Category: Advice

What We Learned from $1 Million in Ad Spend in One Month!

We spent over $1 Million in January…here’s what we learned.

In January we spent over $1 Million on Facebook ads in one of our businesses…

But don’t worry… I don’t expect you to believe me without proof…

Here’s the Amex statement for January…

And if you still don’t believe me or think I made this image up, then feel free to close the page, never return, and forget we exist…no offense taken.

I mean seriously, if you had told me one year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I’d be doing $1 Million in advertising in one month!

But advertising, marketing and sales is really what makes a business grow. So if you aren’t willing to spend time and money on marketing, you aren’t really expecting to grow your business.

(Visit to get your free business evaluation today)

Now, I’ve run multi-million dollar organizations before, but they were all someone else’s, so I wasn’t involved in every aspect of the business.

With this business I’ve been very involved in everything.

Now, in full disclosure, this is an eCommerce business selling products online all over the world…

Not a coaching business, info business, or service business, but real products to real people.

During that time we did over $2.4 Million in sales, so our marketing cost was about 42% of sales.

Again, I don’t expect you to believe me (and honestly don’t care if you do), but here’s the Shopify dashboard just in case:

Okay, so I’m assuming if you’re still reading then you are at least somewhat curious what we did, how we did it, and what we learned, right?

Well what we did was simple:

  1. Find great products people really want
  2. Create engaging advertising that will entice people to buy
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
  4. Sell the product
  5. Deliver our product to the customer and keep them happy!

How we did it is simple as well:

  1. We ran video ads on Facebook
  2. Retargeted customers who went to our site
  3. Created email follow up campaigns
  4. Optimized everything
  5. Rinsed and repeated…

Now, the important part you need to know are the lessons learned. If you are looking to scale a business, then these lessons will serve you very well.

I’ve run everything from a one-man shop, to a small healthcare practice, to a large division in a billion dollar company, and I can tell you these lessons serve well for all different size businesses.

(Want a free business evaluation? Head over to

Major Lessons Learned

  1. Communicate with Your Customers!
    I can’t stress this one enough. No matter how great your product is, how loveable you might be, or how incredibly popular your brand, poor communication can kill your chances of success at any stage!Have you ever placed an order at a restaurant and the food came out all wrong? How did you feel when you got your order? Like they didn’t care and didn’t listen, right?Well it doesn’t matter if you’re a solo-operator or a billion-dollar brand…If your customers don’t feel they are being heard, they will turn on you. This means checking in on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, google reviews, Yelp, your website – anywhere and everywhere your customers are looking for answers! We even had someone report our business to the Better Business Bureau because they thought we were a fraud…turns out that our email was in their spam box, so even when you do try to communicate it can backfire. Luckily we did follow up and communicated even more after receiving the notice, so the dispute was dropped.
  2. Never Rely on One Avenue for Customers
    This is not a new lesson, and one that you wouldn’t think needs to be stated, but it’s true:If you are relying on one media source for your customers to find you, you are dooming yourself from the start!We relied heavily on Facebook, and at one point we were doing over $50k per day in ad spend on that site. Well, one of our ads was deemed in violation of their guidelines, and as a result the entire business manager was shut down! 😡😡😡Imagine having a blazing fire keeping you warm in the midst of a blizzard and all of a sudden your fuel supply is stolen! Not a good place to be.This brings me to number three…
  3. Always Have a Backup Plan
    We knew that this was a possibility, so we had several business managers with several logins, and several credit cards just in case one of these was shut down. We ended up needing all of them, and we kept having to resolve disputes and errors to ensure that the business stayed open.We call these redundancies, and you need them for your advertising, your fulfillment, your databases, computer systems, suppliers…anything and everything that you rely on to run a business. If you have just one of anything that is critical to running your business, you are asking for problems.
  4. Build a Strong Foundation Before You Build the Walls!
    Ever seen a house built? Did they start with the ceiling first, or the foundation?Stupid question, right? Well unfortunately most people build their businesses using the wrong sequence. There’s a fine line you have to walk when building a business, and there’s always a Catch-22 you need to be aware of:Your business can only scale as fast as you can deliver on your sales promises!When you sell something, you are under a legal, ethical, and moral obligation to provide that thing or service to your customer in the way they expect to receive it! This is critical…If you aren’t ready to fulfill on your promises (i.e. deliver the product, complete the service, etc.), then you should not be selling it! This is different than “sell it before it’s ready”, which is what we coach entrepreneurs to do…I mean that if you can’t feasibly fulfill your orders in a reasonable time, or have no way to catch up if you catch a massive wave, then you shouldn’t be selling it!The foundation of a business is the ability to deliver to the customer what you promised. This is the operations-end of the business. Not sexy or fun, but vital to lasting success and continued growth.
  5. Know Your Numbers!
    It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of selling your products or services, but don’t ever take your eye off the bottom line!For example, we were selling thousands of products daily around the world (God bless the internet!), and we had to know which products we could buy, sell, and ship profitably…Not on a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly basis, but ON A DAILY BASIS!Imagine spending $50k per day on ads, another $50k per day on products and fulfillment, and then only making $75k per day in sales…How long would it take to go out of business? Maybe a day or two for some, a week or two for others, right?Don’t be fooled by big businesses with billion-dollar top line revenues, wishing you could be like them…Many of them are losing money by the fistful day in and day out because they aren’t accounting for their business properly.If you run a business, you need to know both the static fixed costs, as well as the variable costs that eat away at your profit. And anything is better than nothing…we had to estimate shipping, merchant fees, chargebacks, and refunds until we had a track record we could rely upon…

    And we simply used a Google Sheet to track it! You don’t need to be overly sophisticated to know your numbers, but you must know your numbers! We had to shut off ads and products within hours of turning them on, but wouldn’t have been able to without knowing our numbers.

Shoring Up Your Business

Running a business is hard enough, but scaling a business significantly is a real challenge. There are so many little things that can go wrong and eat your lunch.

We don’t want that to happen to you, and if you’d like to someday be doing over $1 Million per month in sales (let alone advertising), then you need to really focus on shoring up your business.

This is the SSOS of running and growing a business…

  • Structure your business properly with the right tools, technology, and people.
  • Systemize your business using automation where possible and standard operating procedures everywhere!
  • Optimize everything from your sales and marketing, to your people and processes on a regular basis.
  • Scale your business only after you know the wheels won’t fall off the bus as you speed up.

If you want to learn how you can build and scale your business the right way, then head over to to receive a free business evaluation and determine the red flags in your business!

The Number One Deal Killer [Video]

Do you want to know what the biggest mistake is for any entrepreneur who is looking to raise capital?

Watch and find out!



The 3 P’s For Productivity

As entrepreneurs, we strive to do our best every day. Our goal is simple: Show up, be authentic, and get the most out of the time we have. We call this being productive.

Living this way isn’t about just doing more and going faster. Instead, what is important, is the mindset and habits it takes to achieve the success we desire.

In this post, I detail three tactics to improve your productivity. As you read each one, consider how it will also benefit the people around you – your employees, co-workers, friends and family — people who may mimic your behaviors.

Pace yourself.

Here’s the secret to pacing yourself: Think, reflect, manage, then do.

As you think, ask yourself what you want to be known for. Keeping this question at the forefront of your mind at all times will give you the momentum you need to dig deep, and ultimately reach your goals while staying in tune with the kind of person you desire to be.

The next step is to reflect. This is a time of waiting and discerning the specifics. Make sure you know where you are headed. Have you put your plan on paper? Are your goals manageable and realistic?

As you begin to process all the steps ahead, don’t be afraid to break them up into smaller more manageable projects. By creating sub-projects with your end goal in mind, you are setting yourself up to enjoy the small victories along the way. These moments sustain your momentum as you continue moving forward.

Don’t burn yourself out by overwhelming yourself from the start. Give yourself the gift of taking your time to patiently walk, step-by-step, toward you goals.

Partner up.

Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of professional and personal development. Another way to think about a mentor is to think of them as your own personal productivity partner.

Make a list of three to five people in your life who have positively influenced you. What was it about them that you admired? Would you be willing to reach out to one of these people, and invite them into your life as a mentor or as your own productivity partner?

Productivity partners can help us build resilience, offer us time management and productivity tips, encourage us as we build our networks, and lead us into a new chapter of our lives. Identifying these people and nurturing these relationships will not only increase your productivity but it will also set you up for success in a way you never thought possible.

Project your future.

It is important to not only know what you are doing but also where you are headed. While you work toward your goals, never stop learning and growing. Research local conferences. Reach out to speakers coming to your area. Or sign up for a webinar. Not only will this expand your knowledge but it will also widen your network, and keep you at your best.

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. No more. No less. How we choose to use those 1,440 minutes directly affects our productivity. Keep your projected future in mind, and use those minutes to create the best version of yourself possible.

By incorporating these productivity practices into your everyday life, you will be amazed by the difference they will make. Take each day for the gift that it is. Remember to pace yourself, build your network, and always keep your future in mind. And that’s how you’ll get the most out of those 1,440 minutes.

“You’ll never get rich spending money…”

Title III Crowdfunding Advertising Rules

Advertising Rules and Restrictions

NOTE: Nothing in this information is intended as Legal Advice.

Always seek the advice of a competent professional advisor or lawyer with any questions you may have regarding these matters.

The SEC has stated in the adopting release that the permitted notices will be similar to “tombstone ads” under Securities Act Rule 134, except that the notices are intended to direct an investor to the intermediary’s platform or funding portal through which the offering is being conducted, such as through a link directing the investor to the platform.

Advertising Restrictions The final rules prohibit an issuer (or person acting on behalf of the issuer) from advertising the terms of the crowdfunding offering, except for limited notices (similar to “tombstone ads” permitted under Securities Act Rule 134) that direct investors to the intermediary’s platform. Information in advertising notices is limited to:

  • a statement that the issuer is conducting a crowdfunding offering, the name of the intermediary through which the offering is being conducted and a link to the intermediary’s platform;
  • the terms of the offering (the amount of securities offered, the nature of the securities, the price of the securities and the closing date of the offering period); and
  • limited factual information about the issuer: the name, address, phone number and website of the issuer; the email address of a representative of the issuer; and a brief description of the issuer’s business. The final rules do not impose limits on how the issuer distributes the advertising notices. For example, an issuer could place notices in newspapers or post notices on social media sites or the issuer’s own website.

In addition, issuers may communicate with investors about the terms of the offering through communication channels provided on the intermediary’s platform, provided an issuer identifies itself as the issuer in all communications.

The final rules also do not restrict an issuer’s ability to communicate other information that might occur in the ordinary course of its operations and that does not refer to the terms of the offering.

While the final rules do not provide a safe harbor for regularly released factual business information so long as it does not refer to the terms of the offering, the adopting release notes that issuers may generally look to the provisions of Securities Act Rule 169 (which permits non-reporting issuers engaged in an initial public offering to continue to publish regularly released factual business information) for guidance in making this determination in the Regulation Crowdfunding context.

In addition, the final rules do not restrict an issuer’s ability to communicate other information that might occur in the ordinary course of its operations and that does not refer to the terms of the offering.

As stated in the Proposing Release, we believe that this is consistent with the statute because Section 4A(b)(2) restricts the advertising of the terms of the offer.

The Commission has interpreted the term “offer” broadly, however, and has explained that “the publication of information and publicity efforts, made in advance of a proposed financing which have the effect of conditioning the public mind or arousing public interest in the issuer or in its securities constitutes an offer…” In this regard, we also note that Securities Act Rule 169 permits non-Exchange Act reporting issuers engaged in an initial public offering to continue to publish, subject to certain exclusions and conditions, regularly released factual business information that is intended for use by persons other than in their capacity as investors.

Issuers should generally look to the provisions of Rule 169 for guidance in making this determination in the Regulation Crowdfunding context.

SEC Release 33-9974, p. 144 (2015) (footnotes omitted).

Rule 169 – Exemption from sections 2(a)(10) and 5(c) of the Act for certain communications of regularly released factual business information.

Preliminary Notes to Rule 169:

1. This section is not available for any communication that, although in technical compliance with this section, is part of a plan or scheme to evade the requirements of section 5 of the Act.

2. This section provides a non-exclusive safe harbor for factual business information released or disseminated as provided in this section. Attempted compliance with this section does not act as an exclusive election and the issuer also may claim the availability of any other applicable exemption or exclusion. Reliance on this section does not affect the availability of any other exemption or exclusion from the definition of prospectus in section 2(a)(10) or the requirements of section 5 of the Act.

3. The availability of this section for a release or dissemination of a communication that contains or incorporates factual business information will not be affected by another release or dissemination of a communication that contains all or a portion of the same factual business information that does not satisfy the conditions of this section.

(a) For purposes of sections 2(a)(10) and 5(c) of the Act, the regular release or

dissemination by or on behalf of an issuer of communications containing factual business information shall be deemed not to constitute an offer to sell or offer for sale of a security by an issuer which is the subject of an offering pursuant to a registration statement that the issuer proposes to file, or has filed, or that is effective, if the conditions of this section are satisfied.

(b) Definitions.

(1) Factual business information means some or all of the following information that is released or disseminated under the conditions in paragraph (d) of this section:

(i) Factual information about the issuer, its business or financial developments, or other aspects of its business; and

(ii) Advertisements of, or other information about, the issuer’s products or services.

(2) For purposes of this section, the release or dissemination of a communication is by or on behalf of the issuer if the issuer or an agent or representative of the issuer, other than an offering participant who is an underwriter or dealer, authorizes or approves such release or dissemination before it is made.

(c) Exclusions. A communication containing information about the registered offering or released or disseminated as part of the offering activities in the registered offering is excluded from the exemption of this section.

(d) Conditions to exemption. The following conditions must be satisfied:

(1) The issuer has previously released or disseminated information of the type described in this section in the ordinary course of its business;

(2) The timing, manner, and form in which the information is released or disseminated is consistent in material respects with similar past releases or disseminations;

(3) The information is released or disseminated for intended use by persons, such as customers and suppliers, other than in their capacities as investors or potential investors in the issuer’s securities, by the issuer’s employees or agents who historically have provided such information; and

(4) The issuer is not an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) or a business development company as defined in section 2(a)(48) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-2(a)(48)).

§ 227.204 Advertising.

(a) An issuer may not, directly or indirectly, advertise the terms of an offering made in reliance on section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)), except for notices that meet the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

Instruction to paragraph (a). For purposes of this paragraph (a), issuer includes persons acting on behalf of the issuer.

(b) A notice may advertise any of the terms of an issuer’s offering made in reliance on section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)) if it directs investors to the intermediary’s platform and includes no more than the following information:

(1) A statement that the issuer is conducting an offering pursuant to section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)), the name of the intermediary through which the offering is being conducted and a link directing the potential investor to the intermediary’s platform;

(2) The terms of the offering; and

(3) Factual information about the legal identity and business location of the issuer, limited to the name of the issuer of the security, the address, phone number and Web site of the issuer, the email address of a representative of the issuer and a brief description of the business of the issuer.

(c) Notwithstanding the prohibition on advertising any of the terms of the offering, an issuer, and persons acting on behalf of the issuer, may communicate with investors and potential investors about the terms of the offering through communication channels provided by the intermediary on the intermediary’s platform, provided that an issuer identifies itself as the issuer in all communications. Persons acting on behalf of the issuer must identify their affiliation with the issuer in all communications on the intermediary’s platform.

Instruction to § 227.204. For purposes of this section, terms of the offering means the amount of securities offered, the nature of the securities, the price of the securities and the closing date of the offering period.

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