I started this newsletter to share the experience of becoming an entrepreneur in mid-life. It’s scary to make the leap from a cushy job even though it may be completely unfulfilling. In this week’s edition, I am sharing the business end of an event hosted called the ‘Mid-Life Entrepreneur Mastermind’ in Punta Cana. While I’ll go over numbers and lessons, the point of the below isn’t to brag on profit margins or potential future revenue. I moved to the Dominican and found a way to leverage that act to lean into my purpose (to inspire and motivate others to live their best life) and create a valuable experience for others that is aligned with my gifts and created a stream of income. This is all about what’s possible!
I hosted 16 amazing people in late January down in Punta Cana who are ‘mid-life entrepreneurs’. Most had jobs they didn’t want. Some had already left their job but needed to get clarity moving forward. Others had to ‘quit’ their current role in their business and level up. All were high performing, high income, driven people. The event was a massive success because it had an impact on those individuals.
HOW WAS THE PRICE DETERMINED?
Those that attended paid $4500 each. We had four couples and all the rest were individuals, but the price per ‘head’ worked out to be the same. Many ask how I arrived at that number. I went through a painstaking process deriving a highly technical analysis to determine pricing. I sat at my desk and looked up in the air and took at LEAST 16 seconds to calculate the expenses on something I had never done before, then shrugged my shoulders and whispered to myself ‘yeah .. $4500 .. that should do it’.
WHAT ABOUT EXPENSES?
With all of the people enrolled and having put deposits down, I planned on 16 people. How did I arrive at 16? See the pricing analysis above. With 16 deposits in and a mix of 4 couples, 2 women and 6 men, I thought ‘I should find a house since that’s what I said we would do’. So, we found a house. It worked out to be a house with 9 bedrooms – 4 of which were king beds for the couples and the rest were double beds. The 9th bedroom was for me and I chose to bring my boy Grant Warrington down for support and guidance. He’s done this work and does a great job challenging people to think deeper. For the remainder of expenses – you guessed it – see the pricing analysis above
When I set this up, I knew it would add value and I knew I could deliver an amazing weekend. Let’s be honest, simply coming to paradise in itself for a long weekend makes the ability to deliver that much easier!! But for my time, I thought about it and set a target. I wanted to make $40,000 for the weekend. That number excited me. It made me want to dig in even deeper and deliver even more value. As an entrepreneur, you HAVE to be excited by the reward you receive – be it financial or otherwise. In this case for me, to spend time away from my family and my other businesses and endeavors, $40,000 just ‘felt’ like a number I could get down with.
Here’s a screenshot of the final numbers.
Obviously, I. came nowhere CLOSE to $40,000!!! But here’s the thing. Once I got into this process, the return of value to me shifted from how much I’d make to how much I’d learn. In other words, it became about the journey, not the outcome. I made a little over half what I thought I would, which is ok. Most of us would say ‘to do something you love for 4 days and make $20k+ is a massive win still – and I agree! But again, this was a sobering reminder to enjoy the process. Because now I get to think about the next one – what I’d improve upon for the experience, how I’d improve the profit margin, etc. I’m loving it!!
There are multiple levers to pull. Some are low hanging fruit and others simply are organic outcomes from the improvements I’ll make to the experience for the attendees.
Pricing – I believe we underpriced an all-inclusive, high end, transformational experience after executing this event. I don’t know what the right number is but given the value I know we can provide and gaining flexibility to add features in the future, we could certainly justify a slightly higher price point. Also I had a last minute cancellation which reduced revenue by $4500 for this event.
StartUp Expense Savings – I had an assistant do work that won’t need to be done again and hired a consultant that helped me craft the event one time as well. I can take it from here.
StartUp Expense Savings = $3000
Learned Expense Savings - Day 2 was a full day excursion via private yacht to a beautiful private island. We did our work on the island and it reduced the impact a bit. We were hurried to get back, there were loud noises that were distracting and the rain came and went often. Sessions will need to be at the house vs. off property and the afternoon can be used instead to charter a ‘booze cruise’ with a stop at a sand bar rather than an entire day. It would improve the effectiveness of the experience and would be more cost effective.
Learned Expense Savings = $2000
SUMMING IT UP
This event had to serve those in attendance. First and foremost. I want to make that point abundantly clear. While the numbers may seem like the feature of this write-up, I only feel good about reporting them because we delivered for these folks who left their families for a weekend and spent it diving deep into their own stories.
With success in hand, and summing up the above, we could add $25,000-$30,000 to the profit for the event. By doing so, it gives me more money for marketing and financial flexibility to create additional value at the events. I believe in what we can accomplish a lot for a lot of people.
#1: Money Is a By-Product of Service
Whether it’s joining Emerge Supercharged (March enrollment is up!) or coming to an event like this, the money will come when you’re focused on service. I honestly priced this with an idea of ‘just don’t lose’ more than I did ‘make $40,000’. My anxiety ahead of the event was never about money though - even if I was losing. It was all about delivering for these incredible people. Period. When there, you have to have the belief that the success metrics you are striving for will take care of themselves.
#2: You Have to Go For It
In Emerge Supercharged, I have a common phrase - Ready. FIRE. Aim. Too many of us get stuck aiming at a target and never fire. Whatever it is you’re trying to do (write a book, launch your brand, start a business) you have to do a little readiness work and then freaking fire!!! Readiness for me on this was doing a Facebook post asking who’s interested and doing a little research on Airbnb to see what types of houses are available and for what price. Then I ‘figured’ the rest in my head and launched it. For the ‘engineer brain’, this will stretch your comfort zone. But I don’t know any entrepreneurs that don’t act before they’ve figured it all out. I got advice from a guy in Gobundance before I quit. He was a Google analyst - math guy - and you would know it when speaking to him. He said ‘you have to do an inverse risk analysis - when you do, you’ll see the downside of leaving your job is capped but the upside is exponential’. This is the engineer's way of putting a structure in place to satisfy that part of their brain but is essentially saying ‘you gotta go for it’. ‘Upside is exponential’ is not calculated - there’s not a lot of ‘aim’ in that.
#3: What You’re Asked About is a Business
A friend of mine and his wife constantly were asked about how they manage their relationship as well as they do. They then launched a couples mastermind which charges $35,000/couple for a year and they sell out! I get asked/told ‘how’d you leave your job in mid-life and move to an island - I want to do that’ all the time. Thanks to inspirations like my friend, rather than continually answer that question, I just did what entrepreneurs do - create a business to serve that audience … and it worked!! Remember, I still struggle identifying as an entrepreneur. I talk about it all the time on my podcast. So this event and sharing it with you is laced with ‘I guess I really did it’ more than it is me speaking from on high to you about what it takes. I’m not enlightened .. and you won’t be either. You just have to learn as you go! And the easiest way to do that is to invest in your network. Emerge Supercharged was created to help you get out of your day job and lean into your dreams and ambitions.
Tribe of Millionaires Podcast Episode
✯ I just attended an event in Lake Tahoe and summed up the power of being part of a tribe. Check out this episode to get my recap and takeaways.
Lesson from Living Abroad
✯ I’m not as special as I think! Moving here was a big deal for me and many others have been inspired by me doing so. As we cross the 6 month mark of our time here, it’s interesting to meet so many other expats from the US, Great Britain, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina and so on. Even the development that I live in was created by an Italian immigrant family. It makes me realize the biggest next move for me or any of us is likely something common or ‘been there’ for others. It makes the next big scary move not so scary.
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