Hopefully by now you have had the opportunity to read The Power of Broke, along with the amazing case studies of how some of the most successful people in business have turned perceived weaknesses into their greatest strengths.
As promised, I have decided to give the microphone to my community as I have spent the last month encouraging people to download their stories.
I am pleased to introduce the first post in this series highlighting members of my community and how they have exercised the power of broke!
Over the next several months, I will be a highlighting a different story each week. The first story is from a very aggressive entrepreneur named Oleg Lee, who has a very inspirational story to tell of how he was able to exercise the power of broke.
I hope you enjoy it!
My name is Oleg Lee. Here is my story on how utilizing the mindset of the power of broke has helped me get where I am today.
I came to the US back in 2005 without any family nor the ability to speak a word of English. I worked as a maintenance guy for a large local chain grocery store for $500 a week; until one day I lost my job. At the time, I was already married, and my wife also lost her job as a banker. We had no money, no savings, no income, and no one to turn to for help. Our backs were completely against the wall.
For food, we would eat Ramen noodle soups from gas stations. My mindset, however, was quite different. Day and night I would think, not about the tough situation we were in, but about how to get out of it. What a powerful mindset that turned out to be.
Taking A Risk In Groupon
In 2013, I had a friend; he was the best salesperson in a local air duct cleaning company. Frustrated that he was getting paid only 20% of his sales, he kept telling me how he wanted to start his own duct-cleaning company. He told me if I helped him to get job leads, he would give me 50% of all sales. At that time, Groupon was becoming more and more popular. I decided to contact Groupon to offer a great deal for their customers. I submitted my application and they declined my offer over 5 times for various reasons; not having a website, a registered company, or a business bank account. They asked for all the common sense things that I had no idea about. But I was not about to give up...
It took me about three weeks and a little over $500 investment that my friend financed with his credit card to register the company, get a business bank account, and build a website. I did not have any business experience or website building experience. I just had to figure it out and I did. I found a template online for $9.99 and built the website by studying similar business websites. After all this was done, I finally got approved. Once the deal was set up and scheduled, I did not know what to expect. I was ready for anything because I was broke and had nothing to lose.
The payoff… 100,000 in 3 Days!
The deal sold over 4000 coupons for $49.99 in just 3 days. Groupon took 50%. We made about $100,000 within 3 days!
Groupon paid us in 4 payments. Since Groupon headquarters is located in my hometown Chicago, I was able to collect the first check the next day after the deal was over. We spent the money to buy equipment and rent a van. My wife was answering phone calls and making the schedule from our apartment for over 4000 customers who were calling around the clock to schedule their appointments. The schedule was made a year in advance.
Customers did not mind waiting this long because the services that we provided were not done in most households for over 10 years. Most houses were in need of extra cleaning services, since $49 was only for basic annual maintenance cleaning. We worked 18 hours a day 7 days a week. My friend was selling and I was helping him complete cleaning services. We ended up charging on average $350 per customer, which brought us to 1.4 million dollars in sales in less than a year.
Tapping Into The Power of Broke
I never knew the power of broke existed until I saw Daymond’s book and listened to one of his broadcasts about it. I realize that it is exactly what happened to me. Being broke for a while, I was not looking for another job that I could lose one day, I was looking for something that would change my life. Without realizing it, I activated the power of broke.
The thing is, my friend has always been there telling me about this business and Groupon has existed for a while as well. I didn’t have money to start a business. All I did was think outside the box and connect my friend's sales knowledge to my situation, and the fact that I had nothing to lose.
If you exercise the power of broke you will find that there are plenty of opportunities out there. You just need to possess the mindset and look at it from the correct perspective.
Since then, I sold my part of the company to my friend and invested the money in my own business, called iLeesh.com, which makes custom pillows shaped in the form of dogs and other animals.
I am currently selling to largest retailers like Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and all the major online retailers like Amazon, Overstock, Zulilly, Groupon and more. I have enough money to support my wife, two kids and have attained financial freedom. I am very grateful for my wife for been there and supporting me when times were tough.
I have learned through the power of broke mentality, you never know what you truly have until you change your perspective and think with a new mindset. It has literally changed my life.
Thank you Daymond for opening my eyes to this power inside of me!
I hope you enjoyed Oleg's Story! I welcome your feedback below and if you haven't submitted your story as of yet, I encourage you to do so by clicking here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and type away!
Have a great day! - DJ