A question we get asked a lot is around how to build a 7 figure business.
When John launched Entrepreneurs On Fire, he was starting from scratch. No online presence, no connections, and no experience.
During his first year, John netted just over $25,000.
But by 2014, the tides had changed – drastically. That year Entrepreneurs On Fire generated nearly 3 million dollars.
Our net revenue for the year: $2,150,873.
How to Build a 7 Figure Business
Since joining the Entrepreneurs On Fire team back in April 2013, I’ve been on a mission: to share not just how we did it, but to actually pull back the curtain and give a behind the scenes look at what goes into a 7 figure business every single month.
If you follow Entrepreneurs On Fire, then you know one way we do this is through our monthly income reports.
Another way we do it: through my podcast, Kate’s Take: Behind the Scenes of a 7 Figure Business.
It’s been four years since I launched my podcast, Kate’s Take, and I’ve learned so much in the process.
The roadblocks, turns, and pivots I’ve experienced up to this point are plenty – and I have no doubt they’ll continue to be.
- I’ve gone from publishing daily, to twice per week, to releasing episodes in seasons, to a weekly podcast.
- I’ve struggled with wondering whether anyone is listening, or whether my content is worth sharing.
- I’ve been afraid of what other people will think of the way I teach certain strategies and tactics.
- I’ve woken up at 2am and deleted an episode that was supposed to go live at 3:30am because I was scared that I was being too vulnerable.
- I’ve thought about quitting my podcast more than a handful of times.
And this is just my podcast we’re talking about here, not to mention the 10 plus other things that make up our business.
So why am I still here, publishing episodes on Kate’s Take?
Well, a lot has changed in the past four years since launching Kate’s Take, but one thing that has always been a constant: my passion for sharing what it looks like behind the scenes of a 7 figure business.
Behind the scenes of a 7 figure business
So back to that question we get asked a lot – around how to build a 7 figure business. Well, it’s actually most commonly phrased as:
How’d you go from nothing to 7 figures?
That’s kind of a loaded question, but my goal is to break it down and share exactly that: how we did it – and, how we continue to do it.
When looking back at the progression – from the day John told me he wanted to quit his job and launch a podcast, all the way to today, sitting in my office in Puerto Rico – it’s very clear to me that how we got here was by following a set of steps.
Now unfortunately, no one gave us these steps back in 2012.
Instead, we sort of stumbled our way along the road, trying to figure out what to do next. Then, once we discovered what it was we were supposed to do, figuring out how to actually do it.
This will always be the case, so don’t misunderstand me here: I’m not going to share a set of steps you can follow precisely and come out on the other end with a 7-figure business.
There will be a different set of roadblocks, turns, and pivots on your journey than there have been on ours. That’s entrepreneurship.
However, this set of steps will get you started, and that is the most important part. Because until you start, you have no way of knowing what’s next.
5 Steps: From Nothing to a 7 Figure Business
Before I dive into the 5 steps I want to share a resource that has had a massive impact on my journey, specifically as it relates to money mindset – something I think should be talked about way more than it is in the online space.
You might not even know you have money mindset blocks, so before thinking to yourself “I don’t need this part”, hear me out.
T. Harv Eker wrote a book called Secrets of The Millionaire Mind. In Aug 2015 I purchased the Kindle edition (about 20 years after I wish I would have purchased it).
As I was reading this book, it seemed as though every single sentence was written for me.
Thoughts I didn’t even realize I was thinking – ones that have been holding me back from being a 7 figure earner for my entire life – came to light, like:
Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe “Life happens to me.”
Let me say this: Eker doesn’t sugar coat stuff, which is why I friggin’ LOVE this book.
It exposed so many mental blocks that, once I realized were present, I was able to get passed. This is a critical step on your way to building a 7 figure business, because if you don’t have the mindset, it’s never going to happen.
And if by mistake it does happen, then you’ll lose it all and be back at square one in no time.
Here’s another one of my favorites from Eker:
It’s time to decide. You can be a victim or you can be rich, but you can’t be both. Listen up! Every time, and I mean every time, you blame, justify, or complain, you are slitting your financial throat.
Truth bomb, right?
I also want to make absolutely clear that John and I strongly believe our bank account is a reflection of the value we’re adding to the world.
Whenever I’m feeling shy or afraid to offer a paid product or service to someone, I think to myself “do I believe this can genuinely help this person?”
If the answer is yes, then it’s my responsibility to let them know about it.
Haters gonna hate
Another part of running a 7 figure business most people don’t talk about?
We’ve gotten hate mail and really nasty notes from people asking us “how much is enough?”
Well, the individuals who write these notes clearly don’t understand anything Eker talks about, nor the fact that if we weren’t providing something that was helping others, then we wouldn’t be making any money.
You have to believe that what you have to share is worth it. That what you’re creating will impact others lives.
As Eker puts it, “…if you want to be rich in the truest sense of the word, it can’t only be about you. It has to include adding value to other people’s lives.”
Along with Secrets of The Millionaire Mind, my money mindset war chest also includes Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, Profit First by Michael Michalowicz, and these money mindset cards from Abundant Affirmations that I use daily.
Alright, now let’s dive into those 5 steps…
Step 1: An idea
It all starts with a BIG IDEA.
The first step to creating a 7 figure business is having a BIG IDEA that you can turn into a business.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese proverb
Now you might be thinking “no problem! I’ve got LOADS of ideas!” BUT, the key is discovering the ONE BIG IDEA you can go all-in on.
Until you have a singular focus – an idea you’re confident about going all-in on – you’ll not make the type of progress necessary to turn it into a 7 figure business.
John’s BIG IDEA that he went all-in on was the podcast: Entrepreneurs On Fire. His idea was to launch a daily podcast interviewing today’s most successful entrepreneurs and sharing their journey in order to inspire his audience to take action.
Step 2: Research
Once you’ve discovered your BIG IDEA, the real work begins. It’s time to take that idea and start turning it into real revenue.
Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. – Guy Kawasaki
But before you get too focused on the 7 figure revenue part of this equation, let’s break down what this research step includes.
- Studying your competition;
- Finding the void;
- Creating your avatar; and
- Finding the common struggles
During this step you’re going to ensure your BIG IDEA is going to resonate with people – specifically, with your avatar.
Your avatar is your one perfect listener, reader, viewer, customer. it’s critical that you know them, find them in the real world, and have one-on-one conversations with them to confirm you’re on the right track.
Step 3: Create
You have your BIG IDEA, you’ve researched and confirmed there are individuals out there who want and need what it is you’re going to offer (your avatar), and now, it’s time to start creating.
Do. Or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
You might decide to start a podcast, a YouTube channel, a blog – whatever medium you choose, it’s important that you’re putting valuable, consistent, and free content in a place where you know your avatar will be looking for it.
Step 4: Share
You’re creating valuable, consistent, and free content, and now it’s time to share it in order to start growing your audience.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
Sharing your content can come in many forms:
- Social media (choose 1 or 2 platforms where you know your avatar is hanging out)
- Within online communities
- Guest podcasting
- Guest blogging
- Joint ventures (affiliates)
- Participating in virtual summits
- Hosting webinars
- Paid ads (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram)
Not every one of these forms will work for you, and so it’s going to be about testing, tweaking, and repeating.
Step 5: Systems
Once you’ve created a content plan and have started attracting an audience to your podcast, YouTube channel, or blog, it’s time to put systems in place that can help you work most efficiently.
Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical. – Howard Schultz
This is where you get to free up time, start generating more BIG IDEAS, and opening up your earning potential to multiple revenue streams.
One example would be creating a paid product or service that you can offer your audience after they optin for a free course, or a guide. This will be the start of your funnel.
Systems and creating funnels are what will help you build a 7 figure business.
Recap: How to build a 7 figure business
Remember in the beginning, how I said that in his first year (2012 – 2013) John netted just over $25,000, and then he jumped to generating $3 mil in 2014 alone?
It’s because he followed the 5 steps above that I’ve just laid out, and then repeated them:
- He had a BIG IDEA
- He did his research
- He started creating free, valuable, and consistent content
- He shared it, and
- He created systems around it to help him scale and grow
But wait, how exactly did we go from $25k to $3m?
Ok, here’s one example…
Once John had followed the 5 steps above for Entrepreneurs On Fire, he was able to free up mental bandwidth to generate another BIG IDEA: Podcasters’ Paradise.
After doing his research to confirm his avatar wanted to learn how to create, grow, and monetize their own podcast, he created a book, Podcast Launch, along with The Podcast Masterclass: a completely free webinar where he would share how to get started with creating, growing, and monetizing your own podcast.
He shared this content with Fire Nation, they tuned in to the Webinar, and he offered them the opportunity to join Podcasters’ Paradise: an exclusive online community with video trainings, resources, and a private FB Group to help them create, grow, and monetize their own podcast.
Once Paradise was created, we put a funnel in place that would provide those interested in podcasting with a completely free course, Free Podcast Course.
In Free Podcast Course we invite people to join us on the Podcast Masterclass.
On the Podcast Masterclass we provide 45 minutes of solid value, and then invite people to join Podcasters’ Paradise.
To date, Podcasters’ Paradise has generated nearly $4 mil in revenue.
Following this process over and over again is how we’ve gone from nothing to 7 figures.