What is your backstory?
I grew up in a very small steel town in Canada, where everyone was a factory worker, unless they were the town Doctor or the town Lawyer. The school system in this town completely failed me. Instead of encouraging me to succeed, teachers doubted me, belittled me, and gave up on me. As early as Grade 1, I had been labeled with learning conditions such as ADD and LLD. I was belittled and bullied; not just by the kids, but also by the parents and teachers.
The lack of support continued when I was in University. At the age of 19, I met with the Head of Special Resources, who concluded that I was best suited for a simple factory job and that I wouldn’t make it in a professional career. Being told I was only good enough for factory work was the exact type of derogatory comment I was used to hearing for nearly two decades. I was starting to believe that I should just surrender to my seemingly inevitable defeat. What drove me to push forward was a near-death experience, because I truly felt that it was a miracle I’d survived, and I took it as a sign that my life is worth fighting for.
I was kidnapped in a third world country at the age of 19, and held hostage with a gun to my head. I was just one trigger pull away from having my head blown off. This was the third time in my life that I had survived a near-death experience. In Grade 1, I broke my skull in a bike accident; and in Grade 6, I flew through the front windshield of a car during a horrific car crash. After surviving the third near-death experience, I recognized something very important: I was meant for something greater, and meant to become someone of significance.
I realized it didn’t matter what my teachers or peers said about me. Even if it was true that I was a little academically inept, it wouldn’t affect my future success. Sales, for example, simply requires a natural gift. It’s a form of artistry. Academic aptitude isn’t required to be a great salesperson.
I had always gravitated towards sales because it was clear that I had a natural talent for it. My first job as a child was as a salesman at my Uncle’s furniture shop. I watched my gifted Uncle close sales, and I became a great closer myself. Later in life, I worked with real estate agents and mortgage brokers, which further developed my sales skills. When I entered adulthood, my first corporate career was working for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. There, I grew to be the #1 sales representative in the entire country.
Being their top sales rep meant that at age 31, I was earning $200,000 - $250,000 per year working just one day per week. I know it sounds fantastic, but I was miserable. To exist at the level I wanted to exist at, in a city as expensive as Vancouver, I’d have to be earning at least three times that amount - and I also didn’t want to work for someone else. I didn’t want to build someone else’s dream.
I knew I wanted to be my own boss and build something on my own. I tried to keep my pharmaceutical job and simultaneously pursue other entrepreneurial endeavors, but having that hefty paycheck from my corporate job to fall back on resulted in a lack of entrepreneurial self-motivation. Any time things got uncomfortable or difficult on the entrepreneur side, I’d give up instead of following through on projects. This was because I had what most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have: a six figure income to fall back on. I realized that if I was ever going to level up, I had to risk everything and go all in. I was single with no kids at the time, so I knew this was the right time to take such a risk. So, I did what most people would never do: I quit a six-figure income, comfortable job to pursue a challenging entrepreneurial path.
Unfortunately, I dove into the internet marketing world, made some rookie mistakes, and failed. I soon found myself $150,000 in debt, in line at the bank to declare bankruptcy. I remember being in line thinking, is this it? Is it over for me? In that moment, I was lost, scared, broke, and broken. In that dark, terrifying and lonesome moment of my life, I almost accepted failure. I was on the brink of allowing everyone else’s pessimistic predictions of my future to come true. I felt hopeless, ashamed, and defeated in every way.
It turned out, however, that I needed to hit rock bottom so that I could find the motivation to change my story. I chose not to accept defeat. I chose to take the other path; the one where I don’t give up on my dreams. I left that bankruptcy lineup, went home, and started thinking outside the box. I stopped looking at what people were doing, and started looking at what people weren’t doing. While researching where I could add value to the marketplace, I stumbled upon the captivating world of High-Ticket Closers. Within one month of entering this world of closing, I went from losing $25,000 per month to earning $25,000 - $50,000 per month.
Through mentorship, I fell back into alignment with my core strengths and I found my better self again. I returned to the marketplace as someone who felt certain about his skills and truly believed in what he had to offer. This allowed me to enter the marketplace with raw strength, clarity and unwavering conviction. This time, the market took to my approach very readily; I quickly became one of the top closers in the high-ticket space over the phone; and soon the media would call me ‘The One Call Closer’.
My business partner and I created a coaching program that went from $0 to $9 million in revenue in less than 10 months. I recently left that partnership to focus on building a business on my own, and I’m now building my own empire with a team of vetted closers.
I have over 20 years of experience in sales and the art of closing; I’ve spent $128,563 on sales training and seminars; and logged thousands of hours working with the highest-paid consultants and the most successful closers. I’ve given talks on over 100 different stages around the world, including Harvard University’s. I am the underdog who proved everybody wrong. Today, people who have high-ticket offers they want to sell use my coaching services to learn advanced selling techniques, and I coach people on how to sell their high-ticket offer with just one phone call. That’s why the media calls me “The One Call Closer”.
What are the 5 things you wish someone told you when you first started and why?
1. “A top priority is to make sure there is a steady cash flow coming in.”
When you first become an entrepreneur, understand how important cash flow is. Before you get ahead of yourself, spending money on a fancy new office chair or getting quality business cards printed, make sure you have streams of income and a steady cash flow. Without cash flow, your business doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Establishing that cash flow should be a top priority, and you should prioritize this over the official launch of your business.
2. “Focus the majority of your time and effort doing what is most important and most profitable.”
As a sole proprietor, almost every issue in the business is your responsibility, and it can be difficult to manage your time effectively when everything from A to Z falls on your shoulders. This is where focus becomes extremely important. You have to be able to recognize which tasks and activities are critically important, and separate those from the less important tasks. Cash flow will always be a priority as long as you own your business. Tasks such as marketing and client communications will help with cash flow, which makes these some of the more important activities.
3. “Test the market before you commit to a business plan.”
No matter how good your product or service looks on paper, it can fail for any number of reasons. Often, your plan fails for reasons you never even thought of. If you properly feel out the marketplace and test your product or service, you can save a ton of money that you’d otherwise have wasted executing something that wasn’t of interest. You’ll also save a lot of time and energy that you might have wasted on the wrong business venture.
4. “Be prepared for failure.”
Too many people are afraid to start their own business because of uncertainty and fear of failure. Failure, however, is part of the process and you must be comfortable with the idea of failing. Think of failure as a positive: It can be a valuable lesson. You will use that lesson to grow and prosper.
You can also be prepared for failure with a back-up plan. Your back-up plan can keep you from losing your business in the event of failure, and this will help you keep your head up and not give up on your dream.
5. “Never give up.”
As I have mentioned, walking away from that bankruptcy line-up and choosing not to give up was the best decision I could have made. To succeed in the challenging and often lonely world of business, you have to be ready to tough it out no matter what obstacles are thrown at you, and no matter how discouraged you feel. The lessons you learn during the hard times are the lessons that give you an edge, and an advantage against the competition. Keep pushing forward and know that every failure is an important part of your story.
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Published by john paret