“Just because you own a small business doesn’t mean you can’t think big!” says Peter Frumenti, a business strategist and coach who is devoted to helping small business owners succeed. Peter works with his clients to make small shifts in the way they connect and collaborate with their customers, vendors and community creating huge impacts on the bottom line. He is the co-author of “Living Without Limitations – 30 Mentors to Rock Your World” and conducts small business and personal development workshops throughout the US.
Jasper: One of the things that initially attracted me to ask you to be on the show, Peter, was your “Leave Your Job in 90-Days Challenge”, because that speaks very much to our Paycheck to Passion message. We were chatting just before the show and you related a really interesting experience on how you came to develop your challenge. Could tell us a bit about that and how you got into doing this in the first place?
Peter: I started this 90-Day Challenge for myself. I had originally started in real estate and in an offline business. I built my business completely through networking: going out into the community, meeting people, building a network, and creating a follow-up system. At first, my goal when I went out into the community was to grow my business, but I quickly learned that the best way to do that was to help other people and other businesses, especially those who had bigger networks than I did. As I helped them and they saw my value, that allowed me access to their network, which grew my network exponentially and helped me to go to a six-figure income in six months when I first got into real estate.
Over the last several years, I went through a number of things. In your pre-interview questionnaire, one of the questions you asked was what I am known for and how all of that led to me running away from California and moving to the Rocky Mountains. Since I’ve been up here in the Rockies, my entire process has been working with business coaching clients and, again, I was doing it offline. I recently started doing some webinars and teleconference calls and some other things, trying to help small business owners who were just starting out. A lot of them ended up either being network marketers or local small business owners who just put up their storefront or were offering coaching consulting services. I was really focusing on local small business owners who were offering services.
The #1 thing they were struggling with was having enough business. They weren’t getting enough leads. Over and over again, I saw so many people, even in my own community, who were starting a business, and six months later you would find them back at the day job where they had been working before or at a new job. So we created this “Leave Your Job in 90-Days Challenge”. I was really excited about it. With the tools I’ve put in place, I have helped several people just in the last 90 days go through that process and leave their job. It was interesting because many of the people we got through our 90-Day Challenge promotion were not the target market we were looking for, so on some level, some people would say that our messaging failed.
I’ve always been a believer that you have to fail forward, so there are two options: you can keep doing what’s not working and hope that it starts to work, or you can give up completely. Then there’s that third option, which is to just make some tweaks. So what we started and are now testing is “Double Your Income in 90 Days”. We’re still targeting those people who are just in the beginning stages of their business, aren’t really sure what to do next, need customers, maybe still are in their day job and need enough income to leave it. Those are the people we want to work with, but the messaging is a little bit different. I really want to share that with people because everything we do — not just in our business, but also in our life — is a test, and it’s really just about feedback. You do something, you get feedback. You know this worked, or didn’t work, or sort of worked. You figure out those pieces of the puzzle, you make changes, and then you move forward. The cool thing is that every time you do that, you’ve literally grown. You now have more knowledge than you had before you tested. This process of starting a business doesn’t happen in your head. It doesn’t matter how much you plan on paper or in your head – everything is going to change once you start to put those plans that you’ve created into action. I think that’s the #1 thing I want people to get out of that.
Jasper: That’s the thing about attracting the people who weren’t your target market. You said earlier that there are a lot of people who want to leave their jobs for a variety of reasons, all of which we’ve sort of experienced at one stage or another in our lives, yet they didn’t really have the motivation to do something else. The whole thing about starting your own business is that it’s not an easier option. It’s actually a lot harder option. But in the end, if you are willing to put the time and effort into it, it can be much more fulfilling.
Peter: Absolutely. My favorite quick story about that is sort of an allegory. There’s an old cowboy sitting on his porch with a young whippersnapper kid sitting next to him. Along comes a guy down the road right in front of their house on the edge of town, and the stranger looks up and says, “Hey, this town that I’m coming to, are the people here good people?” The cowboy looks at him and says, “Well, what were the people like in the town that you came from?” The stranger says, “Oh, they were a sorry sot bunch. I didn’t like them at all.” The cowboy says, “Well, you’ll find the same thing here,” and then the guy wanders off.
A little while later, another guy comes wandering down the road and asks, “What are the people like in this town?” The cowboy asks him, “What were the people like in the town you came from?” The guy says, “They were a great bunch. I made a lot of friends and a lot of good connections. My life was good.” The cowboy looks at him and says, “You’ll find the same thing here.” The boy sitting next to the cowboy looks as the guy walks away and asks, “Why did you tell those two guys two different things?” The cowboy says, “You carry with you the environment in which you live.”
So it’s a really powerful point that if you hate your job or your boss is really terrible, maybe you really do need to get out of your job. With the 90-Day Challenge, we had people just coming up and saying, “I hate my job. I hate my life,” and I was doing some discounted coaching calls for those folks. We’d get them on the phone and start talking and coaching them through the process, but what we found is they really didn’t want to make a change. They were looking for what’s going to be the easy solution. Although this stuff is simple, it takes work, it takes time, it takes the willingness to put yourself out there and the willingness to fail.
I had to say to many of these folks, “Unfortunately, we’re not going to work well together,” and I had to turn down their business. It was then that I realized we needed to tweak our message so that we could attract the people we actually want to work with. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started with some new messaging. So far, the results have been good. On the couple of coaching calls I’ve done with some of these new folks, it really seems like they’re in the right mindset – they’re the ones in charge of making that change.
Jasper: I think that’s why so many people are easily taken in by the “earn six-figure incomes while sitting at home in your pajamas just from 20 minutes a day on the internet” scam-type ads that you see everywhere these days. I guess they are the very people who were drawn in by that.
Peter: It’s interesting because there are a ton of those scams out there, but there’s also a ton of really, really good things out there that get a bad name as scams — the network marketing industry in general. Personally, I think it’s a great place to start and a great place to learn, long term. For me, it’s really more about creating my own products and doing things that come from my passions, but if you’ve got a product you truly believe in, network marketing is a great place to learn. You’ll hear from a lot of people, “Oh, that’s a scam. That’s a scam. That’s a scam.” The reality, though, is that they bought all the stuff and left it in cellophane on their shelves, then complained to all their friends that they got taken.
It’s like, “Well, other than buying the stuff and leaving it on your shelf, what did you do?” It’s never that easy, so if someone’s telling you, “You’re not going to have to work at all to make money,” then it’s probably a scam. But if it’s, “Here’s a proven set of systems you can use to create an income,” more often than not those systems do work. In my experience and in the experience of most of the customers with whom I’ve worked, it always comes back to connection and collaboration.
Favorite Book: Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
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After 10 years of forming several start-ups in real estate and consulting, I am finally able to share my passion for freedom and entrepreneurship with others through my new community, The Entrepreneurial Revolution. These ambitious business owners are working with me and each other to work through the 90-Day Challenge.
It’s my passion to motivate people who want to turn thoughts into actions. I value connected-ness, collaboration, and masterminding. It’s amazing to see what comes from a group of open-minded individuals; I am absolutely fascinated with ideas of others and my own. A problem-solver at my very core, I am able to see things from multiple perspectives and offer viable solutions. Also, I easily speak my mind and rarely turn down the opportunity to give a talk, workshop, or motivational session.
I have spent 10 successful years in real estate, hospitality management, and personal and business coaching.
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