Ed O’Keefe is an Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author, and Father of 7 children. He’s built several multi-million dollar businesses from scratch in record time. He founded and created the top selling brands InspiredWear, Marine-D3, and several consulting products that help entrepreneurs launch and scale their business.
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Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- Ed dropped $250k into what turned out to be a fraudulent situation, and he lost it all..
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- Ed changed the intro of his sales letter and the conversion rate doubled. Then he took the up-sell and sold the same product at a lower price. BRILLIANT! Sales skyrocketed.
Small Business Resource
- Swift: A beautifully simple player to speed up, slow down, or download video & audio from your favorite websites.
Best Business Book
- Mastery by Tim Piering
John Lee Dumas: Ed is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and father of seven children. He’s built several multi-million dollar businesses from scratch in record time. He founded and created the top-selling brands InspiredWear and Marine-D3 and consulting products that help entrepreneurs launch and scale their business. So, Ed, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a glimpse into your personal life.
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah, man. So you hit it on the head. Seven children, awesome kids, all under the age of 11. And I run three different businesses. A health supplement business, which is the Marine-D3 that you mentioned, a clothing line, and we also have a mentoring program for people who want to start, grow, and profit as quickly as humanly possible in their health product or supplement business.
John Lee Dumas: So picture yourself right now at a networking party. Someone walks up to you and they say, “Ed, what exactly do you do? You have so many things going on?” How do you respond in just ten seconds?
Ed O’Keefe: I usually just chuckle and I’ll say, “When I’m not raising my seven kids with my wife, I create awesome businesses that transform lives.” And I know that’s not as specific as an elevator pitch that you might hear people say. And it’s by design because I want people to either, if they’re curious; they take a step towards me more and if they really don’t care then I just really don’t want to keep talking, to be honest with you. So it allows to kind of speed to “where are we going with it.”
John Lee Dumas: Well, Ed, let’s be honest. You have seven children. So people that are out there and they’re saying I have two or three kids and they just take all of my time. I mean, kids – two, three, six, seven – they all take a lot of time for sure. But Ed’s showing it is possible to be done. And let’s be honest, Ed, to feed, to clothe, just to make seven kids’ lives happy, that takes a little bit of money here and there. So break it down for our listeners. How do you, Ed O’Keefe, specifically generate revenue today?
Ed O’Keefe: The health supplement business nets six figures a month. The clothing business is still in its infancy so that’s still growing. And then our mentoring/coaching business does extremely well also. And so I really focus on creating businesses that have maximum leverageable components that will make money. Once I set it up and crack the code on it, it’s designed to work without my daily involvement, if that makes sense.
John Lee Dumas: It does. And just kind of a quick side note. A lot of people have read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and they thought that supplements was their way into wealth. And they oftentimes hit a brick wall because so many people – basically everybody thinks supplements is the way to generate revenue because of a number of reasons. How are you able to successfully build a supplement brand? Like when did you start? What did you do that kind of put you into that blue ocean, that unique area of actually profiting $100,000.00 plus, six figures, a month in revenue?
Ed O’Keefe: Well, we have an amazing product. That’s No. 1. So the customers that we invested and acquired previously – so we spent a lot of money acquiring customers is how it grew so quickly. They’re repurchasing and rebuying. So one big mistake most people do, and I think you see this probably in podcasting and the info business and all these businesses, is guys jump in because they see a model that’s working.
But they also don’t understand that just getting something off the ground is literally Step 1 of 10. And building something that customers really enjoy and love, value and want to continue to be a part of – I mean, you’re at what episode is this? That is so –
John Lee Dumas: 1,096, baby!
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah. And so if people weren’t ready to ignite and get on fire because Episodes 0 through 300 were awful, you wouldn’t be at this number, right? And so a lot of copycats or people do that and it just doesn’t work for them and they don’t know why. And my story was I was in the mentoring/coaching business in the dental market. I transitioned into the health supplement space and I lost around $200,000.00 within the first eight weeks due to fraud and other things.
And I transitioned by hiring really a top consultant expert who knew this industry inside and out and we built a team of experts with super high quality product. That’s not always the best way to go but it really has worked out for myself. And I think if you go quality and you then learn marketing, because anyone can learn marketing, you’re gonna end up in a much better place than just learning marketing without the quality.
John Lee Dumas: So there’s a couple of things I want to talk about here. No. 1, I will be frank that Episodes 1 through 50 of EOFire were pretty brutal. But guess what? They were out there before I even got any feedback so I didn’t even know any better. I’m just putting out episode after episode, not knowing what I’m doing. But if you wanted to actually be something, you have to do that thing. I wanted to be a podcaster so I podcasted. Ed, you took a couple swings and you missed but then you kept doing that thing.
And one thing that I love that you brought up is that you have a great product, No. 1, that you repeat customers. And Fire Nation, it is always better to keep your current customers. It’s always more efficient. It’s just more profitable than spending all of your time and money finding new customers. So always have your eye to the churn. That’s so awesome.
And, Ed, there’s a lot that I want to dive into here. One thing that I kind of hope comes up at some point but not right now is how exactly did you find that awesome product? You know, that’s kind of a key part here. But the first story that I want you to tell is what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment. So, Ed, take us to that moment in time. Tell us that story.
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah. I ran a company called Dentist’s Profits for about nine years, mentoring dentists. And before that I had gone through that dead broke grind of about four and a half years. And when you’re broke and you’re still broke, you don’t know what it’s like to have money and then be broke again. And so after I transitioned out of Dentist’s Profits into the supplement game, I had this belief system that I thought I could just build it out of scratch and dominate things very, very rapidly because I had so much success prior.
And when I jumped into the health supplement business, I kind of went all in, man. Like, I put a quarter million dollars cash into it. Put my trust in certain people. And what happened within that short period of time was every single sale that I was getting from the affiliates whom I entrusted and the guy who was kind of leading the way, it was all fraud.
And so six weeks go by, I lost my merchant account, the bank was asking for $50,000.00 more in refunds, and my dream of creating a scalable, leverageable company that was gonna get me out of – I was transitioning out of my consulting business. At that time, I had done it for nine years. I was ready for something new. And I put a lot of eggs in the basket and a lot of my other cash was tied up in real estate and other things. So I wasn’t really liquid.
John Lee Dumas: What was the worst moment within that entire difficult time that you faced?
Ed O’Keefe: The moment was that I was sitting in my home office; my wife had no clue what was going on. I think I had four kids at the time. Now I have seven. And all of the stuff I had been talking about for the last 90 days, 120 days, just blew up and here I was. My three buddies who I freaking gave everything into were onto their next thing yet the cash was out of my pocket. Everyone else got paid and I had to sit there and pick up the pieces.
And the hard part about that was I was already successful and now I had to deal with all this baggage was a joke, you know? And was just because I made wrong choices, whatever it was. But that was a pretty low point.
John Lee Dumas: And, Ed, that’s actually what I kind of want to now bring out because with our listeners, we are entrepreneurs who are scared of taking these risks. And we think we’re going to have these big failures and we might, like you did, like I’ve had, like all of my past guests have had. But guess what? You are no longer in that big trough of failure and that’s why you’re on this show today. You’ve had some great success since then. So tell us what you really want our listeners to get and to take away as a lesson learned from that moment in time?
Ed O’Keefe: The first thing is, I would say always let cash flow lead your vision. There’s a lot of consultants who share “you can go negative,” “you can acquire customers.” But get as close to the path of – so I always teach what is our customer acquisition strategy and nothing matters until that. And then from that point on, you have to let cash flow go into the bank and lead your growth, not assume the money’s gonna come in six weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks, 12 weeks from now. And that’s what I did and it was a huge mistake.
But I’ve done that with growing a couple of businesses. You have to get the quickest path to cash as possible. And what I see with most entrepreneurs and people getting into entrepreneurship is they’re always talking about the future. What the future’s going to look like. And the fact of the matter is where are we today and what am I doing today to make the future reality today, not 90 days from now, 120 days from now, six months from now or something like that.
John Lee Dumas: Okay, Ed. I know that you know what we’re looking for now and we’re moving forward and transitioning into another story. And this is going to be an epiphany, an “aha” moment, that you’ve had at some point in your entrepreneurial journey. You’ve had a lot. But you know our listeners. We’re entrepreneurs. What’s gonna be an idea that you had that you turned into success so we can talk about it right now and really take us to that moment in time.
Ed O’Keefe: When we were growing the health supplement business, it was doing well. It was doing a couple hundred thousand a month. And I had this idea. It was kind of like an anti-aging approach. And by digging through the research, I heard that these ingredients helped with high blood pressure, right? And so the only thing I did was change the intro to the entire sales letter and it angled into if you were concerned about high blood pressure and then it went into the sales letter. And our conversion rate literally doubled.
And the second “aha” was we took the upsell, instead of selling a similar product or something that would get you results even faster, we tested selling the same exact product at a lower discount but you could buy six today at a lower price. And the craziest thing was, John, the people started taking more of the same product as their upsell choice. And what that did to our average transaction size, it took us from $149.00 per sale to $250.00 per sale literally overnight.
And so these two tests that ran almost simultaneously increased our conversion rate by 2x and then our average transaction size jumped by more than 30 percent. And so what happened to the business is it went from a few hundred thousand a month to close to $3 million a month in a matter of just a few months. If that makes sense.
John Lee Dumas: It makes a ton of sense and I love how specific you’re getting. I mean, this is phenomenal information. I mean, picture it. It makes so much sense thinking about it but what makes so much sense in hindsight, we don’t often think about. And, of course, if somebody buys a product, they’re interested in that product. And now if you say, hey, you can get this exact same product that you’re already buying that you obviously want; now you can get more of it for less price. You can get a discount. You can get a percentage off. And we love percentage off.
It makes so much sense in the world. So, Fire Nation, how can you take this information and say, hey, I already have people that are raising their hand and saying I want this. Now give them more of that and give them a reason to take you up on that. And Ed just laid it out beautifully. And, Ed, I love, love that strategy. Break it down for us in just one sentence. What do you want to make sure our listeners get from that brilliant idea of yours?
Ed O’Keefe: Don’t assume you know what people are gonna want to buy and test.
John Lee Dumas: I love the acronym KISS. It’s Keep It Super Simple. And, Fire Nation, why do we try to make things complicated? Why do we do all these fancy things and these crazy upsells of these other products that might be related but might – keep it simple. Keep it super simple and see what happens. Now, Ed, what is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Ed O’Keefe: Remaining organized, without a doubt.
John Lee Dumas: What is your biggest strength?
Ed O’Keefe: What I can do differently than most people is assimilate large amounts of information from different sources and tie them together so we can have a competitive advantage.
John Lee Dumas: Ed, you have a ton of things going on right now. What’s the one thing that you are most fired up about today?
Ed O’Keefe: Building Go Pro type businesses. Businesses that I’m designing because I want to solve things in my life and that I’m passionate about. And then aligning all of them. So when I talk to guys like you, when I am at home, everything I do is consistent and transparent and congruent.
John Lee Dumas: Give us an example of one of your favorite ones that comes to mind?
Ed O’Keefe: So, for example, in our health supplement business, we’re selling these anti-aging supplements but then again, when I go and train at the gym, I’m buying grass fed protein from some other dude’s company. So now I have my own formulators designing all our own grass fed proteins. And anything that I need or people I train with or surround myself with, I just say we’re gonna go create it.
So that’s what’s got me fired up is we’re in this new era of life. We all are, all of us. You’re doing it, man, so it’s not like I’m telling you anything you don’t know. It’s like you can just go create what you want to create and make it awesome and go find a million people who want it. That’s it. There’s the wealth formula of the new era, man.
John Lee Dumas: I love that phrase “make it awesome” because, Fire Nation, it’s so true. Just focus on one core niche that you can make awesome, more awesome than anybody else is willing to do so because it’s just such a niche. It’s you. Dominate that niche. And then, guess what? Your niche will grow to other opportunities. I mean, Ed didn’t start off thinking about creating all these things that he’s talking about now. But one thing led to another. He’s going from strength to strength.
And, Fire Nation, we’re about to enter the lightning round. But before we do, let’s take a minute to thank our sponsors. Ed, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Ed O’Keefe: I am stoked. I am so stoked for the lightning.
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Ed O’Keefe: Lack of awareness. I didn’t know that I could be one, to be honest. And learning from people like yourself, these types of information and stuff, shook me out of my rigid, grown-up environment of just grow up, get a job, work for 40 years. And once I become aware of it, I was off to the races. I knew that that freedom is what I wanted.
John Lee Dumas: Don’t forget that after those 40 years, you get a watch.
Ed O’Keefe: You get a watch.
John Lee Dumas: And what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ed O’Keefe: Your income is directly correlated to your ability to sell.
John Lee Dumas: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Ed O’Keefe: I think getting up early, spending time with my kids then attacking my workout, and then doing at least one thing a day that makes the cash register ring.
John Lee Dumas: Okay, so how do you actually spend time with seven kids? I’m just trying to picture it. Is it all at once, like on a big, fluffy ottoman? How does that work?
Ed O’Keefe: I ask the question, what would my life need to look like where I could make “x” amount of dollars only working four hours a day? And so what that means is, with my kids, I literally get up, help with breakfast, get them off to school, coach their sports, put them to bed, wipe butts, do everything like that.
That to me is – I like to be that dad, you know? And so just being present with them is probably the best answer I can give you because there are so many moving parts to that, that just staying present and grind it out when you go to work but when you get home, do your best to put the phone somewhere else and stay focused.
John Lee Dumas: Ed, do you have an internet resource like Evernote that you can share with our listeners?
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah. I’m gonna cheat here. YouTube combined with Swift. So YouTube has anything you want to learn about and then Swift player I use on my phone and it allows me to learn things at two times the speed. And so it’s just all about accelerating results, right?
John Lee Dumas: Unfortunately, you get to a point, though, where if you’re ever at a place where you have to watch a video at normal speed, you’re like, oh my god, this is so slow. Will they just talk faster? Because you just get in this mindset of it’s Alvin and the Chipmunks or nothing. And I’m talking to you, Fire Nation. I know you’re listening to us at 1.5 speed right now.
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah, right. Isn’t that awesome?
John Lee Dumas: Now if you could recommend one book for our listeners, Ed, what would it be and why?
Ed O’Keefe: Yeah, there’s a book called Mastery by Tim Piering. P-I-E-R-I-N-G. I bought it 20 years ago. It’s still as relevant as it was. And it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read that covers everything from mindset all the way over to money, to spirituality, and most importantly, John, how it all integrates like a matrix.
John Lee Dumas: We’re all about the matrix here. And, Fire Nation, I know you love audio. So I teamed up with audiobooks and if you haven’t already you can get an amazing audiobook for free at eofirebook.com. Ed, this is the last question of the lightning round but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter’s taken care of but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Ed O’Keefe: What I would instantly look for is a business that I’m very aware of like a health supplement business, a high-end coaching business. And with the supplement business, I would approach them and show them how they could – I would do research, right?
So first thing I would do is go to a coffee shop, spend $6.00 on coffee, and I would do a ton of research to show where there are gaps in either transitioning to other media channels or taking the business from offline to online or online to offline. And then I would go, approach them, pitch them I would put a quarter million bucks in their bank account. And get paid very handsomely for that.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, go with what you know. And, Ed, let’s end with you sharing a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Ed O’Keefe: Parting guidance would just be to stay true to what your spirit is telling you that you really, really, really want to do that’s congruent with what you’re talented at. Allow that to evolve but always be learning to apply that gift. As far as people, if they want to follow me, edokeefeshow.com is my website where I post my videos, podcasts, things like that. And obviously on Facebook, Ed O’Keefe. I’m around, I’m active, and you’ll see pictures of me and my crazy kids doing amazing things hopefully.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with Ed OK and JLD today, so keep up the heat. And head over to eofire.com and just type “Ed” in the search bar, his show notes page will pop right up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. And, Ed, I want to thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. And we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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