Lessons Learned from Investing Over $1 Million in Education
Mike Agugliaro and his partner, the co-owners of New Jersey’s largest and most respected home services company, had a relatively successful business, making $1 million in annual revenue. However, they were working an insane amount of hours. As a result Mike’s partner threatened to quit. He was burnt out and couldn’t go any further. At that point, Mike said, “what if we found people who knew how to build the business, who already figured it out and we just invested [and] learned from them?” In other words, Mike compared it to “let’s jump off the bridge one last time and we will either land on our feet or die.” Fortunately, this was really the turning point in their business and the main contributing factor towards their success. In our recent conversation, Mike explained the magical lessons he learned from investing in this education and how he applied it to his business to grow it from $1 million to over $30 million in annual gross revenue in 10 years.
The Crystal Ball of Business Success
From the moment Mike’s partner threatened to quit up until now, he has invested over $1 million into his education. No, that is not a typo! He invested over $1 million into obtaining firsthand knowledge from the most successful business people on the planet.
Luckily for us, Mike was willing to distill the advice and wisdom he gained from the $1 million investment into three simple pillars:
- Mindset – “You have to get your mind right.”
- Skill set – “I learned that I needed to learn things I didn’t know how to do.”
- Action – “One of the biggest things: You’ve got to take action on your new expanded mind and the new skills that you learned.”
Mike calls these three pillars “the crystal ball. If you took [anyone] that wanted to go to the next level – whatever it is. I don’t care if it’s a million or a billion dollars – and said, ‘what would get you there? Would it be a shift in mindset?, would it be a new wisdom or knowledge or skill set?, or would it be [that] you just need to do different actions?,’ that’s like the solve all mystery of what holds anybody back.”
Once you are able to identify which one of the three pillars are missing or damaged in your business, you can brainstorm ideas and methods to fill in those gaps. Mike recommends that you ask yourself the question “what would get you there?” and then literally put pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write out exactly what it is that you need to do to get there (wherever there happens to be). Making it clear will allow you to formulate an effective plan of attack, rather than keeping it pie in the sky and guessing which areas you are weak in or are neglecting.
The Crystal Ball in Action
Mike applied this crystal ball to his business, and more specifically, towards his marketing methods.
First, Mike had to change is mindset. “I used to say marketing is everything and everything is marketing … That’s kind of close … Marketing is the only thing, period … If you want something that will change the game – I don’t care what industry or what you do to make wealth or gain yourself greater freedom – it’s about creating repeating buying of existing customers. It’s about positioning for negotiating the closing of higher deals.” According to Mike, this change in mindset “ hands down changed the game for me.”
With this new mindset, Mike was able to move to the two pillars – skill set, and then taking action on that new skill set.
The first new skill set he adopted was learning how to understand the ideal customer “People might have heard about this before … It’s really digging into the emotional aspect of the avatar – the perfect customer … I want to have an emotional conversation to move them from where they’re at to where I want them to go. I can only do that if I know the right person to talk to at the right time [and] in the right place to move them in a forward direction.” For example, Mike knows that for his business avatar, “in 7 years, they’ll give us $50,000 in residential service work.”
Another skill set Mike adopted was how to effectively communicate with his ideal avatar. “One thing we’re really good at,” he said in regards to servicing customers, “is we understand that there is only one thing that has to happen – build a relationship. [That means] really understanding who they are, what they want, when they want it, and who they like doing business with.” This enables Mike to understand how to adequately create his messaging when marketing to that avatar or perfect person, which in turn, says Mike, “helps them move along the funnel or along the line to making a good decision.”
After spending over $1 million on education, Mike distilled his learning into three pillars:
- Skill set
By identifying which one of these three areas you need to improve, you will solve any mystery of what’s holding you back from going to the next level.
Tactically speaking, Mike applied this advice to his marketing.
First, he adopted a new mindset, going from thinking marketing was important to marketing being the most important aspect of his business.
Then, Mike acquired a new skill set – how to properly identify and communicate with his ideal customers.
Finally, Mike took action and in combination with a new mindset and skill set, he was able to grow his gross revenue from $1 million to over $30 million in a decade.
Advice in Action: Honestly assess your business or yourself in terms of these three pillars: Which am I good at? Which am I poor at? What action can I take to go from poor to good? What action can I take to go from good to great?