How One Offer Saved My Job
“Paul, I’m leaving for Spain. My company is losing money. I won’t be able to pay you.”
This was a defining moment for me, but let’s start at the beginning…
My entrepreneurial journey started when I was 14. I grew up in New Hampshire cutting lawns and working odd jobs for people in the neighborhood.
When I was 15 my dad and I put up fliers around the neighborhood and I landed my first job. Raking leaves for $7.50 per hour for maybe 7 hours per week.
$7.50 per hour wasn’t bad. Not really. When I was in middle school, I remember driving with my dad in an old station wagon squire helping him “run to the bank” and deposit his check.
The teller would always give him a blue receipt which looked just like the check he deposited.
$351.41. That was what he had to make it through the week for a family of six.
I know inflation is a thing – “money was worth more back then” but we weren’t exactly rolling in it.
When I was 12 playing middle school soccer I remember looking around at the other boys and seeing this one kid: His name was Austin.
You know those kids in middle school who have three times as much energy as everyone else? That was him.
He carried a beautiful blue glacier freeze Gatorade to practice. And he got a new one every time I saw him.
I felt somehow so inferior bringing basic water to soccer practice. So I set my mind on acquiring a bottle of blue glacier freeze Gatorade. Plus, maybe it would give me more energy.
I remember walking past the isle where they sold the Gatorade – 2 for $5 even back then, and grabbing a bottle, brought it to my mom’s shopping cart.
She told me to put it back – we couldn’t afford it. I felt low-key devastated. I would never measure up to Austin.
I asked if we could get one? Maybe a smaller one – it was $1.49. Nope. Too expensive. But she reminded me that I had money – about $20 in savings. I should use that.
It was quite a conundrum. I would have to take a 25% hit on my savings. Plus it might take weeks to get back to that $20.
I reluctantly pulled the trigger a few days later. But I beat the system. I only drank half of the 32oz bottles at practice and then filled them up again with ice to make sure they looked full and blue. They were way colder than Austin’s and more refreshing.
I REALLY needed to find more ways to make money. So I started chopping wood into little kindling bundles and selling them at the end of our local road. $3 for a large bundle and $1 for a small bundle. Boom! An extra $15 bucks per week.
That plus odd neighborhood jobs and high school was off to the races.
At this point I knew I wanted to work for myself. The prospect of going to college, getting into debt, to emerge with a salary of 45k (US average at the time) to do something I kindof disliked with little freedom or mobility didn’t appeal to me.
I could make just as much money cutting lawns – or so I thought.
And so I started trying every way I could to make money “online.”
Filling out surveys, doing secret shoppers, working for mortgage companies taking pictures of houses, day trading – anything that I thought I could build into a business and retain some kind of autonomy.
Then the ultimate dream job appeared. Running a Hedge Fund. I loved the idea – It combined everything I was looking for, marketing psychology, independence, and unlimited opportunity for growth.
So I spend the next three years during and after college(yeah I went, my mom insisted) and started building a money management business from the spare room in our house.
I came up with the strategy, track record and got my series 3 and series 34 license and started to manage friends and family money – about 250k.
In the meantime, I was learning everything I could about the markets, trading and investing. I bought a few courses and training programs from a money manager based in London named Jarratt.
Now Jarratt was a day trader and investor, and I knew if I could just work for him, I could make a salary to survive and move out of the house – while I pursued my dream of building a hedge fund.
And so, I wrote to him about every 6 months pitching some job that I could do for his education company.
And every month his very British assistant named Charlotte – turned me down in the politest British way possible.
“Paul – I’ve passed this note on to Jarratt and thank you so much and we are very sorry but he’s not looking for anyone right now, maybe later.”
I learned later how to interpret common British phrases:
Maybe later = No
Let me get back to you = No
We are very sorry = No
Thank you so much we’ll consider it = No
Sure, let me look into that = NO, go away.
I like that idea = Probably a no, and your idea isn’t anything special.
Finally, I wrote to Jarratt and said, Look I’ll do anything. I’m come to London, I’ll work for free – I’ll empty all the wastebaskets if that’s what you need. I just must make a salary so I can be at my desk and focus while I’m building my fund.
“Thank you so much we’ll consider it.”
Month’s pass – and then I receive an unexpected email. “Paul I’m on holiday for the summer – but when I come back, let’s talk about a job”
I was ecstatic! This was exactly the opportunity I had been waiting for. The problem was that I didn’t exactly have a role to fill – Jarratt just liked my enthusiasm and willingness to do whatever it took.
I spent time in many different roles in the company, but nothing was working. And the company wasn’t doing so hot either. In fact, it was losing money.
I had worked for this company for about a year so far and was about to get fired. And not for anything I had done…we just couldn’t afford my salary.
And Jarratt was frustrated as well – he had put an enormous amount of time and energy and cash into a company that was LOSING money.
And so we jumped on a call and he said Paul I’m leaving for Spain on holiday. I’m thinking about winding down this business. Maybe we’ll have enough to pay half of your salary at the end of this month.
I’m putting you in charge while I’m gone – think about ways to sell and raise cash. If we can’t make enough money this month then you don’t get paid.
I was terrified. I could not lose this job.
And the irony of it all is – we had a great product. Possibly the best on the market to educate day traders interested in Forex trading at the time.
Jarratt – the guy who did the educational videos and instruction was a highly successful trader managing millions of dollars, and an excellent communicator. Plus, our pricing was competitive.
We had a large email list and thousands of people in our broader community.
SO WHY WEREN’T PEOPLE BUYING?
This question plagued me for weeks. I started furiously researching how to sell things more better and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I needed to make this work.
In my research, I stumbled on a couple marketing gurus: Russel Brunson and Frank Kern.
Their argument was that how you sell something is nearly as important as the product itself. If you can’t demonstrate the value of what you are selling – you will remain a broke expert, who could be the best in their field. One of Russell’s ways of demonstrating value was through a webinar. In that webinar he had an offer for one of his products.
So I wrote the first very cheesy webinar demonstrated the value of our products…in kind of a non-conventional way – and a few thousand extra dollars trickled into the bank at the end of that month.
I was hooked. Could constructing a proper offer be the difference between broke talent and highly compensated talent?
We were focused on copywriting, and traffic and JVs and affiliates and making our content the best it could be and hiring an army of people so we could be a proper company that looked and played the part…but were still struggling to stay above water.
From that month on I started to improve every offer in the business. Whether it was our core offer or offers for customer acquisition or affiliates and our revenue started to grow.
Then in 2018 – we were ready to upgrade our main core offering and it was my job to create it. We choose a high-ticket program which could be fulfilled by members of our team.
But this time – I wanted a commission. After all, I was in charge of the revenue, then I wanted my slice. So, we agreed to a commission and I got to work.
It was a $10,000 product. Way more than we had charged for anything in the past. We went into painstaking detail creating every facet of this offer.
And in one month, a single well-constructed offer made the company over 200k. Many multiples of what we had done in months previous. I looked at the companies balances for the end of the month – they totaled $213,016.
I couldn’t believe it. My commission = $37,602. A year’s salary for me not that long ago. I saved the screenshot below.
In fact, the offer construction was so successful that the company spent the next few years building business structures just to support these offers.
The point of this rambling ‘about’ section is not to brag. I’ve had plenty of other failures which I’m embarrassed to write about.
Ask me about them sometime.
But rather, the point is to give you hope if you are someone with domain expertise. Your services are valuable, and the world needs them. AND you can get paid what you are worth.
Also – I don’t have to be that person who helps you get there. There are plenty of people who you can work with to grow your business.
Ask me and I’ll make a recommendation.
What excites me the most is giving entrepreneurs that feeling of wonder when they realize their services are extremely valuable and prospects are willing to pay them what they are worth to bring their creations into the world.
If you need any help, let me know.
Economics is the study of people. Specifically, how people make decisions to allocate their scarce resources.
Money is scarce – and so individuals will think very hard before they give you some of their scarce $$$ for your service.
The reason your customers will stay with you long term is if you provide them quality work.
The #1 reason customers will pay you what you are worth, is if your marketing “offer” demonstrates how much value your service provides.
The better you can demonstrate your value – the more you can charge.
OfferEconomics is the study of how to build brilliant offers that demonstrate your value and command a premium price.