Jordan is the CEO of Shrinkabill.com, the newest innovative way to save money. Shrinkabill.com has been featured in the media over 35 times including the Today Show, US News & World Report, AARP, and CNET.
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Zapier – Jordan’s small business resource
The Founder’s Dilemma – Jordan’s Top Business Book
Shrinkabill – Jordan’s website
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3 Value Bombs
1) Seek help in the areas you’re not great at.
2) Identify the real pain point you want to resolve and focus on that.
3) You don’t have to be in every industry your competitors are in.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[00:59] – Jordan started young as an entrepreneur because his parents didn’t give him an allowance
[01:24] – In college, he ended up landing in a quirky major—Trust Fund Management
[02:26] – It took Jordan 10 years of active brainstorming to come up with the idea for Shrinkabill
[02:46] – JLD has personally used Skrinkabill
[03:32] – There were 3 primary criteria Jordan looked for in a business model: strong contribution margin, first move or first advantage, and low entry barrier
[05:37] – Contribution Margin = Revenue – Direct expenses
[08:17] – JLD’s grandma says that Shrinkabill helped her save meaningful income
[08:53] – Justin, JLD’s brother-in-law gave a shout-out to Shrinkabill as well
[10:48] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: When Jordan first launched, he tried to create buzz on ProductHunt. What he did was request influential users to look at his business via Twitter. He thought it was a great plan, but he fell short on the execution. These influencers ended up calling Jordan out for spamming because they saw the same message he sent out over and over.
[12:07] – Work in your competencies or ask for help
[12:45] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: When Jordan realized the reason people don’t work on their finances is because it’s daunting and difficult.
[13:45] – “Find the real pain point you want to solve”
[14:14] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I’m really excited about the idea of growth-hacking”
[17:29] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Identifying the idea that I was passionate about”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Focus on improving your strengths and don’t waste time trying to improve your weaknesses”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I read a lot of books”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Zapier
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Founder’s Dilemma – “this book is an extensive study that was conducted on thousands of entrepreneurs”
[19:23] – Don’t stretch yourself too thin when you work on your business
[19:38] – Sign Up with Shrinkabill and Use Promo Code: EOF for $10 OFF!
Jordan Wolff: Hell, yeah, John, let’s do it.
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Jordan’s the CEO of Shrinkabill.com. That’s Shrinkabill.com, the newest innovative way to save money. Shrinkabill.com has been featured on the Today Show, US News and World Report, CNET, and now, Entrepreneurs on Fire.
Jordan, take minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give a little glimpse of your personal life.
Jordan Wolff: Oh, absolutely. So, I started out as an entrepreneur young because my parents actually didn’t give me an allowance, so if I wanted money, I had to figure out how to get it myself. So, my first business was actually going door-to-door selling hand-braided bracelets for $1.00, and the only customers we ever got were, truth be told, the sympathetic neighbors. But at an early age, it did teach me that if I wanted to earn money, I had to hustle.
When I went into college, I knew I wanted to enter the business field, and I ended up landing in kind of a quirky major. I studied trust fund management, where we’re dealing with the most successful people, the multimillionaires, and most of them were successful entrepreneurs. And so, it gave me a lot of one-on-one interaction with these extraordinarily successful individuals, and it dawned on me that none of these people were making their money working for someone else.
And so, that itch that began when I was a kid started up again, and I knew it could really make my dreams a reality with the right idea and hard work. And so, that’s when I started brainstorming business ideas, and I was extremely intentional about the type of business I wanted to launch. I never had any interest in opening up or owning a mom-and-pop shop. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It just wasn’t what I was looking for, as I had a very specific set of criteria that my new business would have to meet.
So, it literally took me over ten years of actively brainstorming ideas until I came up with the business idea where we lower your cable, Internet, cell phone bills, and we guarantee the results that our customers walk away with money.
John Lee Dumas: Now, let’s kind of talk through this process because I’m really curious about this. Now, I wanna be completely honest, Fire Nation, first and foremost. I’ve used Shrinkabill. It is an amazing service. I, in fact, got my family and friends on it because it’s amazing. Jordan and his team, they just work so hard, and they just make things happen.
We’re gonna talk more about specific numbers coming up here in a minute, but honestly, Jordan, I don’t love, from a faraway glance, your business model because, again, I don’t know it, so I’m probably missing something, but I look at it, and I’m like, “Okay, you have to do a lot of work to save people a little bit of money – sometimes a lot of money, but mostly a little bit here and there – and it seems like, again, a lot of work, a lot of back and forth, a lot of this, a lot of that,” so why was it such an appealing business model to you? And again, I’m not saying it’s not. I’m just saying I don’t get it yet.
Jordan Wolff: Absolutely. So, there were three different pieces of criteria. Well, there were more, but three primary criteria that I was looking for. One is it had to have a strong contribution margin, which it actually does have a fairly good contribution margin.
John Lee Dumas: So, define the contribution margin. What does that mean?
Jordan Wolff: The contribution margin is when you take all of your income, your revenue that’s coming out, minus the direct expenses associated with earning that revenue. And so, we have about a 68 percent contribution margin, which is pretty strong, for our business.
And then, I also wanted a business that I’d have first-mover advantage. And being a first-mover advantage, it’s a double-edged sword, to be honest. So, you have to train and educate your customer base if you end up being the first mover when you’re pioneering an industry, but at the same time, we were able to leverage the press very successfully because of that, and there is an element of sexiness with pioneering a new industry.
John Lee Dumas: And let’s be honest. It’s not like you’re inventing some new – I don’t know, fill in the blank – ingredients or whatever it is. You are shrinking a bill. It’s a pretty easy concept to get when people talk about it.
Jordan Wolff: Yeah, you’re right. So, the educational factor, it’s not too much of a cost there. You’re absolutely right.
And then, the last thing I was really looking at – there are others, but these were the three primary ones – was I’m a risk-averse person, which is contrary to the common entrepreneur, and I recognize that, but I wasn’t willing to bet the farm on the business, basically, and hedge my entire life. I want to hedge my bets. And so, it was something I was able to enter into without having to acquire an incredible amount of debt.
John Lee Dumas: And what was the first one again?
Jordan Wolff: The first one was a strong contribution margin.
John Lee Dumas: Okay. And I know when I asked you that, you gave me what your contribution margin is, but now, just kind of share with us what contribution margin means. What is that definition?
Jordan Wolff: So, a contribution margin is when you subtract the revenue against the direct expenses that you have in order to produce that revenue.
John Lee Dumas: So, is that kinda like a net profit? Is that similar to that?
Jordan Wolff: It’s not totally. So, it doesn’t include overhead, for example. So, contribution margin takes out all the overhead expenses, but I’m including direct labor in my contribution margin costs.
John Lee Dumas: So, what were a couple other businesses that you came close to doing but didn’t? In fact, let’s just choose one. What was another one that kind of came close, but you didn’t end up doing? What was that idea?
Jordan Wolff: That’s a great question. So, one of them was actually I was gonna do a financial educational series, sort of like a LearnVest, but I had a very targeted demographic that I was gonna be doing. So, I’m a certified trust and financial advisor, and so it was gonna be leveraging that financial experience. And it’s funny that you asked that because it was through that, when I was building out that business, when I came up with the business idea of Shrinkabill. And I didn’t do it because there are a few different reasons why I didn’t.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s hear a couple.
Jordan Wolff: So, one of them, it kind of goes into the aha moment. I know that you ask about that. But one of the reasons is I kept going back to a fundamental issue, which is the reason why people struggle with finances, the No. 1 reason, isn’t lack of education. It’s lack of motivation.
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s keep it there because I want to save that for more in the aha moment, but, yeah, I definitely wanted to hit on that point real quick, so thank you. And now, kinda just really, really quickly walk us through, because I want to get past this, but I really am fascinated with this, why Shrinkabill fit your three points. How did that work? Kinda just take Shrinkabill through those real quick.
Jordan Wolff: Yeah, absolutely. So, contribution margin, No. 1, so it’s honestly a business that doesn’t have very much overhead, which is nice, and direct cost is labor. So, with you, for example, I know we had mentioned that we negotiated your bills, and I don’t know if you remember what your results were, but we saved you and your family over $2,800.00.
John Lee Dumas: And that’s per year, right? Or is that over –
Jordan Wolff: That was per year. That’s correct. Then, the average savings per person was $560.00.
John Lee Dumas: Wow!
Jordan Wolff: So, when you look at the actual savings per person, and then against paying an individual $15.00 an hour, it actually does have a strong contribution margin.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah. And I will say this is real money, Fire Nation. My grandmother, after it happened for her, looked at me and said, “John, this is meaningful revenue that’s being saved here,” because she’s on a fixed income, and she has been for a really long time. And now, she’s able to, every single month, take that – whatever it was – like $87.00, $113.00 off of her bill and apply it to other things or just not spend it. And for people on fixed incomes, which a lot of people are, or even just you’re getting a paycheck every couple weeks, you’re on fixed income too, this can be a really, really big deal, and that’s why I love the service.
And it was kind of funny. I don’t think you’ve seen this, Jordan, but my brother-in-law, who you worked with as well, Justin, he’s a commercial realtor, and he does a newsletter every month, once a month, and in the most recent newsletter, he gave a shout out to Shrinkabill because it’s been months since you guys did it for them, but it’s still impacting them this way. So, now, when he gets his bill, he always remembers Shrinkabill. So, he was writing up his newsletter, got his bill in, and he was like, “Oh, yeah, there’s the discount,” and so he recommended it to his audience.
So, one thing I can maybe add as a fourth point that you really do crush is the viral-ability. People love talking about how, No. 1, they save money, but they love being in the know and sharing with others how other people can save money because what better friend is somebody than somebody that saves you a couple dollars here, a couple dollars there, or in this case, hundreds and hundreds, or for my family, thousands and thousands of dollars on an annual basis? So, absolutely mind-blowing things.
Before we jump into the worst entrepreneurial moment, Jordan, because I want you to tell that story, let’s just kind of real quick maybe sum up where you’re at with Shrinkabill right now.
Jordan Wolff: So, that’s a great question. So, right now, we’re laser-focused on the customers. I’ve been doing a lot of work on growth hacking. You were talking about the customer-referral rate, and that’s the most meaningful statistic to me because that means that I’m doing my job right. And so, that’s really where I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy.
John Lee Dumas: And it’s free. Let’s be honest. That helps.
Jordan Wolff: Absolutely. And it’s the most accurate feedback of how well you’re doing. So, everything, you’re absolutely right. And, yeah, free advertising, who could beat that?
John Lee Dumas: So, Fire Nation, stick around because, as you can tell, we probably have something special in store for you coming up in a little bit via Shrinkabill.
So, Jordan, what is that worst entrepreneurial moment, brother? Take us there. Tell us that story.
Jordan Wolff: That’s a great question. So, I’m probably the worst person in the United States regarding social media. When I first launched Shrinkabill, I tried creating buzz on Producton, and I think I had a pretty good idea. So, what I was doing was I was finding the most influential users in my space on Producton, and I requested them to look at my business, but I did it through Twitter. And then, after I built a relationship, my idea was I was gonna tell them, “Hey, I’m on Producton,” and hopefully they would endorse me after I’ve built that relationship.
And I still think it was a great plan, but my execution was nothing short of lousy. So, these were literally my first tweets I ever sent. Big mistake. And I sent them out to eight different people who were the most influential users, and what ended up happening was they called me and said, “Hey, I was actually gonna give you some awesome feedback on your business, but it looks like you spammed me and eight other people, so stop spamming people,” and I was like, “Crap.”
So, I felt really embarrassed on that, but it is what it is, and you learn from your mistakes.
John Lee Dumas: So, what is that biggest lesson learned? What’s something tangible that you can tell Fire Nation about your worst moment?
Jordan Wolff: Work in your competencies. If you’re not comfortable with something, ask for help. I could have asked any middle-schooler on how Twitter works, and I probably could have gotten some help, let alone asking some good business partners. But I ended up trying to do some things on my own, and it bit me in the butt.
John Lee Dumas: Jordan, I wanna shift now to another story in your journey. Again, we kinda touched upon that aha moment a little bit, but now this is where I want you to dive deep, so refresh our minds with that aha moment and walk us through how you turned that idea into success.
Jordan Wolff: Absolutely. So, as I mentioned before, I was working on a financial educational series, and when I was working on it, I kept coming back to this one idea that the problem with finances is people are just not motivated. They don’t care enough to put in an effort because working on your finances is difficult. Working on a budget is difficult. It’s time-consuming, it’s restricting, and people just don’t wanna do it.
And so, I was really brainstorming ideas on how I could resolve that issue, and that’s when Shrinkabill came out, when I was thinking, “Hey, you know what? I can help people lower their bills and I can help them save money.” So, I found a pain point that I could really exploit, and I felt like that was a market that no one was at. And so, that’s why I ended up jumping ship from the previous business and moving forward to Shrinkabill.
John Lee Dumas: So, again, what’s that lesson learned? What do you want Fire Nation to really walk away with?
Jordan Wolff: So, you should find the real pain point that you’re trying to resolve. And I originally thought the pain point for the financial series was just simply a lack of financial education, but as I dived deeper, I realized the issue was motivation. So, if you can find that real pain point, what’s really the struggle for people, and you exploit it, then you’re gonna have a real business on your hands.
John Lee Dumas: So, Jordan, you’re obviously fired up about a lot of things right now, but what’s the one thing that you’re most excited about today specifically?
Jordan Wolff: I think I’ve touched on this already, but I’m really excited about the idea of growth hacking, and although growth hacking’s a sexy term; it really boils down to obtaining customer referrals. And there’s a lot of neat rabbit trails you can go if you read books on growth hacking, but it really is all about the customer experience, and if you service your customers right, then they are going to tell their friends. And if you do right by your customer, then it’s gonna reap dividends.
So, now, every decision that Shrinkabill has, we’re boiling it down and we’re looking at every action through the customer’s eyes.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, Jordan’s been dropping value bombs. Hope you’ve been taking notes. Hope you’ve been getting excited about how you will be shrinking your bill coming up here pretty soon. But guess what? We’re gonna be thanking our sponsors, and then we’ll be right back.
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Jordan, are you ready to rock the Lightning Round?
Jordan Wolff: Let’s do it.
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jordan Wolff: So, despite searching, I didn’t find the idea I was passionate about and that I felt was the right idea.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Jordan Wolff: Focus on improving your strengths, and don’t waste much time trying to improve your weaknesses. That’s what building a quality team is for.
John Lee Dumas: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Jordan Wolff: I read a lot of books. In my case, I actually listen to them in the car everywhere I go.
John Lee Dumas: Automobile University, baby.
Jordan Wolff: That’s right. That’s absolutely right. If you’re constantly reading, you’ll feel like there’s another person actively contributing ideas to help grow your business.
John Lee Dumas: Recommend one Internet resource.
Jordan Wolff: Hands down, I’m recommending Zapier.com. For a minimum amount of money, you’re able to automate your systems, which is worth every single penny that you spend. When I get a new system in place, I’m always looking at what integrates with Zapier.com so I can automate additional processes and create additional efficiencies.
John Lee Dumas: Now, I know this is gonna be tough because you consume a lot, but recommend one book and share why.
Jordan Wolff: You’re absolutely right. In the last year, I’ve probably read over 20 business books, but if I had to pick one, I’d say The Founder’s Dilemmas. This book is an extensive study. It was conducted on thousands of entrepreneurs and tells you, through their experiences, what can be a best course of action. And because of this book, I’ve actually changed Shrinkabill’s course more than once.
John Lee Dumas: Jordan, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Jordan Wolff: Yeah, absolutely. So, you can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter through the handle Shrinkabill, although I might not be managing it. We do have people who do, and they’ll get in touch with me.
For my piece of advice, as you work on your business, don’t stretch yourself thin. Only focus on a handful of items and excel at those items. You don’t need to be in every space your competitor’s in. You’ll go further being really good at one thing than mediocre at a handful of things.
Also, I wanted to mention if you sign up with Shrinkabill, all of the Entrepreneurs on Fire listeners will get the first $10.00 savings for free if you use the promo EOF. Again, we negotiate cell phone, Internet, and TV bills, along with a number of other services, but that’s what our core is.
John Lee Dumas: And by the way, Fire Nation, I am not affiliated with Shrinkabill in any way. I’ve utilized his services, and I really love his services, which is why I brought you along because I love what he’s doing as an entrepreneur. By using that promo code EOF, not a single dollar goes my way. I wanted to maximize what Jordan could give to you, so that promo code is all you, 100 percent, the max that we could make happen for you. And I just want to say that, again, I’ve used Shrinkabill. I recommended it to my grandmother, my mother, my brother-in-law, my family, over $2,800.00 in a year.
So, what is that one call to action, Jordan, you want to leave with Fire Nation? What’s the next best step? Is it going to Shrinkabill.com, and using that promo code EOF, and checking out the services? I don’t wanna put words in your mouth, but is there any risk? What if they don’t get any kind of shrinking of the bill?
Jordan Wolff: That’s a great question, and I’m happy you asked it. So, it’s actually a 100 percent risk-free deal. So, we charge one-third of the savings, and it’s only of the savings that we actually save you, so if we don’t save you any money, we actually give you a $25.00 restaurant gift card of your choice. If we do save you money, then it’s only gonna be one-third of the savings goes to us, and you get to keep two-thirds of the savings, so it’s 100 percent risk free.
John Lee Dumas: It’s literally 100 percent risk free, Fire Nation, because, again, you’re only going to win here because he’s either gonna save you money or he’s gonna give you a $25.00 gift card, and I’m telling you, with Jordan and his team, they’re gonna save you money, so Shrinkabill.com.
And, Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with JW and JLD today. So, keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Type “Jordan” in the search bar. His Show Notes page will pop up with everything we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz – timestamps, links galore.
Jordan, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, brother, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Jordan Wolff: Thanks, John, for having me on the show.
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