It may sound crazy to make a million dollars online even if you’re broke, but if you are open to infinite possibilities and you have a positive mindset, it is actually possible. I did it, and this episode will show you how. I am super excited to share my secrets with you today in this solo round of The School of Greatness.
Before we start on the journey to your first million dollars, let me share with you a quote from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
In life, there can only be two paths on your journey to your goals — you can either wait for the opportunities to come or hustle your way through and create your own opportunities to succeed and be great.
I experienced both. I waited for good opportunities that never came, and I ended up broke and without my own place to live — I had to sleep on my sister’s couch. I couldn’t even buy my own food and barely put gas in my car — I started to freak out. So, I decided to do things differently and made a major shift in mindset that started my journey to my first million. Six key takeaways made things possible for me, and I’d like to share them with you to guide you on your journey.
Start with Something That You Are Passionate About
The journey to success starts with passion — you can achieve anything you are passionate about. Since I loved sports, I started brainstorming a business concept around sports. At that time, I really had no idea about how to make money around my interest in sports, but I knew that the first step was to just get started.
Some people are stuck at the beginning of their journey because they want to be perfect in everything — make a perfect plan, strategy, program, and anything else on their to-do list. In the end, they never made a dime because they were stuck in their tracks when what they should have been doing at the start was experimenting. You have to take action, even if your plan is not perfect. Keep in mind that good and done is better than perfect and never done/never profitable.
I learned this lesson the hard way, causing me to lose time and money. It took me several months to create a website because I was so focused on small matters with minimal impact on my success, such as a good domain name, the right website graphics, the best content topics, the perfect logo design, and more. I was so busy doing things that didn’t matter much when I should have focused more on adding value to my audience.
A mentor told me to check out LinkedIn for opportunities, and I found out it was a good platform for me to start connecting with people around my interest in sports and add value to them. I created a sports network, established connections with sports executives and experts in the business, and learned valuable lessons from them.
I interviewed famous sports personalities and posted these interviews on my website, promoting them without charge by sharing these interviews on LinkedIn and other platforms. In the end, I added value to these mentors with my free services while learning from them. At the same time, I also provided value to the readers by sharing with them the success journeys and inspiring stories of successful people.
Later on, I started hosting and organizing Linkedin events and webinars, charging a small fee to the attendees so I could buy my own food and personal needs. I was already earning a few thousand dollars every month from these events where I talked about subjects I was passionate about. I wouldn’t have gotten to that point if I had tried to do everything perfectly — find something that you’re interested in and take messy action to get started — you’ll refine your process later!
Find a Mentor and Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself is arguably the biggest success factor in your growth and having a good mentor certainly accelerates the process. I can only imagine what might have happened if I did not have a mentor who told me to try out LinkedIn. It would have taken me several years to find out LinkedIn as the best platform to start my business.
So, find a role model and learn from them! Get the key takeaways from their inspiring stories and apply them to your unique situation. Educate yourself, and absorb as much as you can from people you admire. This could mean attending a course, joining a webinar, buying software, or even hiring a coach.
I have traveled to several places, even in other countries, attending seminars to learn from the experiences of the people I admired. I also spent $80 in annual dues to join the Toastmaster Club to hone my speaking engagement skills because I was terrified before speaking to just five people — how much more to an audience with a thousand participants?
In short, I invested in overcoming my fears. How about you? What are your fears? Have you done something to overcome your fears? Perhaps you need a mentor, or you need to invest in a course to grow beyond your anxieties. If you don’t know where to start, you can always reach out to people on LinkedIn — it’s a great way to connect with mentors in the same industry as you!
Build a List
If I could start over again, the first thing I would do is build a list of prospects instead of creating a website. I realized it was a mistake to create a website at the start because I was only doing what most people were doing at that time. Having a website is fine if you are using it as a platform for building a list of business objectives, but make sure to keep your priorities in order.
The list is essential because it is your target audience where you can sell and acquire participants for your paid events. Your list is also a good source of traffic for your website and an excellent pool of prospects to your landing page. If you have no audience, no distribution, or no list, you have no money.
So, start building an audience by having a list! You can do this through subscriptions and email newsletters. You may give away freebies and perks like ebooks, tutorials, webinars, and coaching sessions for those who opt-in to your subscription. Spend time building a list, and you’ll have a constant source of prospects for your products and services. One of the things I did was guest posting at highly-reputable sports blogs. My exposure to these popular sites allowed me to build a list of qualified prospects for my events.
Learn About Sales and Marketing
Selling is everything in business, and marketing gets the right audience to the salespeople. A business could hardly become successful without being good at sales. That’s why you need to learn more about sales and marketing, which is a continuous learning process in the middle of a constantly changing business landscape.
You don’t have to be an expert to beat the big dogs in the industry. You just need to learn the tricks of the trade to put up a working strategy that sells. There’s always a way to sell without being salesy, and only you can find that out through studying and learning, having a mentor, and joining sales training and seminars.
Trust adds value to the business and helps acquire more sales through repeat purchases and referrals. If you want to succeed in a business that lets you earn your first million, you need to build credibility, which is a long-term and continuous engagement. Infusing credibility into your culture or company values can help the business thrive in a highly competitive market. The people who trusted your brand will remain loyal, giving you a steady stream of income.
For me, engaging in webinars puts me in front of the target audiences while building relationships and credibility among them. I also wrote books and guest posts, creating a good reputation among the readers. So, when I lead a webinar, I can easily convince my readers to join my upcoming events without being sales-y.
Hustle and Hustle More
No one is going to hand you a million dollars. You have to hustle and be consistent. It took me a few years of constantly working 14 hours every day until my business partner and I generated our first seven-figure earnings. Today, I can leverage my time and money to create greater products and live my lifestyle at the next level.
So keep on hustling and hustle more every day until you are already making your first million dollars of earnings. But remember — you can only hustle more if you are passionate about what you are doing. And after days of hustling, make sure you take some time to recharge — you need rest in order to be productive!
Making the First Jump
So, there you go, friends! The secret formula to my success and the story of my journey toward my first million dollars online, even while I was broke and sleeping on my sister’s couch. Today, I’m inviting you all to start working on your passion. Don’t get stuck in making a perfect plan. Instead, take messy action and make that first jump.
Are you ready to step up and take action? Are you ready to fall in love with yourself and believe that you can have it all? Remember, you can achieve all your dreams and goals. You can make it all happen. But it starts with taking the first jump.
I hope this solo episode has inspired you! Check out my Facebook and Twitter for more updates. And make sure to tag me, @lewishowes, on Instagram and let me know what your favorite takeaways from the episode are.
Don’t forget to do something great every day!
The School of Greatness Podcast
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle” – Abraham Lincoln
How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online
I go into detail in the entire episode with specific stories, but below you can see the show notes on what I talk about with building your online business to generate millions. Also note: I recorded this on my iPhone in Spain between practices while playing pro handball with the Reale Ademar team in Leon. This is not recorded in the SOG studio in L.A.
1. Start With Passion
– My Sports Networker Journey, here I share how I got started, and why I started in the sports business.
– How I Utilized LinkedIn marketing to build everything- the list was key for me, and LinkedIn gave me a platform to build an audience and I enjoyed teaching this to others.
– Even more: I started hosting LinkedIn events, wrote a book, then did workshop, speaking, bigger ticket product and webinars.
2. Invest In Yourself
– Keys to Finding Mentors– I cover the importance of investing time into a mentor (and how to find the right one for you)
– Study as much as you can from people you admire or want to be like online. As an athlete I learn from watching other great athletes compete. Apply this to the online business world.
– Investing in your online education: If this means buying a course, software, or hiring a coach… do it!
– Join a mastermind ASAP! This is a HUGE key to making your first million online. It might be the biggest accelerator to achieving this goal.
3. Build Your Audience
– If I could do it all over again I’d just build a list without a site. So many people are concerned with creating a site that they forget the most important thing is building a list. Even when people do have their site up and running they forget to have a place for people to opt in. The site almost becomes pointless when this happens.
4. Learn Sales and Marketing
– You don’t have to be the best at marketing, you just need to know enough to get the job done. Once you do, sales will be your focus. I love using webinars to sell because it’s a great way to build your audience as well. Start with an online bootcamp because you can start selling without having a product (this is key!).
5. Build Credibility
– There are many ways to build credibility online. I mention how to in this episode but to name a few you can write a book about the topic you love, guest post on other sites, speak at trade shows, or write for magazines. Anything to build credibility to increase your personal brand and value perception.
6. Hustle Every Day
– Be as consistent as possible. No one is going to hand you a million dollars. It took me a few years of constant 14 hour days of hustling to the point we generated our first 7 figures. Now I’m able to leverage my time and money to create greater products and live my lifestyle at the next level.
Continue Seeking Greatness:
- Check out Sports Networker
- Sponsor Onnit and products: Shroomtech, Alpha Brain Hemp Force
- Fan of the Week: Jordan Fithian
- One of my mentors Frank Agin
- Big shout out to GoToWebinar
- Music Credit: We Are by PRFFTT & Svyable ft. Crywolf
Did you enjoy the podcast?
Talk to me GREATS. Did you enjoy this episode? What was the biggest take away for you? What hit you in the gut and made you realize you weren’t doing something you should be doing? Or, what was the simple thing I talked about that you already knew you should be doing but aren’t yet? Share with me how you’re feeling in the comments section below.