Jay Feldman 0:00
How’s it going everybody and welcome to the mentors collective and entrepreneurship. Today I have another very special guest for you. And the mentors collective is really about teaching new and aspiring, or even veteran experienced entrepreneurs how to grow, scale and start their businesses. So with that in mind, I try to bring you as much value as possible. And in this episode, one of my good friends who is the founder of pop up Business School runs the pop up Business School podcast and his experience in just that helping entrepreneurs start their businesses from scratch every step of the way, mindset execution strategy, super lucky to have him on the show. Alan Donegan. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s an honor to have you on the show.
Alan Donegan 0:39
Jay, I’ve been looking forward to it. I cannot wait to get into this.
Jay Feldman 0:43
Same here. So we spoke a little bit about kind of how you’re going to offer the audience the most possible value and the 30 minutes that we’re going to spend here. And I think we both agreed because what your specialty is, is helping people start a business from scratch, no matter what that might be. It’s a recipe really, anything If you follow this recipe and you have all the puzzle pieces in place, you’re gonna set yourself up for success. So I just want to let you kind of go and say, what are what are those puzzle pieces? What are the steps that new and aspiring entrepreneurs should be taking to set themselves up for success?
Alan Donegan 1:13
The first thing to say I would love to say to your audience is people make this stuff too complex, they make it far too complex. And if we boil it down to the true essence of entrepreneurship, it is finding someone with a problem that you can fix and then charging them to fix it. That’s basically what it is. And let’s not overcomplicate this stuff, let’s actually just go find people with problems and fix it. And some of your earlier podcasts have talked about making the world a better place through entrepreneurship. And that’s how you do it. Let’s find people with problems. And then I guess, well, there’s two ways you can go with this. One is lots of people have something they want to sell, and then they go and find people to sell it to. And to is there’ll be a bunch of your audience going I want to start a business, Jay But I don’t even have an idea. What do you think the biggest group of your audiences is people who are already going? Or is it people who don’t know how to start? Or what’s the biggest audience group?
Jay Feldman 2:10
So my guess is the people who have landed on this show are people who already maybe have that idea. And they’ve started executing, maybe they’re running small coaching practices, or they have a small econ brand that they’re running through Instagram. I hope that I have a lot of you know, high six figure seven figure entrepreneurs watching this show, maybe eventually, you know, a lot of people are interested in entrepreneurship and see the lifestyle, see it on social media, see how amazing that the possibilities can be for setting your life up, but maybe don’t have that idea or not sure that they can make it or don’t have the confidence. So
Alan Donegan 2:40
probably a little bit of both. If you’ve not got an idea. There’s two areas here. The first is what do you enjoy doing? And where’s the crossover with does that fix problems in the world? And if you think of, what do you enjoy doing? So do you enjoy bakeries? Do you enjoy photography? Do you enjoy helping people do What do you enjoy? And then how does that make the world a better place? And what problem is it fixing? And somewhere between those two, you’ll find an audience that you can go and sell to. And actually, that is pretty much the number one step of entrepreneurship. In the pop up Business School, we do things slightly differently. There’s no writing a long business plan. There’s no going and borrowing a lot of money. There’s none of that. The idea is, can we go straight out and speak to that customer and see if they’ll buy? Because that is the only way you’ll know if your business idea to be successful or not, is to ask someone for the money? Yes,
Jay Feldman 3:40
absolutely. And asking your audience whether that be your Instagram audience or your friends, listen, what do you need? What service would you be willing to pay for right now? What products would you be willing to pay for right now? And then go ahead and saying, Okay, I’m ready to offer you that service. How much are you willing to pay for that service and then say our I’m gonna cut that in half. I’m gonna take your money and be my first customer, which I’ve done before my first company ever was a tutoring company. I tutored in the sciences. Yeah, I was a I went to medical school. So back in the day, I was one of the top of my class in my physics, organic chemistry courses. And my year after graduating, this is my first company ever I started to read people in physics, which is my my number one, my number one class. And eventually I got I was a really good tutor. I had a lot of people coming to me to tutor and, you know, eventually that’s how businesses are started. I was solving a need, I was really good at it. People were coming and I couldn’t handle the load anymore. I brought on other tutors to help me manage those clients. But Exactly. And you know what, I didn’t love tutoring. I actually hated tutoring. So I’m gonna go against what you said, and find something that you love because I did not love it. But I was solving a need and I was making the world a better place in my own way. And it cost me no money to start. And through that business, I was able to save up enough to springboard into my second business which took a bit of an investment, but I’m sorry, I was rambling. You go ahead. Well,
Alan Donegan 5:00
it’s an interesting point, because there is a big debate of should you follow your passion or should you not? Yeah, I guess my theory on that for your audience is you can start a business doing anything. I am shocked by what you can start businesses doing. So if you can pick any business, why would you ever pick one you don’t like. And normally the number one reason is because it’ll make more money. But it is incredible how you can make money nowadays, it really is. So if you could start any business, why not pick one you like because at least then you’ll want to get out of bed on a Monday morning and go and do it. And I’ve done both strategies. I’ve picked businesses I don’t like. And I’ve picked businesses I do, like, the ones I’ve stuck with long term have been the ones I actually enjoy doing and I’m passionate about, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the other ones successful. It’s just a rockier road and sometimes more challenging to keep the motivation going.
Jay Feldman 5:52
Yeah, this is a huge topic and What business do I pick? You know, is it going to be a product? Is it going to be a service? Is it going to be something that I’m passionate about the might not make as much money or pick something that I know people need and that I might not love doing. But I know that it will probably work if I push hard enough. How many businesses have you started? If you don’t mind me asking, oh, wow,
Alan Donegan 6:11
now I’ve got to go into my head and count. Yeah, I don’t know probably probably six to 10 somewhere around that level. And I know some of them you wouldn’t call businesses like I was selling party tickets college and then I was selling sportswear at college and I was making money I guess you could count that as a business but it was like a side hustle. I made more money in college than I did in my first job but somewhere around then and I think this is a really important point you picked up on this when you’re launching a business how do you know which one to start? And do you like ice cream? j I do. I try not to eat it but I love it. Well, I can tell by your physique you’re in great shape. You don’t need that much ice cream. But what’s your favorite flavor?
Jay Feldman 6:52
You know cookie dough ice cream is probably my my guilty pleasure.
Alan Donegan 6:56
Or Mitch, I love how do you know cookie dough is Go to flavor
Jay Feldman 7:01
for myself. Yeah, I don’t know, I love the cookie dough bites,
Alan Donegan 7:05
I’ve always have you always have, and you’ve tried other flavors to compare it against. Yes. And that’s the only real way to know if you’re anything like me, you go to the supermarket, you buy six flavors, and you try them. And you see which one you like the most. And in a way, I would recommend entrepreneurship be like that. If you’ve got five business ideas that you think you should, you might like, Let’s run a series of mini experiments to see which one you like the most. Because you don’t know if you’re gonna like running a restaurant until you’ve done it. You don’t know if you’re gonna like being a photographer, you can guess. But actually, when you get into it, it’s very different to what you actually think it is sometimes. So I would suggest doing risk free experimentation, build it, sell a couple, see what it’s like don’t go into any debt and test it and let’s work out which one of those ideas You like the most, the customers like the most, and you make the most money doing. And then we can plow in after a set of many experiments,
Jay Feldman 8:08
you said a couple of really important things there. The first one that I want to pull out of there is that you don’t know if you’re gonna like it until you try it, it might sound really good in your head, and I’ve been there, believe me, and then you go and try and offer the service to somebody and you hate it, you hate the crap out of you, you can’t make anyone happy. You’re not as good as you thought you were, it’s not the lifestyle that you thought it was. And the biggest way to get around that is to find a mentor early figure out you know, Shadow them see what their day to day life is like, see what their interaction with their customers is like, see what their business model is like learn from them and if it’s something that you can see yourself doing and you know, this is something that I did before I ever became a became a doctor, you shadow you figure out if it’s if it’s right for you, and you try and make the best guess at that point. So mentorship, super important. Try and find someone with the same business model as you The second thing that you said that I think was super important was don’t take that on your first business. You’ve started 678 businesses. Now I’m on my fifth three have been successful too. I deleted the websites years ago, I closed it down the LLC is one of them was really good at the time, the tutoring company. But you know, once I left for medical school, I left college, no one’s gonna care about my business the way that I did. And I didn’t know anything about selling your business. It wasn’t something that I was keeping good books on that I could sell to somebody. So the doors closed, and it is all the way and that that’s what happens. Most of the entrepreneurs that I talked to, are on their third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh eighth business until they find something that really sticks really works. And they find that combination of things that we were talking about making the world a better place, and they enjoy doing and I think I’m finally at that place now where I wake up every day and I’m pumped. I love my business. It’s working. My customers love us. We’re really hitting a stride. But it took a while. It took a lot of failures.
Alan Donegan 9:52
Yes. And it always does. And I think back to some of the businesses I’ve done, I did a online sportswear store And we were too early. Plus, we were not very good at it, those two factors made it just crash. But people think j that entrepreneurship is risky. And the reason they think entrepreneurship is risky is because they feel as though they need to go and get a bunch of money to launch the business to get going. And it’s predicated or based on the belief that it takes money to make money. So I’ll get a load of cash. I’ll invest all in a website, branding stuff, and then I’ll pop it out into the world and see if it’s successful. That’s really risky, really risky. And entrepreneurship does not have to be risky given today’s tools. You can build a free website you can get on Instagram, we were talking about Tick Tock marketing beforehand, you can reach an audience so quickly. It’s unbelievable. So why not put up a one page website and say if you like my idea, put your email address in and as soon as it’s launched, I’ll let you know. And then put it out there to an audience. And see if anyone puts in their email address. If they put in their email address, you’ve got someone to talk to that you might be able to sell to. If they don’t, then well, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen. And we’ll move on to the next idea quite quickly. But you can do experiments at pace to see if there’s demand. And I think that’s a critical thing. Let’s reduce the risk have a go and get out there into the world.
Jay Feldman 11:22
Yes. And if you’re thinking I want to build this product and sell this product, it’s going to cost me $100,000. to manufacture in bulk. Now, there’s ways around that there’s things like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where you can only invest a very small portion to have a prototype built and put it out there in the world to see if there’s interest. And if you can generate that hundred thousand dollars, and it’s going to take from people who are putting their money down, then you can execute that idea. So not having funding is not an excuse anymore to not starting a business and do not take debt. those are those are two big rules. But you know what? We just spent a whole lot of time on ideas. And I think the moral of the story is, nobody’s going to be able to tell you here’s the right thing. For you, I’ve listened to a ton of the experts talking about, you know, hustle, grind, try this, try that here’s 10 free businesses ideas to start, I made a video like that myself. The truth is, like you said, there’s so many ways people are making money. There are a million different business ideas, pick one, pick one that you think is gonna work, try it, find a mentor, do all of the things that we said, but no one’s going to hand you the golden ticket. Here’s your business idea, ever. So now you’ve got the business idea. Audience you found it, you found something that you want to try out what is the next step?
Alan Donegan 12:32
Start with sales, J start with sales. That’s where you’ve got to start. That’s the first bit we have an expression in pop up Business School, which is sell your value before you create it. And what most entrepreneurs do is the exact opposite. They create the value they create the product or service, the training course or whatever it is, then they try and sell it. That’s where the risk comes in. So what I would say is once you’ve got an idea, let’s go and ask someone And that’s where your real life answer lies. Now lots of people go, Well, okay, Alan, I’m going to go out and do a survey. No, I’m going to get my piece of paper and I’m going to go and like do a survey. Would you buy this? What price all of that jazz? What we have discovered is if you say to someone, would you buy this? They don’t want to hurt your feelings. So quite often, it’s an easy question to answer. Yeah, sure. I buy that when it’s ready. And then they haven’t hurt your feelings. And they haven’t said no. Jay gets he stuck his hand out. That’s the point you asked for the money. You say, right. Get that money out. Come on, get the cash out. Give me the cash. It’s 50 bucks. It’s 100 bucks, whatever it is, would you like to buy one then you’ve got to sit in the uncomfortable pause where you say would you like to buy it for 100 bucks and you go silent and stare into their eyes. That is the moment of truth where you know if you’ve got a business So not people will be nice to you up until you ask for their money, then they’ll give you the real feedback. That’s where the moment is. So I guess the question is, why do entrepreneurs dodge that moment? Or why do they put it off later into what they’re doing? And most of the time, it’s fear of rejection, not wanting to be pushy. It’s easier to sit in and build the website than it is to go and get rejected. And there’s many reasons for it. But if you dodge that moment of truth, you’re only storing up pain for later
Jay Feldman 14:36
truer words were never said absolutely loved every single bit of that. And it’s so true. People will spend months on a website on a business plan. I’ve never wrote a business plan in my life. Have you
Alan Donegan 14:49
at a school? Yeah, did it? I spent two weeks.
Did you find it helpful? It was beautiful j it had colored graphs. It had charts. It was gorgeous. I put it in the desk drawer, I left, I never looked at it again, the first customer I went to see when I don’t want any of that, my problems this, and I had a choice in that moment, stick to my business plan and not get any work or change everything and get some work. So I changed everything. And I’ve I’ve never found a business plan that’s actually planning Yes. Business Plan. No. Two different things.
Jay Feldman 15:24
Yes. And this is the difference between MBA school and actually being an entrepreneur. It’s action, action, action and not numbers planning, writing, building. And I think that’s a crucial point that people who are getting into this mess marketing and sales are the lifeblood of a business. If you can’t figure out those two pieces you’re not going to win the website is way less important than people think. Obviously it because it depends on the business but you can build that as time goes if the product isn’t good, and nobody wants it. All of it’s just a waste.
Alan Donegan 15:57
I hundred percent agree and the way sight bit, like build a one page website, start with one product or one service, build a one page website with a simple form, or a simple PayPal button or a simple whatever it is. Just start with that one page thing, then spend all of your time talking to real life customers, because that’s the learning, you won’t learn anything in the same way coding on your computer, talk to the real life customers, put the one page out there and get going. And it is unbelievable. If you’re thinking, Well, I’m going to build an app, we’ll put the idea of the app out there and get people to sign up for the pre release. That’s the closest thing you’ll get on a sale to that. If you’re launching a podcast, record one episode, put it out there and say here’s what I’m doing. Would you tune in if I produce 10 episodes, put your email address in to tell me and do a little market test. There’s so many ways to do it. But you’re absolutely right. Let’s talk to real life customers. If I say the word salesman to you, Jay was the first thing that comes to mind
Jay Feldman 17:01
honestly, myself, an entrepreneur, I, we just hired our first sales staff ever for any business. But two weeks ago, we hired a VP of sales. He’s awesome. But before that I had to learn how to be the salesman. That’s what the entrepreneur does. He wears all the hats. I mean, when people hear salesmen, they think car salesmen they think someone’s trying to hide pressure them, I’ve gone to those God, what do you call it, where you go in a timeshare sales, sales meetings, super high pressure sales situations where they’re supposed to get like a cruise ticket after just really seasoned veterans, but those are, those are scam artists. To me, I think a real salesmen as someone who has a product that they believe in who is convincing somebody not to buy, but to buy into you that you’re actually going to give them value. It’s a meaningful exchange. And I took online sales courses, we learned how to do this. I’m on the phone still half of the day talking about my company to aspiring you know, thought leaders and stuff like that doing sales, but I think if an entrepreneur can’t be a salesman, Then he can’t be an entrepreneur,
Alan Donegan 18:01
that’s a bold statement, or at least they have to have a co founder that can do sales. You need someone to do those initial sales. Otherwise you don’t have a business. If you don’t sell anything, you don’t have a business and sales should actually be celebrated exactly, as you said, Because sales is the process of uncovering someone with a problem and then getting something that fixes it to them to exchange for some money. Normally, that’s the process of sales. And really, the key to sales is asking good questions, which you do very well. You ask questions, you understand the other person, you find out if they’ve got the problem. If they have, you can ethically sell to them. If they haven’t, walk away, don’t pressure them, or ask them. Do you know anyone else I should be talking to that does have the problem. But you don’t pressurize someone who’s not got the problem to buy something they don’t want that’s going to cause pain for you, them and your business in the long run.
Jay Feldman 18:57
Yes, absolutely. And like you said, if you don’t have at least a co founder that can sell. When you’re starting a company, you’re wearing all of the hats, you are the head of marketing or the head of sales, you’re the head of product development or an operations. And you know, once you become successful, and you’re fortunate enough to fill out all of those slots, and replace yourself in certain areas, and become a manager or an owner, that’s when the real beauty starts to happen. But it’s hard to get to that point unless you can wear all these hats. And there’s so many hats to wear. And that’s, I think, what makes entrepreneurship so fun, and so special, but also tough. Like when I started my tutoring company, I was tutoring eight hours a day, I was marketing. I was trying to build a website, I went to get an LLC, that’s just an example. And I was burnt, absolutely burnt trying to do everything all at once I was in the middle of tutoring, trying to schedule things and collect money, just a nightmare. But, you know, eventually you start to replace yourself and that’s when things become beautiful.
Alan Donegan 19:58
There’s this vision of entre The notion that I’m going to have jets, I’m going to have cars, I’m going to have all this stuff. But when you’re starting the first, I don’t know, three, five years. It’s hard work, really hard work. And if you don’t want to do the hard work, go get a safe job. Well, let’s put safe in quotation marks just for now. But go get a job. Because your work nine to five, entrepreneurship is very different. It’s harder work. But that comes with some benefits if you get it right. And the lifestyle can be incredible. But this is possible for any one of us. But it is hustle, it is hard work. It is learning it is grinding. And there are some days where you will be left in tears by this stuff that happens. And it’s not that you don’t have problems. It’s how quickly can you bounce back and keep going. That’s been my experience of this stuff.
Jay Feldman 20:52
Yeah, you have to be a special and very resilient type of person to be able to survive this. I’ve had companies come crashing down burning I’ve had customers threatened lawsuits about random stupid things, and you’re ultimately responsible. I mean, that’s, that’s one of the scariest things about entrepreneurship as opposed to a job where it’s like, nope, go to the boss like, What do I do? Like No, you’re You are the boss you are ultimately responsible for. If someone’s suing the company, I mean, that’s you. If somebody if the company comes crashing and burning and you have 10 employees to pay that’s on you, they’re they’re relying on you, you have to figure that out. And, you know, with all of the perks of entrepreneurship, like on a Friday morning, being able to come on and do this awesome show with you where other people are out there in a cubicle working the butts off. I’m going to Mexico on Tuesday for a month and they’re going to be stuck at home on their computer on zoom meetings all day. There’s a lot of perks once you once you’re able to figure it out and really get good at this stuff and get into a flow. But it is not for everyone man I’ve been right there. Like you were saying just crying fit. Like how am I going to figure this out? Am I any good at this like, I’m sure we’ve all had that moment where it’s like I should just get a job. This is not working long enough, and it starts to work.
Alan Donegan 22:05
Yes. And based on that, I would love to say to your audience, that’s why we recommend the mini experiment. If you’ve got a job right now, run a mini experiment in your weekends and evenings alongside to see if you like it. Because there’s a view. There’s this view of entrepreneurs that they are the burn the boats type of people. And what I mean by that is, you land on the beach, you burn all the boats, so you cannot retreat and then you go attack and if you die, you die. If you live you live, that’s not me. That stuff scares me. I am all about minimize the risk. So if you can do a risk free version of your business evenings and weekends to see if you enjoy it, that’s the way to get going. And if after the experiment, you go, Oh, actually, that was horrendous. I don’t want to do it. You’ve lost a little bit of time. You’ve lost a little bit of energy, but you’ve learned a valuable lesson. And I think That’s critical. If it works, you’ve got a business. And then later on once it’s making some money, you can burn the boats and go all in. But I would not suggest that as an opening strategy.
Jay Feldman 23:11
Yeah, absolutely. It’s not some people say, Okay, I it’s my first business. I’m starting an app with two friends. We’re raising money. Like, no. Keep it far away from me. You’re not taking any of my money.
Alan Donegan 23:24
That’s I can’t even tell you how
to go to Vegas, roll the dice and see what happens.
Jay Feldman 23:31
Yeah, Jay, can I just need $100,000 for this app, it’s gonna be the new Uber of boats, like, please. I’ve got these awesome people on board. Now you gotta prove yourself. All of my first businesses have been service companies that start me almost cost me almost no money to start. You can contract service people to get the work done for you at no down cost websites I build for free at this point. And you know, you figure out how to offer the service that costs you nothing you build Get up to a point where it’s making you enough money to actually now I can invest in things that are fun and make me happy. And if my experienced entrepreneur friend says we’re raising money for this, and we would like you to come on board and you know, be a part of our marketing, PR team, and 50 $100,000 to get in, now I can safely do that. But
Alan Donegan 24:20
investing in a new company is terrifying. It is absolutely terrifying. And the way actually if those entrepreneurs came to you and said, we’re launching this new app, and I know it’s a bad idea, but the Uber for boats were launching this app. If they came to you and said we’ve been working on this a while we’ve been promoting it. We have 100,000 people signed up to a mailing list that are excited about the app for when it launches. We’ve tested the concept. We’ve got the basic design done, we’re ready to go. All we need is some money for the coding. That would be a different conversation to I’ve got a crazy idea. I’ve never spoken to a real customer. Give me 100 grand to get this going. It’s a different thing. So there is a step that those people who are launching those businesses can take the makes it more palatable for the investors and reduces the risk because we know there’s demand, if that’s the way you’re going to go, you’ve still got to do the pre work. There’s no way around the pre work.
Jay Feldman 25:19
Yeah, no way around the pre work absolutely agree. And that’s where finding a mentor is helpful. The scenario and what you suggested is that there’s somebody who has had some experience or is being guided along the way, but that would be an entirely different conversation. Okay, I want to skip past this investing thing. I think we went on a little tangent, I know I did. And let’s bring it back to steps to starting and setting yourself up for success in that first business. So we talked about the idea, no one’s going to give you the idea. We talked about the first step which I totally agree with you start sales and marketing right away. The other pieces will come business plans are useless as far as I’m concerned. If your teacher told you to do one, I disagree sales in marketing, there’s a lot of really cheap free ways to market to like we were talking about Tick Tock social media is free. If you can create an audience on social media and then market to your audience that costs you nothing obviously Pay Per Click Facebook ads, Google AdWords campaigns, influencer marketing, that’s all going to cost you some money. We use email marketing, cold email marketing, which has its ups and downs. There’s a lot to learn about it, but it’s basically a free way to market to people. And I’ll talk all about that in another episode, I become an expert. But yeah, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on marketing, sales and marketing is the next step. After you are starting to make some sales. You’ve proven your idea works. Alan, what’s your next step?
Alan Donegan 26:35
So I would get the first I know 510 customers deliver what you’ve said you’ve done and then that’s the point where you kind of go Okay, I’m at the end of my first mini experiment, let’s do a review. And I would review it in three ways. Number one, did I enjoy it? Did I have fun? Is this a business I I personally want to go into number two did the customers enjoy it? Will they come back? Did I get good reviews? Is there life in this? Because if you’ve got 10 new customers, and they all go, that was a dreadful experience I never want to buy from you again, Alan, that’s dangerous, and you might want to come up with some different things. So one, did you enjoy it too? Did the customers enjoy it? And three, and this actually, Jay, I think the hat that most entrepreneurs forget to wear, it’s the finance hat. It’s Did I make money and to know that you’ve got to know accurately what your costs are. And most entrepreneurs have no clue about this, like, did you drive there to deliver it? That is a cost. You’ve got the mileage of the vehicle, you’ve got the gas, you’ve got all that stuff? How long did it take you to deliver it? Was there any paper? Was there any stuff? Was there any products? What were the costs of doing it? What are the costs of sales and marketing? And then did you actually make a profit and maybe your first 10 customers you go actually I broke even and I’m happy with that. I think I can do better for the next 10 But it is you need a grasp on the numbers. And nearly every entrepreneur I’ve met like they’re not the numbers people, they like to do the thing. Yeah, Jays going on? Yeah, no, I have learned that if you don’t have a grasp on your numbers, how do you know if you’ve got a business or a hobby because I’ve met so many people that have been, I’ve been in business for two years, and you look at their books and you look at what they’re doing, and you go, you have no idea. If you’ve made money, you might have been breaking even for two years, you might just have an expensive hobby and getting to grips with those numbers is critical. So having a clear spreadsheet, what’s gone out what’s coming in, what’s the profit, and then based on those three factors, then I would go, is this something I want to press into? And If yes, then we come up with a plan to grow, to scale to do all those things, which is normally increasing the sales, increasing the marketing, working out what we’re going to do, if no, you exit that and you Come back round and you test the next idea. So you make it a clear path to do these things. And I think those three clear metrics are going to be what helps your audience to know whether the mini experiments successful or whether they should go and test another idea.
Jay Feldman 29:15
Yeah. And you said something pretty important. I mean, this whole thing was important. Knowing the numbers, I hate numbers, I’m not the numbers guy. Luckily, my partner can tolerate it. But it wasn’t until recently, I would say this past year and a half, before we hired a real accountant, because neither of us were keeping appropriate books. Neither of us were filing our taxes correctly. We didn’t know where our expenses where our money was being dumped. In the past. I was always checking my bank account every three months. I’m like, okay, it’s going up. It’s going up for good.
Alan Donegan 29:45
That’s better than most.
Jay Feldman 29:49
The numbers higher than it was last time I checked. All right, I must be doing something right. But now I have a quarterly review with our accounting team. And they say okay, this is how much money was spent here. This is how much money was spent here this year. Your profits is your losses. And it’s just so helpful and so enlightening. Our accountants have saved us way more than we’re paying them. And it’s I know a lot of people can’t afford an accounting team like we have right now from the start. So you have to figure out a way to get your books together. But I’ll tell you what, if you go on Fiverr or Upwork, and you find someone overseas in India or Pakistan to keep your books because they can do this stuff, and they can do it effectively, and to send you a monthly report cost you $50 a month and will save you way more than that. I can’t even tell you how many subscriptions I was signed up for. I was no longer using and that alone, you will save so much money Fiverr Upwork find someone affordable to do your accounting to the start. Your bookkeeping is basically going through your day to day transactions and categorizing things. And then you have to reconcile every quarter. I had no idea what reconciling was up until about a year ago, it was just a nightmare. And thank God I didn’t get audited. Before this. My dad was filing my taxes. But knowing your numbers super important, great point. That’s this is how you do it affordably find somebody overseas if you have to, obviously, finding someone you trust is better, and it’s much safer. But there are options and it is important. Absolutely.
Alan Donegan 31:10
Just to build very briefly on what you’ve said, number one, you could cancel amazon prime and probably be able to afford someone to help you. So you’re exactly right cancel a subscription to a service that is actually distracting from your business rather than amazon prime.
Jay Feldman 31:25
Because we need Amazon.
Alan Donegan 31:29
Okay, maybe Hulu or something, I don’t know. One of those. The second thing people think they need someone to do the books for them. There’s actually a lot of fear in entrepreneurs about the maths and about the books and these sayings of I’m just not the numbers person. I’m just not good with the maths. There is a point where you can put that down and spend a little bit of time with it. And it is a lot simpler than one thinks it is when you get into it, but it’s taking away that I’m not the person and just having a go at it. And I think for your first many experiments, I would recommend every entrepreneur to track their own incomings, outgoings and profit, just so they understand their own business because unbelievable how many entrepreneurs don’t even understand their finances or their own businesses. So for that first mini experiment, I would say do it yourself. And then once you know it’s good, then you can outsource and then you’re actually speeding up down the right path. Not speeding up down the wrong path.
Jay Feldman 32:30
Yes, love it. Okay, Alan, I’m gonna wrap this one up right now. I think we drop
Alan Donegan 32:35
Jay Feldman 32:36
45 minutes went by like that. It’s crazy. We could talk about this stuff for hours. I know that I could. There’s just unlimited topics of value to offer new entrepreneurs. We just touched on some, I think the essentials that people need to keep in mind when they’re starting a business. There’s a ton of little nuanced steps that I could go over for probably like a whole straight week without stopping, talking about all the different aspects of life. marketing and social media and ads and sales how to sell appropriately how to set up your product or service for success how to go ahead and get reviews after that first launch because when you first launch a product or service it’s probably going to suck there’s a lot of learning that happens in those first couple of months. We launched the product hydro RX it’s a electrolyte vitamin powder that you put in your water are first launched that product didn’t mix at all with the water. They’re basically drinking powder off the top of their water got hosed on reviews. And you know what we reformulated? We made it dissolve better, added some ingredients took some stuff away. We did that three times. And now you know, it’s been a year the product is doing $5,000 a day on Amazon. People love it. We have 4.8 stars. Yeah, it’s absolutely amazing. We’re the only sugar free electrolyte supplement that there is on Amazon right now, apparently, but your product or service is gonna suck when it first comes out. So test retest and know your numbers. Try and find the right idea based on mentors based on experimentation. And if you’re wrong, and if you don’t like it, it doesn’t work. Okay. You’ve started eight businesses. I’m on my fifth and I’m sure if we’re not done entrepreneurs do this for life. We love this crap. Love this. And it’s a blast. And you know there’s there’s a ton that you learn along the way, and you’re never going to know if you’re good at it or if it’s going to work until you actually take action, start doing it. So that’s my little moment of wisdom. Is there any last piece of wisdom or little golden nuggets that you want to drop the audience before we tell people where to
Alan Donegan 34:26
find you? Thank you, Jay. Like the closing message for me is another this is a very general one. But you build your life. You create the life you live, and most people sleepwalk into a life of mediocracy. What I want your audience to do is to take control of that and build a life they will be proud of so in all of the different areas of your life, entrepreneurship, relationships, environments, contributions. self development, think about what life you want to live and go about creating it. Because no one else builds your life for you. You build it for yourself. So I would ask all of your audience to go out there and create a wonderful life for themselves.
Jay Feldman 35:17
Absolutely, man. And it was amazing having you on the show. Alan Donegan. If you want to create that life for yourself, if you want to learn how to start a business, obviously, I’m willing to help you in any way possible. I have a Facebook group, but Allen is definitely a guy to follow to connect with pop up Business School. I’m gonna link you all over the, you know, the show notes. The transcripts are going to be everywhere. So if you want to find out and you won’t have to look hard, just you know, click in the notes and he’ll be right there. Alan, would you be willing to answer some questions that people have any for you after the show? Absolutely. Okay, Alan, you’re the man. You’re a good friend. I’m looking forward to connecting with you and doing some business together and growing together and helping each other as we go forth. It was a pleasure having you well Talk to you soon. Thanks for having me on the show, Jay. This is Dr. Jay Feldman. And I just wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for your support and also ask you for a little bit more if you can take the next 10 seconds and write us a review on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify. So let me know your feedback. It means the world to me again, thank you for watching. If you loved this episode, please share it with your friends. Share it with your family. Until next time!