My One Regret in Business

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Last year I turned 40 years old. My birthday wish was for 40 more years just as good, and filled with more wonderful people and experiences.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

So far I’ve been fortunate to make great friends who have become business partners, and more importantly, the most influential mentors in my life. I’ve come a long way from the jaded teenager that grew up poor on a farm in Canada.

But how did I get here?

Today you’ll hear the tale of my origin story. If you are looking for a magic bullet for overnight success, you will not find it here. What you’ll get is the story of a long and painful journey filled with mistakes, told for your benefit, and so that your pathway becomes easier because of the lessons I had to learn the hard way.

In early 2000 as I prepared to defend my Master’s thesis, I started job hunting. One night I was scouring a fitness job website and got my lucky break. Lou Schuler, the fitness editor at Men’s Health magazine, had requested article submissions. I immediately emailed him my latest newsletter. Lou liked it. He replied within 24 hours and promised to put it in the magazine. I felt like I had won the lottery.

Lesson #1: Just get started. You can do it. See where it takes you.

My career blossomed as a regular contributor to the magazine. This Position of Strength — being a contributor to Men’s Health magazine — accelerated my ability to network (all in the comfort of my own home, a big deal considering I was even more introverted back then).

The association with Men’s Health allowed me to grow my credibility, influence, network, and readership.

That’s Lesson #2: Leverage everything available to you. 

If you’ve been on TV or had an article published in print, let everyone know. Leverage your credibility to attract more opportunity. This is no time to be humble. When building a brand of you, it’s of no value to be shy.

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For two years I wrote my weekly email newsletters without the slightest clue of how to monetize my work (other than through more Men’s Health articles). It wasn’t until 2001 when I began to sell my workouts online.

Lesson #3: Be patient when building a Position of Strength. 

From 2001 to 2003 I made a few thousand bucks a year selling workout manuals through Paypal.

Lesson #4: Get it out there. 

The summer of 2003 brought another breakthrough. One day, Eric Ruth, a business coach to personal trainers, recommended a manual written by Bob Serling. The 200-page spiral bound manual, called Info Millions, cost $97 and showed up on my doorstep a few weeks later.

Each time I read that manual it put $3000-$4000 in my bank account. I read it four times that year. Serling taught me about product funnels, the importance of upsells, and how to get customers to buy from you again and again. In September of 2003 I built my first e-commerce website using a done-for-you system called WebsiteWizard.com. It cost just $400 for the year and allowed me to post content, grow a newsletter subscriber database, and to sell products in a shopping cart.

I started selling Turbulence Training in September of 2003 for $9.95 as a digital download. The PDF manual did not include pictures and there certainly were not any online videos. I made $3000 in the first three days of releasing it to my email list.

Lesson #5: The less tech stuff you know, the more money you will make (“Ballantyne’s Law”).

Here’s the best advice I can give you in life, and this goes for anything, from losing weight to starting a business to finding a spouse to supporting a charity or writing a book.

Whenever you are just getting started, simply start small. Get your idea out there. Build some momentum. Ask for feedback. Make it better. Do it again. Don’t wait. Just start now. Please, please, please, just start now. We are all running out of time.

The next month I improved the Turbulence Training program, increased the price to $19.95, and launched it again to my email list. The next month more workouts were added, the price was increased to $29.95, and guess what? That’s right, I launched it again. In December I added one more bonus and raised the price to $39.95 where it stayed until 2012 (although I kept making it better each year).

Lesson #6: Always be selling.

By the end of 2005, I was finally making over $100K a year online but was still personal training 20 hours a week. In 2006, the same year I fought through my struggles with anxiety, I hired my first business coach. He redesigned my website and rewrote the sales copy, just as I do for my business-coaching clients today.

With my coach’s help, we ran a big product launch for Turbulence Training on July 17th, 2006. I’ll never forget the thrill of making $18,000 in profit in just three days, or rushing to the computer between personal training clients to check my sales stats. I felt like a “made man”, which brings me to my number one biggest regret in business.

I should have hired a coach sooner. I’d be twice as rich today had I done that, perhaps even more. It would have cut down on all those wasted years between 1999, when I started writing my newsletters, and 2006 when I finally had a huge breakthrough. That’s a 7-year itch. Don’t make the same mistake. When an opportunity comes along to hire the mentor you need, take it.

If you want to have the same business success as I did, your chance is here today. If you want to work from home or travel the world while making money 24 hours a day with your website, then go to this website and join me at our next 1-day private coaching event.

Bedros Keuilian and I will teach you how to turn your ideas into money and build an Internet business so that you can live the life of your dreams.

This is our last event of the year. Don’t miss out. Don’t be like a young Craig Ballantyne who thought he could do it all himself. Hire a coach. Get a mentor. And achieve your big breakthrough.

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