Mike Dillard is an entrepreneur in Austin, Texas. He built his first million-dollar business by the age of 27, teaching small business owners how to effectively market their products and services online using “attraction marketing” strategies. In 2010, he founded a financial education company in order to teach others how to achieve financial freedom through investment strategies commonly reserved for the wealthy. Combined, his businesses have produced more than $50 Million in revenue without outside funding. In 2017, Mike developed the world’s first fully-automated hydroponic system for food production, EverGrow. His primary company today is Self-Made Man which provides the knowledge and skills entrepreneurs need in order to achieve their goals in life and business.
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How To Consistently Make Millions Online – For Decades with Mike Dillard
I am very excited. I have the privilege of introducing you to another successful entrepreneur, a father, an investor, a podcaster, author and freedom fighter. He is a mentor to hundreds of thousands of people. His mission is to empower the people who want to change their lives, change the world with the knowledge and skills that they need to do so. Not only is he an entrepreneur, he’s also a very good friend of mine. I’m very glad that we can reconnect. Mike, welcome to the show.
I’m glad to be here, Dan. It’s a pleasure.
For everyone who don’t know, Mike and I met at a three-day Robert Kiyosaki event. At the time, I was still building the company. I was becoming more successful but at the time, Mike was already very successful. Mike, at the time you were just planning to launch The Elevation Group, which was one of the most successful launches online with over $10 million in sales in one year. We know where you are now. Mike maybe take us a little bit back and say where you were and how did you get into what you do?
I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur probably by the time I was in high school waiting tables at the original Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Boerne, Texas. That was before it was bought by Brinker and turned into a chain. I realized how much it sucks to have to wait tables on the weekends when your friends are out having fun. The fact that somebody always had control over my schedule along with the amount of money that I could make did not sit well with me at all. That is what planted the seed to become an entrepreneur. I can remember getting home from work at midnight, 1:00 in the morning smelling like food and I would decompress. This is in high school at the time. I’m in my parents’ living room watching TV and what is on at midnight at 1:00 in the morning? Infomercials. Tony Robbins and Carleton Sheets and all of those guys would fuel my fire to follow that path even more so. That was in probably late ‘90s, early 2000 led to an interest in the network marketing industry. That was all that was available at the time if you were a broke kid in their late teens or early twenties to start a business at a reasonable financial clip. I got involved in that industry. It took me about five or six years to figure it out before I made any money. Then I discovered Dan Kennedy and direct response marketing and applied those skill sets to network marketing for the first time. Instead of going about the industry as it traditionally would have been through.It’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep. Click To Tweet
Which is starting with family and friends. Dragging them to meetings and all of that.
Friends and family or holding home meetings or hotel events, which I didn’t like any of that stuff. I learned how to start generating leads online. Google AdWords had just come out at that point. Email auto responders had just come out at that point. I taught myself how to write sales copy and essentially wrote a long form sales letter that sold the business and the products for me. I would generate leads on AdWords. I send them to this presentation which would generate interest or not and I would only talk to people who are essentially ready to sign up. That changed everything for me.
That was revolutionary. It was never been done before. It was a new concept.
Not to that degree and not online. There has been some offline stuff previously in the past, but I introduced that industry to the internet marketing world and married the two for the first time. From then, within eighteen months I went from waiting tables to making my first $1 million.
At the time you were about 27.
I started that progression probably at 25 learning that skill set and then by 27 I hit my first mill.
Is that also when you launched the Magnetic Sponsoring? That’s your first book.
That started as a training manual that I wrote for my team. It essentially taught attraction marketing and applied it to that world. How to you use direct response to essentially attract your prospects to you instead of chasing people down and cold-calling them. It went from a training manual into a book. That was my first info product that I ever created and sold and that took off.
Did you expect that it would sell that well?
I’d assume no. Within three months, I was selling a physical copy of it that I’d get made at Kinko’s for $3 apiece for $40 online on Google AdWords. I was making $50,000 to $60,000 a month from the sale of that book within a few months. At that point, I figured out what I’m good at here, which is direct response marketing and taking complex things like a business opportunity. Communicating them in a simple format that a lot of people can grasp and understand. It went from there. It turned into a publishing company for five years under the brand Magnetic Sponsoring with multiple products and courses. The business did about $25 million in revenue and then I moved on to Elevation after that.
That’s one thing that I resonate with you and why I have so much respect for your work. A lot of people in the education space or the information publishing space, you noticed the same thing, a lot of our friends that’s the identity. That’s all they do and then they stay there for many years in spite of the changes within the industry and things that are happening. They’re stuck. They always do events. They always sell information, but you did something different. It’s very difficult for anyone and they say, “I’ve got a business that’s produced tens of millions of dollars,” and to let that go and to transition into something else, I’m curious what inspired you to do that and what’s your thinking process?
You know after being in that industry for six, seven, eight years, I became the number one distributor in the primary business that I was building. I built a huge brand for myself through Magnetic Sponsoring. I sold millions of dollars’ worth of eBooks. After five or six, seven years of that, I didn’t have anything else to contribute. I felt like I’d said everything I needed to say. When people would ask me questions, “How do you build a business?” I’d either be like, “Go read the book, buy the product. Everything is there.” I’ve done it all. There were no additional challenges in that industry for me and I started to get bored. You’re never staying the same in business. You’re either growing or you’re fading, and I could see that that had started to happen to me in that regard. I lost my passion for that industry. I was like, “What’s my biggest problem now personally?”
It was money. Figuring out what to do with the money that I had made. Here I was a kid in his twenties making millions of dollars. I was blowing it on houses, cars, trips, and all kinds of fun, crazy stuff. Then I hit 30 and I was like, “I’m officially an adult now and I haven’t saved any of this money that I’ve made or invested. I need to stop wasting this opportunity and grow up here and learn how to invest it.” All of my businesses have always been built around a personal problem that I’ve been inspired to solve for myself. I figured, if I have this problem there’s probably a large number of people who have it as well. In the internet marketing world, the network marketing world, there’s never an end of people or information who are willing to teach you how to make money. There were very few people out there who were willing to teach you what to do with that money once you made it.
How to keep the money not make it multiply.
I wanted to figure that out and that’s when I had the idea for The Elevation Group. I was reading about finance and investing every single day. That was my biggest personal passion, trying to crack that code. I was not the expert in that industry, so it was a very different approach to the business because I’m no longer the guru. I’m the village idiot who doesn’t know anything about money or investing and I’m trying to figure this out. How in the world do you start a business around that? The logical conclusion was to essentially be like Oprah, be the host. Oprah’s unbelievably successful. All she does is sit and ask other people questions. I was like, “I’m going to start a private monthly membership site and the tagline is essentially learn how to invest like the rich.” The way the rich invest and manage their money is completely different than how the average middle-class person would. I was going to do an interview format. Once a month we’d find someone that I’m learning from or investing with. Maybe it’s in multifamily real estate, maybe it’s in precious metals, maybe it’s in fine art or maybe it’s an oil and gas. We’re going to interview that person on camera and we’re going to turn that into a monthly lesson. I’m going to document everything that I’m doing with my money. If I make an investment, I’m going to document that on the site and for better or worse we’re going to learn from it. If I do well, great. If I bomb and lose my money, then that’s an even more valuable lesson learned.So many people are willing to teach you how to make money, but only few are willing to teach you what to do with that money. Click To Tweet
I love it because the model is you share your journey. You document your journey and you’re going to be the guinea pig for the audience.
When I had this idea, the first thing I did is I went, bought and studied every other major financial newsletter product out there, Stansberry, Agora, Motley Fool, all of them. What I realized is that all of these guys have been doing the same thing for twenty to 30 years. They have a physical newsletter or its email but it’s all text-based and it’s all stock charts and stock picks. Boring technical stuff that is for their primary target audience, which is usually people in their 50s and 60s. I intentionally said, “I’m going to do the complete opposite of what they’re doing in every possible way. If they’re putting everything in writing, I’m going to do everything on video. If they’re using technical charts and technical analysis, I’m not going to use any charts or any analysis. I’m going to use layman’s term and I’m going to speak how I normally speak.” That was the approach from a look, a feel and a brand and we instantly stuck out, overnight.
A huge part of the success was the authenticity, the vulnerability, the transparency. In the sales webinar, the first thing I say is, “I’m not a financial expert. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to figure this out. If you want to follow along then let’s do this together,” essentially. We charge $97 a month or $597 a year with the thought that if anybody applied one of these lessons over twelve months especially through the resources and the Rolodex, they would be very handsomely rewarded for that price point. Within the first seven days, I just launched it to the list that I built in Magnetic. We did $3.2 million. We brought in 8,600 plus members in a week and it took on a life of its own from there.
In the first year, the list grew to almost 400,000 people if I’m correct. Almost $10 million in the first year.
We eventually had around 50,000 active members around the one-year mark when we had done about $10 million in revenue.
That’s grown significantly. I’m curious because people only look at and hear these numbers, I want to dissect what is the secret sauce from the Magnetic Sponsoring? It’s also what you teach in the program about building that list and from there how you leverage to the next venture. What do you think made that successful and how could our audience as an entrepreneur apply those lessons their business?
First and foremost is taking a long-term approach to your personal brand and your reputation. The only reason Elevation Group was as successful as it was right off the bat was because I had built up trust and rapport and a list and a customer base for five years previously through Magnetic. If I had done those people wrong or compromised myself in some way, then that wouldn’t have happened. Piece number one is treat your audience well. Be cool to them and never put money before your trust and your relationship with them. I don’t promote anything unless I personally, truly believe 100% of it and I’m a customer of it. For example, I did one affiliate promotion this year. For the entire year, I’ve promoted one product that was not my own. If I wanted, I could do it every single month and I could promote. It might work a few months but eventually people are going to feel like cattle essentially and that I’m using them to make money and that’s not going to work out in the long run.
With that being said, I did one single promotion. I sent four emails. It was for a cryptocurrency newsletter that I had been a customer of for probably nine months. I absolutely loved their research and it was the best that I found in that world. I had no idea if my audience was into crypto or not. I said, “This is a great publication. If you’re into this space or if you’re thinking about getting in it, at least acquire some of this knowledge which is produced by a very successful hedge fund manager. Consider reducing your stupid tax when it comes to this new space.” Four emails were sent, and I sold over $1.2 million to $1.3 million of that publication at $2,000 apiece and made around $600,000 in commissions, which is 100% net profit. That’s only possible because I have a great relationship with my audience and I haven’t been pushing stuff down their throat for the previous year. That’s one of the other big things for sure.
That’s a very big point because sometimes people put money first or they keep promoting all kinds of products because I’m on your list as well. With Mike, it’s always like your podcast, Self Made Man. It’s value. I rarely see any promotions. Even the content piece, even as little as the podcast notification, those emails are very well-written. The content is always awesome. It’s building that good wheel in trust so when you do offer something, people might be like, “Mike sent out four emails,” and he made $600,000. It’s not quite exactly like that. It’s because of all the little steps, all the relationships building, all these years.
That’s cashing in years of equity.
It’s not like four emails or easy money to $600,000. It’s not like that and I love what Mike said about it’s something that you love, something you subscribe to, something you use. You don’t even know. You say, “This is what I like. I benefit from this. It’s a very chill and cool approach. If you want to enjoy this, this is something to help you, check this out.” It wasn’t like a super hard push promo or anything like that.
Just being authentic. That’s it at the end of the day.
Talk to us about The Elevation Group. You launched that and it became very successful. After that, what happened?
After Elevation Group, we had a rough spell where one of the people we ended up promoting, ended up being a con artist. That threw a huge wrench into that business in a very unexpected way that consumed about two to three years of my life. By the time that was all done, and those guys went to jail, I was ready to move on to something else from stress and emotional baggage and all of that stuff that surrounded that. I essentially gave my half of the business to my partner at the time, Robert. He continued on with it for about a year before he sold the company. I was ready once again for another challenge at this point between magnetic and elevation. I’d been in the information publishing space for ten years. I’d made over $50 million in gross revenue and I was tired of it. I was tired of being the guy because it’s a great business to be in especially if you build it around something that you’re passionate about, but it’s a treadmill you can’t get off of. You can’t sell the business.
You’re the guru, you are the expert. People want to buy you.
I can give it to my business partner, Robert. He ended up selling it for pennies on the dollar essentially. Tony Robbins can never sell his company.
I guess without Tony, there will be no Unleash the Power Within.The way the rich invest and manage their money is completely different than how the average middle class person would. Click To Tweet
People think you’re in the publishing business but you’re not. You’re in the leadership business and you can’t sell a company like that. Once again, it’s a treadmill you cannot get off of and I was tired of it. I wanted to do something different. I was inspired by Peter Diamandis’ work around all of the exponential technologies that have started to come online over the last ten to twelve years. The decentralization of so many different industries and I live right across from the corporate headquarters of Whole Foods here in Austin. Every single day, I’m at Whole Foods walking through the produce section, behind groceries. I thought it was absolutely horrific that you essentially have to be wealthy in America in order to eat food that is not covered in poison. That’s the most ridiculous thing ever.
For me, I saw a convergence of technologies and timing coming into play in the agricultural industry where the technologies essentially coming online to allow the automation of farming, specifically through hydroponic format. People are into health and fitness more than ever. They’re into detoxing more than ever. They want to buy clean organic food but it’s expensive. How can we decentralize the agricultural industry was the question that I started to ask myself and how do you reduce food cost by 80% to 90%? The only way to do that is to essentially decentralize it like Airbnb did for the hotel industry, Uber did for the taxi industry, 99Designs did for design worker or Odesk did for outsourcing tech work. You get rid of all of the intermediate infrastructure.
If you want to reduce food cost by 80% to 90%, it’s easy. You get rid of the farm, you get rid of the tractors, you get rid of the farmers, you get rid of the eighteen-wheelers, you get rid of the processing plants and you get rid of the grocery stores. At the end of the day, it was like we have to start and end the entire growing process in somebody’s home. If we can decentralize it and put three-square feet of organic farm in everybody’s house, we don’t need these fields upon fields of farmland that are being polluted on a daily basis. I had no idea how to grow plants. I have never had a garden. I didn’t know anything about hydroponics. I didn’t know anything about building a technology platform. I started this journey by buying five books on hydroponics off of Amazon and by going to Odesk.
I had a vision in my head for what I thought the product could look like and I picked up a picture of a nice kitchen off of iStock photo or whatever. I went to hire the designer on Odesk and I said, “Put this Voss water bottle here in this kitchen setting. Take off the logo, fill the middle with plants and put this little logo on it.” That gave me essentially a visual aid to then go jump onto Google. I started doing Google searches for industrial design companies. I’d never talked to an industrial design company. I didn’t know what to ask or who to ask for. I started cold-calling them and I said, “I’ve got this idea. Can I email it to one of your account reps and go from there?”
That little aid gave me a foot in the door in a lot of these companies who thought it was a great idea. I eventually hired a company out of Silicon Valley. One of the top three industrial design firms in the country who has done a lot of cool, high-tech products and for me, I wanted to build something that looked like a modern piece of art. If Apple was going to design an automated farm for your living room or your kitchen, what would it look like? This company specialized in creating tech products with that look and feel. That started that two to three-year long process. We were all figuring this out as we went. I was sketching things in a notebook. Drawing ideas, trying to figure out how can you create a unit that can grow enough food to meet all of your produce needs or greens needs on a monthly basis for at least two people? How do you design a system that can have that growth volume and plant volume within a given footprint, space or size constraint based on the fact that it has to fit through a standard sized door frame?
That was our primary size constraint. No matter where this thing goes, it has to fit through the smallest standard sized door frame there or else someone is not going to be able to get in their house. It’s going to be a disaster. That gave us our basic size constraint. Then we played with all kinds of geometry and angles based the amount of space we would need for the plants, the amount of space we would need for lighting, the angles on the lighting and all of that crazy stuff. Eventually, over the course of a year and a half, we put together a working prototype, which I still have a few feet away from here in my living room. That was an interesting process. I like to tell people that you’re going to pay your stupid tax one way or another when you get into anything new. Option A is you’re either going to pay for your stupid tax in the form of education, you’re going to pay money for courses, for consulting, for help and expertise or you’re going to pay in the form of mistakes because you didn’t go get those things.
For me, we had a great design team but no one on their team had ever worked with hydroponics or growing plants either. We were missing one key skill set, which was the actual horticulture side or agricultural side and that was a huge mistake. We had to go back, redesign things and shift things. At the end of the day, I ended up putting in at least $1 million personally to get that prototype made. Then about two years in, I got to a point where I was like, “This is exhausting.” To make $1 million in cash, if you’ve got a profitable business, let’s say that’s 20% to 30% profitable which is a very high profit margin for the average business, you’ll typically only find in internet info publishing. You’re still looking to get $1 million in cashflow. You’re looking at a business that has grossed 4% to 5% in sales to end up with a million in profit that you can then go put into another project. That’s a lot of money and I was like, “This has been a year and a half, two years, I’m a $1 million into this. How much more is this going to take to get to production ready? We’ve got to go through tooling,” which I didn’t know about when I first started this thing. We’ve got to go through safety testing and we’ve got to design the boxes. We’ve got to build the website, the shopping cart, the customer service team and at this point, I still don’t have a single employee. I have the design firm that I’ve outsourced this to. They came back to me and they were like, “Probably you’ve got another $2.5 million.”
It’s rough figures.
When I first started this, I thought the estimate was $500,000. I’m looking at $3.5 mill at best estimate with a mill already in. That left me with one option, which was to go raise money and did I want to do that? I don’t know, not really. At the same time, a primary competitor in the space, they’re called Click & Grow, had been around seven years but they only had a little countertop system that grew three plants. It grew basil and mint. I was like, “That’s cool but that doesn’t solve the problem. It’s not putting food on people’s plates at a reduced cost at scale.” They were backed by Y Combinator, seven years old that had a staff of twenty people. What I didn’t know is that they’d been working on for the last two years on much bigger systems.
Right around that time when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with EverGrow, which is the name of the product. These guys come out with three new products in the span of three months. A system that grows nine plants, 35 plants and 51 plants. They have a better business model. They sell little seed cups like Keurig coffee cups, which is great from a renewable revenue standpoint. They didn’t need to have all of the sensors and tech that we put in our systems because of that either. Their 35 plants system compared to my plants system would retail for $1,000 and mine would have to retail for $3,000. I’ve got this competitor who’s got $20 million to $30 million in funding and a team and a seven-year head start has now instantly come out with a much more competitive-priced product.
It didn’t look as good as EverGrow, but they beat us in every other category. I was like, “I can’t go raise money in good faith from people I care about knowing that we’re going to be second best in the market at this point.” I was like, “What do I do?” I ended up calling the founder of Click & Grow, having a few conversations with him and I end up investing six figures into them during one of their bridge rounds that they were raising. At that point, I pulled the plug on EverGrow. I wrote off my $1 million to loss, invested in Click & Grow and my hope and expectation are in five to seven years when they have an exit, I’ll make my $1 million back. It was a very interesting project, one I’m super proud of because we did it. I am very proud that I went in with this massive game-changing idea in an industry that I’ve never been a part of. From the ground up, took it from an idea to a living, working device that’s in my house right now. In that aspect, it was cool, at the same time I’d love to have my $1 million back.
It’s something I had to do because I would have spent the rest of my life wondering and regretting if I had not. I pulled the plug on that about nine months ago. You can go to EverGrow.com and I put up a whole video on the entire story. You can see the system. It’s a good lesson learned for entrepreneurs who are afraid of failing or whatever it may be. For me, instead of putting up a victory for sale video for the system, I’m putting up a, “I struck out,” deal. If you look at the comments below it, you’ll find that all it did was increase the emotional equity that I have with my audience. I’m taking them through my journey for better or worse, being transparent and authentic with them. They’re unbelievably grateful that I’m willing to do that and it builds an even stronger bond. There’s a lot of positive and upside that you can take advantage of if you’re willing to be authentic.If all you do is put a plan in place, then you’ll definitely succeed. Click To Tweet
I’m curious about your perspective. Here’s what I’ve learned. Maybe you and I think alike and because you agree with this as well. From the information publishing business, what I’ve learned is it’s a great cash business because the margin is good. You can make a lot of money with relatively very little cost and you can scale that pretty quickly. We went through the same thing, the car, the house and all that stuff. You blew the money. Now, you know I’ve got to save it. It’s one thing to make it, it’s a whole other thing to keep it. Then I deducted it from the profit of putting it into other real businesses. It has nothing to do with me. It’s in jewelry, it’s real estate, it’s those more tangible assets. I’m fortunate to do that. I figured that for me, both worlds that I know the information side, the personal branding side, that’s good. It’s almost like I look at it not as a business, I look at it as a skill. You can speak, you can sell, that’s a skill that we have that brings an income, but when you convert that into tangible assets or build net worth, what’s your take on that? I also want to have you talk a little about Tiger 21 as well.
The ability to make money on demand is a skill set. It’s a skill set that’s a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing that you can do that but in my experience, it’s been a curse because you don’t necessarily have the same amount of respect for money that you would otherwise. You’re like, “I’ll put $500,000 into this or I’ll go buy that or whatever it may be,” because I know if I need money, I can go make more. That will work for a little while but as you start to get older, it gets tiring to have to do that or to put yourself in positions where you weren’t as responsible with your money as you should have been or conservative. For me, that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn as I’ve gotten older, which is the fact that it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep. For those of you who are getting started, maybe you’re making your first $1 million this year. All I can suggest is to put a plan in place. A financial plan in place for your life when it comes to saving, investing, spending and a charitable giving side to it. If all you’ll do is put a plan in place, you’ll succeed. If you follow the plan, you will absolutely succeed. If you don’t put a plan in place, you’ll spend the money and that will lead to a less desirable result so that’s the biggie.
Sometimes entrepreneurs that we think although you might have the phenomenal year of that product or that tipping point where, “This is awesome.” Sometimes entrepreneurs are like, “This is what I’ve learned, I thought before it’s all because of me, my ability, my skill, my vision and my team that I’m able to pull this off.” As I get older, the whole factor of it is I’m like, “That maybe is 20%. A lot of that is timing, a lot of that is marketplace. A lot of that is not just because of my skill and ability.” It is a factor. We don’t always have those wins and there are ups and downs and that’s one thing that why I have so much respect. You share the good, the bad and the ugly side of the business. It’s not always, “We all win all the time,” it doesn’t always happen. What about your involvement with Tiger 21? For our audience who don’t know what Tiger 21 is, give them an overview and why is it such a powerful social networking group?
Tiger 21 is a social group or a mastermind group for essentially high net worth individuals. They’ve had their exit, they’ve made their money and they’re trying to figure out how to invest it wisely. What to do with it from a legacy perspective whether it’s family planning, asset protection, philanthropy, whatever it may be. Robert and I were the founding members of The Austin Chapter years ago and The Austin Chapter is a little bit different. In most Tiger 21 groups, you’re going to find the average age of the members is in their 50s or 60s. In Austin, the average age of our members is 40s or 50s. It’s definitely on the younger side. All of us are still active building businesses. We’re all founders and we’re in our prime revenue-generating years, but at the end of the day the value that I get out of it is deal flow.
From an investment perspective, we get pitched every single monthly meeting by at least one or two businesses that have been vetted but by Tiger. It could be in all kinds of industries, real estate, oil and gas, tech, pharmaceutical. Just sitting through dozens of those pitches, I’ve learned a ton. Being the youngest member in our chapter and the least successful by a long way, the biggest value I get out of it personally is that I’m surrounded by individuals who are more successful than me and that’s a rare opportunity. If I’m in my circle, I’m usually one of the most successful people and there’s not a lot of value in that. It might feel good but you’re not going to grow from it or learn anything from that. For me, I like being the dumbest guy in the room for once but that’s what Tiger’s about.
To give our audience an idea, what’s the criteria to be a member? I know that Tiger at this point is letting in 500 members who they manage over $50 million in personal assets or something like that.
It’s one of the most concentrated groups wealth-wise in the world.
It’s very private.
The minimum criteria to be considered for membership is at least $10 million in net worth and other than that, you would go potentially get a chance to sit in at one of your local chapters’ meetings and you’re going to be vetted by the group. They’re either going to say, “Yes, we like John or No, we don’t,” from a personality fit perspective. The group gets close because you find out everything about everybody’s stuff. You go through one member’s financials where everybody gets a binder everything about your financials on a monthly basis. You do that once a year as an individual, but you’re doing that if there are twelve members in that group. Every single month you’re doing essentially a portfolio defense. That gives everybody else in the group the chance to say, “You’re at risk here. There’s an opportunity for you here,” and get a group mind think if you will around somebody’s life. Things get personal and you have to fit in to your group because you become close.
It’s a super high-level mastermind group. Not just you get ideas but you look at their portfolios and their financials. That gets very personal.
You get very close to the guys. You talk about the problems people have in their marriage or their family or things like that. You start taking trips together and it becomes a cool group.
The membership fee is how much?Build something that makes an impact and that raises the bar versus everything else that’s already out there. Click To Tweet
I believe it’s $30,000 or $35,000 a year. At least it was when I joined. If that’s on the high-end, then it’s not something you should be considering. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re in the building phase right now, you are much better served if you join EO than Tiger. You’re going to get the most value from Tiger if you’ve had an exit, you’ve sold your business or you’ve got at least $10 million laying around that you’re looking to protect or to invest or to diversify or whatever it may be. Then you’ll get a lot of value from it. If not, EO is a better choice.
Then also they talk about the age group. What about businesses in terms of Tiger 21, are they mostly in financial or all kinds?
They are on everything. A lot of it depends on the location. In the New York group, you’re going to find a lot of guys in the financial sector. Here in Austin, it’s very diverse. We’ve got people from almost every industry.
Now, we have a pretty good picture of your career. I’m curious if you could time travel back to one of your early startup days and have a ten-minute conversation with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with intentions of saving yourself mistakes, headaches. What would you tell yourself?
I wouldn’t pursue building businesses that had an exit opportunity first if I could go back. I would have focused on that again because if you’re going to spend five, six or seven years of your life building something. It’s nice if you’re building an asset that can essentially be sold and you can retire off of that if you wanted to. The companies that I built previously haven’t had that opportunity, which was something I would change if I could go back and do that again. Then have a plan when it comes to your finances. What you’re going to do with the money once you start to make it because again without that plan, you’re going to find ways to get rid of it very quickly. Those would be the two biggies for me.
Are you still active in the whole internet marketing space? I know you do a little bit of the coaching, little bit of mentoring through your Mike Dillard mentoring. I don’t know that you’re still active in that. I guess for someone who wants to learn from you, they can go to your podcast but what are some of the other ways that they could do that?
MikeDillard.com is where I’ve got everything. EverGrow is on there, Self Made Man is on there. We’ve been working behind the scenes on turning Self Made Man. After EverGrow, Self-Made Man became my primary project. How I can turn Self Made Man into a business that I can sell it at some point in the future is the goal for me. We’ve been working behind the scenes on turning it into that, building the tech infrastructure to allow that to become essentially its own brand that I’m not a part of. I’ll host the podcast but that will essentially be it. We’ll be launching that here. I can’t go into too much detail because I haven’t told anyone anything about it yet. We’re getting close but the whole goal is to essentially build a big platform that serves entrepreneurs and that becomes a competitor to Entrepreneur.com or any of those other Success.com publications. We’re working on that every single day and have been for the past year and looking forward to giving birth.
Mike, I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but it feels to me there’s a term called disruptor. It feels to me that every industry you get into, the home business industry, the investment world, that’s what you do. You see a certain way of things being done like, “I can change that up.”
It doesn’t interest me to copy what other people are doing constantly. That works well for the information publishing space because it’s a very simple business. You don’t necessarily want to do anything disruptive. The money that those businesses have brought in have allowed me to take some much bigger chances to do something that is much more unique and has an opportunity to disrupt things. It’s nice when you can build something that makes an impact and that raises the bar versus everything else that’s out there.
Mike, thank you so much for inspiring us with your story and all the battlefield, the lessons you’ve learned and sharing your thoughts and ideas. We love you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Dan, I’m happy to support you. Thanks for what you’re doing and thanks for having me on. It’s good to hear from you again.
- The Elevation Group
- Magnetic Sponsoring
- Magnetic Sponsoring
- Self Made Man
- Click & Grow
- Tiger 21
About Mike Dillard
Mike Dillard is an entrepreneur in Austin Texas. He built his first million-dollar business by the age of 27, teaching small business owners how to effectively market their products and services online using “attraction-marketing” strategies.
Combined, his businesses have produced more than $60 Million in revenue without outside funding.
In 2015 he launched the SelfMadeMan.com podcast to provide leadership and mentors to entrepreneurs. The show hit #1 on iTunes within 24 hours, and guests have included Tony Robbins, Daymond John, Kevin Harrington, Gene Simmons, Chris Sacca, and Mike Rowe.
He spends his free time pursuing his passion for auto racing, competing in the Baja 1000, Mint 400, PCA, and Pirelli World Challenge.
More information about his current projects can be found at www.MikeDillard.com