answer's fair, but I think just because I am so competitive, I just want to win at everything. That's it. I just, I want to be the best. I don't know. There's just something in me that will not let me give up. I have a grandmother who's nearing the end of her time and the one thing that I've taken from her and passed onto my kids is there's no such thing as, "I can't." She used to ... I remember she was remodeling the mobile home next to her. She had purchased it as a rental property and we were laying a ... I'm 10 years old laying a new subfloor in this thing. And I'm hammering nails by hand into the floor. On my 2,000th nail and I said, "Grandma, my hands hurt." And she goes, "You shut up." She's like, "You don't say can't. You keep going." It like, "Oh my gosh. I'm 10." But that mindset has always just been in the back of my mind. When I work 12 hours a day and I still have to do four to six hours of work on my letters, there's a voice in the back of your head that will try and justify and say, "You have every excuse, or every reasonable excuse to just go to bed. You worked hard today." But I don't want to work hard at sales engineering. I want to work hard at my business so it gives me freedom to go on field trips with my kids, or just, honestly, whatever I want to do aside from being forced to do, or being required to do this other thing. Sam Ovens: Because you said you're competitive, in this competition, who are you trying to beat? Todd Warren: I have no idea. I didn't have ... There was no competitor. I don't really look at what my competition is doing because I think it just sidetracks you. I focus on providing the best possible service and value that I can do. So I didn't have a particular competitor that I was competing against. Honestly, I think it was ... When I first got interested in starting a business in network marketing my wife said, "That will never work." And I think I just set out to prove my wife wrong. And I ended up, I came home one day and I said, "Honey, you can quit your job if you want and stay home with the kids." She's like, "Oh crap, this is a real thing." And it's the same thing with this business where, "Hey honey, I want to quit my job." She's like, "That's ... You're not going to make enough money to quit your job." And I think my mindset is, "Oh yeah." I was like, "I'm going to show you." I think, honestly, that's what it is, is I'm going to ... I just want to prove that it can be done both to myself and to other people. Sam Ovens: Yeah. Yeah, I definitely like it when people tell me that I can't do things, or that they even attack me. It's like, I like that stuff. So when- Todd Warren: [inaudible 00:32:42]. I think that's where the ... I think the competitiveness is with the philosophy that you're not able to achieve this. I sort of want to prove myself wrong, prove my own thoughts wrong, and I'm going to outwork anybody else that tries. Sam Ovens: And talk me through how long did it take to get enough clients, and get into this and make enough money before you could quit your job? From when you started Accelerator to when you quit and went full time on your own, what was that timeline? Todd Warren: I think your webinar with Alex Becker was May 2016, or June 2016. Sam Ovens: Sounds [inaudible 00:33:30]. Todd Warren: And I quit my job in December of 2017. So it was about a year and a half. Sam Ovens: Okay. Nice. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And what income did you get up to per month before you wanted to make that decision? Todd Warren: It wasn't really what I was comfortable with, it was what my wife was comfortable with. So once I reached the 50,000 a month in November, I told her, I was like, "Honey, just look at this." And she goes, "You can quit if you want." She's like, "If you feel like this is what you're called to do, go ahead and do it." She's like, "I believe in you." Sam Ovens: 50 grand a month, that's heaps before you quit. Why do you need so much? Todd Warren: I think it's just a security mindset. I mean, obviously I have overhead associated with that 50 grand. My overhead is about between 36 and 40% but still, there's a certain security of mindset of having a job. For some reason the world has conditioned us to think that that job is ours and it belongs to us. Sam Ovens: But it's messed up, because don't you think that job is less secure now than your own business? Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Because, I mean, you've got to lose all of your clients to be in the same position as what you'd be in as if you'd lost your job. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: It's one dude who just could make a decision like, "Screw it, I'm going to fire this guy." Or, his business could go down, and then he's got to cut you. That's just one decision and it doesn't even have to have logic attached to it. But with your business, all of your clients have to quit, and they're not going to quit unless there's a logical reason to. So there is more risk in a job than there is in having your business. Todd Warren: Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. So it's a condition of the mind that the world has just fallen victim to is that I'm more secure in this job that someone's employing me, or someone's paying me to do than going out there and generating my own circumstances. Sam Ovens: It's messed up, [really 00:35:42]. Because that is definitely the public opinion. Todd Warren: Oh, yeah. Sam Ovens: But it is definitely not the fact. Todd Warren: Oh, yeah. Sam Ovens: That's where two of those things are not aligned properly, fact and opinion. Todd Warren: Yeah. And even now, even where I'm at, I still have the thought in the back of my mind that's like, "Did I make the right decision?" It's like, ... And then the other side of my mind is like, "Are you kidding?" It's like, "Do you really have to ask that question?" It's just this war in my mind going on, did I make the right decision? Of course you did. You're in complete control of your destiny, essentially. You have control. Whereas before you could have been done at the whim of ... If the CEO was having a bad day, or if he didn't like one of the designs that you put forward to a key client. He could have said, "You're done." Like you just said, that's one decision versus multiple decisions from clients. And usually if a client isn't happy, you can do things to keep clients that aren't happy. Dentists have very high expectations, a lot of the times unrealistic expectations. So that's something to think about if anybody's thinking about getting into the dental niche, is dentists have a much different set of expectations than, I would say, a plumber or a general contractor or something like that. Sam Ovens: Dude, everybody has higher expectations than ... Like, I'm in the business of teaching people how to start a business from scratch, right? Some people think they're going to make a million bucks over the weekend. You know what I mean? Todd Warren: That's true. Sam Ovens: That's part of being a consultant is first of all just to tell them the reality of it. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: Because at the end of the day they want to know what the reality is, you know? Todd Warren: Yeah, and- Sam Ovens: Because if that really is the truth and you're going to help them in the best way that is the truth, then there's nothing better they can do about it, you know? Todd Warren: Yeah. And I've lost clients who are not pleased with results, and I'll take them back to our original conversations where I've set the expectation. It's like, "Hey, if you want to be at the top of Google, this is a long game. This is not immediate results. And if I got you immediate results, Google is going to slap the hell out of you, and your website's going to get blacklisted. I can't get you to the top that fast. We talked about this." Like, "I know, but I'm just not seeing the results. I can't justify it anymore." So, even with clients a lot of the times you can set the expectations, but there's still the disconnect there where their expectations are not met and there's sometimes there's nothing you can do about it, other times you can- Sam Ovens: They're humans, man. They forget. Todd Warren: Yeah. So, communication has been key with dental clients for me. Just checking in with them every single month. I have standing meetings with a lot of my clients just to, just an opportunity like a 10 minute phone call where I can ask them questions. Not necessarily for them to check in with me, but to say, "Hey, where are your numbers as this month? Are you guys ..." I give my clients a set of to-dos so I can keep them accountable. I check in with them on those to see if they're doing it. And if they're not keeping up on those tasks, I remind them, "Hey, here's the result you want to get to. You're not going to get there unless you're doing these things. Think of me as a personal trainer. I can give you the meal plan, I can give you the workout plan, but unless you actually get on the treadmill and eat the right foods, you're not going to see the results." So I've been holding my clientele a lot more accountable, and I've seen a lot better retention when I started doing that. Sam Ovens: Yeah, it's a team effort. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: It's not just you making money fly in. I mean, it's both of you. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: So, what would you say ... You've got an awesome story, which by the way, for people listening, you're working 80 hours a week, sometimes you're working 100 hours a week, and still somehow you found a way to stuff 250 letters a week and send 1,000 a month and do the strategy sessions, and find contractors and do everything else in a competitive niche. So if you think, "I don't have enough time." Plus you've got a family. So, to people listening who think, "I don't have enough time." Bullshit. You probably don't work 20, 80 hours a week. You probably don't have a family. So just based on that, I mean, you've got to kick yourself into gear and you've got to be real with yourself. It doesn't matter if you've already got a job, it still can be done on the side. There's always a way to get it done. And you got to 50 grand a month before you even quit, so that was done all on the side of a job. Todd Warren: Yeah. All my strategy sessions, all of it was done on lunch breaks. If I had a client call me with an issue, it was done on a break time. I will say that my engineering job was pretty flexible, so if I had ... There were times where I had four strategy sessions in a single day. I would do my strategy sessions, but then I would have to make up that time at night from home on my laptop. So if I had four strategy- Sam Ovens: Most jobs are going to be willing to let their people do that, too if you put in the work some other way. Todd Warren: Yeah, I was always getting a minimum of eight to 12 hours a day at my engineering job, and they didn't really care when I was at my cubical so long as I was getting my work done. So that was a blessing. If people don't have that freedom, you still have two fifteen minute breaks, and a lunch. They're just, you just have to toss out the excuses as to why you can't. I think Jordan Belfort is the one who said, "The only thing standing between you and what you want is the BS reason you keep giving yourself as to why you can't." I just tossed out every excuse as to why I couldn't have strategy sessions in the middle of the day, and found out how to make it happen. Sam Ovens: Nice. Todd Warren: It's a matter of will. Sam Ovens: And what would you say has been the most transformational part of the Consulting Accelerator program? Todd Warren: Honestly, it's the community. The community has been just a huge part of my success from the contractors that I've found, to the business relationships that I've developed. And also just the mentorship that I've gotten from some of the members of the group has just been phenomenal. I would say the community has been my biggest asset because I've just made so many key connections that have been integral to the success of my company within that community. Sam Ovens: Yeah, you got your niche from there, you found out how to get leads from there with software, you found your contractor from there. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: I mean, you pulled the pieces you need. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: And so what would your ... You've been able to go from 9:00 to 5:00 job to 50 grand a month. What would your ... And you've been in the program for a while and in the community and you've seen the other members. What would your number one piece of advice be for them if they're struggling, or they're not able to get into gear? What's your advice for them? Todd Warren: Gosh, there's so many things I would want to say to people but, I mean, the number one piece of advice I would give is the reason you want to achieve what it is you want to achieve, it has to be massive or else there's not going to be anything pushing you to put in another four hours when it's already midnight. That's what I did. I would get done with my engineering work at midnight and I had 50 letters to stuff, which was going to take me another two or three hours. It was like, "Okay, but I want to take my kids on a field trip. I don't want to have to ask for vacation days to be with my children. Screw that. I'm staying up till 4:00. I'm getting this done. Honey, you can lay on the couch next to me and watch Netflix." That's what my wife would do while I was up till the A.M. hours of the morning stuffing letters is she would ... We would just ... We would chat. She was on the couch there with me, so it wasn't like I was off doing my own thing. We were still spending time together. Maybe not as quality as we would have liked, but none the less. The reason why I wanted to achieve what I wanted to achieve, which was quitting my job, was way, way bigger than the sacrifice of any time commitment that I had to make. So, your why has to be massive. It can't just be, "I want to quit my job." I want to quit my job is not big enough. There's nothing emotional behind that. I want to be with my kids while they still like me. They're not teenagers yet, so I want to spend as much time and influence them as much as possible. So it was worth 18, 19 months of just grinding to be able to take them to school and pick them up every day. That's what it is for me. Sam Ovens: Nice. Wonder if you can get them to stuff your envelopes? Todd Warren: I've tried. But I have, I will say, I did hire two stay-at-home moms to start stuffing the envelopes for me as I progressed and a lot of my success later in the Accelerator program came from Facebook ads, your Facebook ads training. Right now I spend about $4,000 a month on Facebook ads and I probably get about 15 to 20 strategy sessions a month from that. So, there's some scaling up that came with doing letters. But, I still, I'm sticking to my roots with the letters. It works phenomenally, and dentists are used to seeing pieces of lumpy mail. So I'm setting myself a part in that regard. Sam Ovens: Nice. Well cool man, thanks a lot for jumping on and sharing your story. Todd Warren: Yeah. Sam Ovens: I like it. It's a good one because you don't, I mean, you didn't use your 80 hour job, or your family as an excuse. You still got it done. Do there's a ... That's the big lesson for other people to learn watching this. It's not your niche, it's not your skills, it's not that you're too busy. If you don't have it done it's because you're lazy and the only one to blame is yourself. Todd Warren: Yeah. I've seen a ... I mean, I read a lot of the comments in the community, in the Facebook group, and I see some people in there saying, "Hey, I did 30 phone calls. I think I need to switch my niche." Like wait a second. You only did 30 phone calls? It's like, post back in the group after you've done 3,000 phone calls and you haven't got a single client on the phone. That's the level that you need to be at in order to ... I mean, look at my conversion rates. I send out 1,000 letters, I get maybe 10, 13 phone calls. And out of that, two to three clients. Two, three, four, clients. That's a crap ton of work for minimal results. But, it adds up quick. When you get a $2,000, $3,000 set up fee from each one of those clients, and then on top of that my minimum fee now is $2,800 a month. Those results start to build real quickly even though it's a crap ton of work. Sam Ovens: I agree. Awesome, man. Well thanks a lot for jumping on and sharing your story. I'm sure it's going to motivate a lot of the students in the program, and I think it's also going to motivate a lot of people who aren't in the program to get into gear and change their life and get into business and really go after what they're trying to do. So, thanks for sharing. Todd Warren: Yeah, I hope so. Thanks, Sam. Sam Ovens: Awesome. I'll see you later. Todd Warren: All right, take care, bud. Bye.