In a fluke of inspiration I was going to become a financial advisor. I thought, “That’s a logical career change, right?” I figured I’ll become a financial advisor because I had borrowed money to gamble on something I knew nothing about. I lost the gamble. After the loss, I decided to teach people how not to do what I had just done. Fifteen years later, I can tell you no one has asked me, “Should I borrow money to put on a musical?” But, I will tell you I got to help people avoid serious financial mistakes.
I worked for A. G. Edwards which is a financial planning stock brokerage company. The very first day was a success. I got back from training and passed all my licensing exams. My branch manager went up to me and said, “I have a book for you where every client is going to come from for your entire career.” I replied, “This is awesome because I’m only 22 years old. I’ll be able to buy a Ferrari. Give me the book.” He reached behind his desk and handed me the phone book, “They’re all in there tiger. Go get ’em.”
I didn’t know any better, so I listened. I made 300 cold calls a day, every single day. I interrupted strangers asking them for money and getting hung up on. If you’ve ever cold called for business, you know how much that sucks. Some days that phone weighed 800 pounds and you didn’t want to lift it up. That got me thinking. I thought, “There has to be a better way.”
In my spare time, one of my hobbies is being a professional magician. As fate would have it, one day I was reading a magic magazine which was a trade journal for magicians. One of the pages was an ad for a marketing course. I didn’t have the money to buy it at the time because I was cold calling for a living. I asked my parents to get it for me for my birthday.
I got the course for my birthday and implemented it into my life. I acted on what I learned, which is important because if it still had the shrink wrap on it, I wouldn’t be here today. In 30 days I became the busiest, most expensive magician in Buffalo.
I contacted Dave Dee, the man who sold me the course and asked, “Dave, would this work in my business as a financial planner?” He replied, “You bet it would.” I asked him where he learned about it and he said the two words that changed my life, “Dan Kennedy.” I immediately starting buying some of Dan’s 21 best-selling books on marketing. I started buying Dan Kennedy products and courses. After two years, I had to opportunity to get a consultation with Dan.
I sat down with Dan and showed him what I was doing. I showed him my cold calling scripts and seminar invitations I had bought from a company in the industry. He told me that what I had learned over the years in my industry was completely wrong. To succeed, I needed his help. But, that came with a catch. To learn from the famous Dan Dee, I had to come up with the money for a very large check to give him. This is something I wanted, but newly married to my soul mate Rebecca, this was something I had to carefully bring up.
So that day I went home to my wife and said, “Honey, I know a year ago we got married, nine months ago we bought our first house, three months ago we had our first baby, our son Max, and three weeks ago you quit your job to be a stay at home mom leaving me sole breadwinner and I’m cold calling for a living. I need to borrow a lot of money to hire this guy, Dan Dee.” She quickly replied, “Didn’t you tell me a story about you borrowing money once that didn’t work out so well? I’m going to say no.”
I’m a persistent person, so I asked the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and she kept saying, “No.” As the days went on, the ‘no’ became a more vehement answer until day 31. On the 31st day she said, “You better pray this works.” Joyed, I wrote Dan Dee the check and began working with him.
In two years, Dan quadrupled my revenue at A. G. Edwards, and took me from the 6,699th ranked advisor at the firm to the top 30 nationwide for opening new accounts.
It worked incredible well. I was written about in industry trade journals and in books on financial advisor marketing. My phone started ringing with financial advisors wanting to know how I did it and they wanted information on how they can do it too. Franticly, I asked Dan what to do. I’ve never had so many people call and want to know more about me and what I do. Dan said, “You start a marketing company and you do it for them.”
I started Market Domination LLC nine years ago. It started out as me and one advisor who was my first client. Now it’s me in an office building with a wonderful team. We serve thousands of business owners all over the globe in almost every time zone on the planet.
Marketing saved my butt. It took me from making cold calls to the top of my industry and then the top of the marketing industry!