Business and cancer recovery AMA – ask me anything!

As promised, I figured I’d do a little bit of an AMA video which means ask me anything.

I don’t want the whole channel and all of my content to be about having cancer but it has impacted the business in a pretty significant way.

For example, I’m going to do this video and we’re going to try out Clarence as our editor which I’m very excited about, but it also means at the moment, I’m just not able to produce the videos that I was producing.

But then, well, we’ll talk about this in a bit. Do I need to produce that level of videos?

I put a post out asking people to send me some questions. I’ve been getting quite a lot of questions via email, social media messages like forums so I figured I’d try and round them up and we’re just going to go through them.

If you do have any more questions by all means, just put them in the comments below and we’ll get around to it.


Lawrence asks, “How do you readjust your focus when the shit really hits the fan? How do you tackle the crisis, but are still able to recognize the need to, as you’ve done, keep on with something like your fitness”

Now, this is an interesting one because it was a big crisis that I had when I was sat there in the ward and they were like, “Ah, yeah, we need to operate on your kidneys a bunch of times.”

For a quick update, I need to have two more operations on my kidneys. They think maybe one, probably two.

It looks like the cancer’s all gone which is great, but I still need to have a round of chemotherapy. I didn’t know this, but chemotherapy massively affects your kidneys.

They’re going to hold off on the chemo and it would only be one round, just top it off but they think that it’s pretty much gone.

How do you focus when you’re having all this stuff going on? It was really a question of what’s the ultimate huge priority. What overrides everything? What’s the most important thing and the most important thing is family.

My number one concern was that I wouldn’t be able to support Liv.

I was like, how’s the business going to do? What’s going to happen? How does that work when it comes to, Liv and I have a mortgage, she has a job, life is expensive. We’ve only got one car. That kind of works out. My number one priority was that.

Then I started thinking back on how could I continue to run the business from my bed. I went extreme and I was like, how could I run a business for an hour a week? If I could only muster the strength for one hour’s worth of work a week, how would I run that business?

Luckily, when you’re on a ward, you have a lot of time to think. I did just think about how am I going to run a business for one hour a week.

On the fitness side, I think I went too heavy into it. I think I was a little bit in denial and was like, I can pretty much go back to doing what I was doing and I couldn’t.

I could barely walk. I could barely move. My core, my stomach had taken such a huge battering that it was silly of me to think that I would be able to kind of get back to where I was.

I know that movement is extremely important. A lot of people try to get better after being ill.

I was in a really good position where I was in pretty good shape before getting ill and hopefully that’ll speed up the recovery. I think we are seeing evidence of it speeding up the recovery.

The kind of mindset towards what do I prioritize, it came back to well, what’s number one what’s most important and most important was family. I was just really more concerned about making sure I could help them and making sure I could work with them.

The business was a big one worry as well cause we’ve got a team. We’ve got people we pay and people we employ. I wanted to make sure that everyone could continue to have a job.

My priorities weren’t necessarily about myself as I think most people find in these situations. They think, what do I need to do for other people?

Luckily everyone else kind of rallied around me and we’ve begun pulling together. I think that they’ve done an outstanding job. I hope that answers that question.


Beth Livingston asks, “How has Liv handling your illness? Is she doing okay?”

Liv’s doing well. I think it was a huge shock for her. Obviously, it was a huge shock for my mom as well.

They were both pretty upset about it, but they’re both strong, pragmatic, thoughtful people. They did a little bit of the “I won’t show Mike how worried I am”. Like, I could see that and so they had their own little mini support networks around them.

She’s good. She is keeping me on the straight and narrow and making sure that I don’t do too much and helping me with the things that I do want to do.

She’s been outstanding. She’s good.

I think it’s easier in a way when you’re the person going through it. Cause I think your family, you kind of just accept like, well, this is what I’ve got to do. Where’s your family and your friends, they’re the ones who have to put up with the consequences. I think so.

Yeah. But she’s good. Yeah. She’s all right. Thank you. Cheers, Beth.


Alanah, my managing director asks, “How has the setback changed your mindset moving forward? Has it shifted your focus and purpose? What did you miss about work?”

What I missed about work was creating content and talking to my team and other funnel builders. I love that. I love the fact that every day I get to just talk to people who I love working with and solving their problems and helping them.

I really miss talking to my team. They’re such a smart group of people.

I was just so far. All the drugs and stuff meant I couldn’t even focus. I couldn’t even catch up on things that I wanted to catch up on.

How has the setback changed my mindset moving forward? In a funny way, I don’t think it has.

I’m sure it has. I’m sure I’ll discover longer-term how it has, but I am quite a stoic person.

I think I’m quite pragmatic. I thought, well, if this is the hand I’ve been dealt, I can only affect what I do and how I deal with it.

What it has done has made me think, “Actually, fuck, I can make a business work without me at the center of it.”

Previously, a lot of my work has been me creating the content, doing the coaching, creating the products.

Basically, I texted my team and was like, “Hey guys, just to let you know, I’ve got cancer and I’ve got a ruptured kidney, so I’m going to be out of action for a little bit.”

Obviously, they were like, “That’s awful.” Then, they were like, “Okay, fine.” Then, they went off and did the coaching calls and created products, did the videos and stuff.

I was like, “Oh, maybe they don’t need me. Maybe I’ve made myself redundant from my own business.”

What that did was show me, actually, we do have the capability to create a business that doesn’t rely on me being at the center of it.

That was a huge, huge shift and I was like, maybe it’s my own self-limiting beliefs that have said to me that I have to be at the center of it and I have to be in control of everything because actually, we found that Alanah who asks the question is capable of running the business day-to-day. Kate’s capable of organizing and running coaching calls.

It’s not that I didn’t think they were. There’s a little part of you that thinks, but if they are capable of doing it, what does that mean for you? For a couple of weeks, I had a real sort of identity crisis as to being like, well, what do I do now?

Another interesting point, I’m trying to speak empirically, a lot of my personality and online persona and stuff is built around doing stuff, working hard, being focused, being productive, moving, making difficult choices, this kind of stuff and that’s taken away from you immediately.

I was like I don’t have anything else to offer. That was my identity and it was taken away from me.

As dumb as it sounds, that was a huge worry for me. I was like, “Well, what are people gonna know me for if they don’t know me for working hard?”

That kind of made me reflect and think, well, actually, maybe that’s not what you should be known for.

Alanah also asks, “Also being self-employed you don’t have much to fall back on other than those around you. Are there other safety nets you would put in place for future situations? I’m thinking, taking time off because you want to don’t do this again.”

Yeah. I don’t plan on getting super sick ever again, but you never know, it happens.

Legally speaking, technically, I’m not self-employed. I have a salary with the limited company that I work for.

That’s always been an interesting distinction for me because technically speaking, legally speaking, I’m not self-employed, but the reality is yet, I always joke that as an entrepreneur, I can choose to not earn money anytime I want.

Of course, you do have safety nets when you’re employed. I think even after only a few months, your employer can offer you sick pay and things like this.

You take that risk though, as a business owner. You take the risk that you are going to create something ultimately bigger and better and more, not just more money, but it’s closer to what you want than a salary job or a working job.

But in terms of safety nets, the three big things that I have taken away from this is having, this going to sound like a pitch and I apologize, having scalable products that can be sold without you.

It’s those that take time to produce and you have to sell a great volume typically, but having a couple of courses or a course that you can sell for one or $2,000 means that you can just focus on selling at scale. That can take a huge chunk of the revenue that you could potentially lose out on.

Having scalable products, things like recurring revenue products and affiliate products. We’ve really heavily invested in those.

It’s not necessarily a case of are there like savings and stuff because you could have savings and eat into them. We’ve got family members who have had savings and they’ve just disappeared for one reason or another.

Actually making sure that you can continue to generate income without you being there, you have to start thinking that way. That to me is the number one thing I’ve taken away from this.

That’s probably the kind of crusade that I’m going to go forward with is trying to help people create income streams that don’t rely on them and don’t need them to be there.

I don’t believe in passive income at all. But I do believe in scalable income and that can make a massive difference.


Michael McGinty asks, Hey, Michael, how are you doing? Oh, who also had it’s a crazy time recently as well so we had a lot in common about this.

Hey Michael, how prepared were you for this unexpected enforced time away from your business?

When you get back to work, what things will you put in place in order to be prepared if a lightning strikes twice? It never does.

Again. Thank you. And lastly, now that you’ve had to take time out and let your team run the business, do you see an opportunity for you to work fewer hours and delegate more when you get back?

What is going to be different for Mike Killen and what’s going to be different for Sell Your Service?

May well have gotten an insight into what it would be like to be you at 60 and looking to slow down or reduce your hours. Great opportunity to make plans.

Who was it who said ask a sick man what he wants and there’s just one thing? Ask a healthy man what he wants and the list usually goes on for a long time.

Hard to beat good health. You will appreciate more when you get back to it. Hopefully, that’ll be soon.

Yeah. Appreciate your thoughts there, Michael, and you’re right. I had plans to take September off.

I love the Paralympics. I love the idea that someone can be differently-abled and still absolutely dominate an athletics or sports. The focus and the commitment there’s something about the paralytics that I absolutely adore.

I want to take September off. The plan was to put in place a trial for us to do that in September. Essentially doing what I’m doing now but in September, have the content sorted, have some coaching sorted.

With the big shift, I realized is twofold. First of all, if you have a very clear objective, in our case, help funnel builders make more sales.

Actually, the core purpose of the business is to increase the confidence of all entrepreneurs, but we focus specifically on sales training for funnel builders and the core kind of mission that the team had was to make sure Mike has time off to recover.

That was the core mission. That was the goal, right? That’s the objective that they’ve got. As soon as they had a clear objective, everything else kind of took place, everything else kind of fell into place.

The second thing was I have hired the right people. Frankly, I’ve found some real duds in the past, but I’m happy to say that the team I have around me at the moment, it’s just world-class outstanding.

They work hard. They’re intelligent. They communicate with each other.

There was a bit of a case because they knew they couldn’t get in contact with me. Well, they could, but they would be waiting a long time and I couldn’t really do anything about it. Anyway, they just kind of got on with it and did it themselves.

There was a funny thing in the future then why can’t we just do this going forward? Basically, this has been a test bed for how I want the business to run moving forward. It’s not even just a case of me taking time off. This has been an experiment in how do we get the business to run more effectively.

We have seen time and again, the more we remove me, Michael, from the business, the better the business runs. A Sell Your Service without Michael Killen could be the best Sell Your Service out there.

We want to find out what my role is, and we believe it’s partnerships which is why I think my new title or role would be CPO or Chief Partnership Officer.

Alanah is the managing director, would run the day-to-day. Clarence’s our online specialists are the cogs of the business and a lot of the content as well. Then, Kate has come on board as a head coach working not full-time, because we don’t have that many people, but being able to manage that community.

There’s a huge amount that the team are bringing to the table because they had a really clear objective. Because I trusted them and I’ve hired the right people, I said, “You don’t have a choice. I need you to kind of take care of this.”

Weirdly I think we’ve actually found that this could be the best thing that’s ever happened to the business. I am seeing this as a huge opportunity.

If have you ever see the business as a massive success? All you have to think is that’s a good thing that Mike caught testicular cancer.

Colleen Gratzer. Thank you so much for the board game, by the way, Colleen, Tiny Epic Galaxies. I absolutely love it.

I’ve been playing it solo lots and with Liv as well and a few of the friends. I love it. I appreciate that.


Did you have disability insurance in place to help with these kinds of situations? The short answer is no.


The question that Colleen asked was also followed up by Christina Romero. She also asked a great question, I’m curious about the difference between US and UK.

There are a few ways to answer this. First of all, we don’t need insurance to get any kind of healthcare. I just rocked up to the NHS and they just take care of everything. All my chemotherapy, all my drugs.

In the UK, we do have to pay for like prescription drugs. But even then, because I have cancer now, technically I’m disabled, which is insane. So, I get my prescriptions for free or free for the next five years or something.

That side of it was taken care of. The health care side. You could earn zero money and get the best healthcare in the UK that you could possibly get. Based on the NHS, you don’t have to pay a cent.

In terms of revenue. We didn’t really see a huge dip. If anything, I was kind of like, well, this is a chance and opportunity for us to figure out a way for me to continue to generate revenue without having to be in the business.

There are insurance packages available. It’s based on your salary.

My salary is very low. I think it’s like the minimum. No, it’s at the maximum tax threshold, but the majority of the money I take out of the businesses is dividends or profits from the company. We do have that available. I didn’t have it for my situation, but in some respects, I didn’t really need it.

Also, we don’t have huge outgoing, so it wasn’t really that big a deal. I hope that answers that question.


Kate Townley Smith. Our head coach asks, 📍 how are you working to stay positive, upbeat through the pain of physical therapy and recovery, I’ve been very impressed with your videos and ability to have such high energy.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I am not high energy and positive and upbeat all the time. Liv has had to do a lot of work with me in terms of me being able to vent my frustration.

First of all, above all else, I know that at the highest possible level, this is an opportunity. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by the team and the family and the friends and my loved ones who are able to support me through this.

But my frustrations were born from the fact that I was in good shape, and within the space of 24 hours, all of a sudden I could barely walk. It was really funny being on the ward cause I was on the ward with some much older people and they were able to walk up and down and they were like, what’s this fucking kid doing in bed? He just seems to just lay there all day. And when I tried to go to the loo, I was like hobbling and I’ve had to have a walking stick. So that was a big shock.

And then, as I mentioned earlier, the second big shock was my identity was taken away. It’s easy to work hard and frankly, film yourself working hard and talking about that stuff. And that becomes what you’re known for. But when you’re not able to do that anymore, you then think what am I known for? So there’s been some really interesting introspective things that I’ve had to do to think about who am I? Like what’s the role I play within the business and things like that.

Physical therapy has been tough again because I’m just so weak. I’ve gone from doing whatever I was doing to barely being able to lift and even not allowed to be able to lift things. My core is super weak. Breathing because you breathe through your diaphragm, you can even see I’m slumping a little bit in the seat.

So there’s a long process. A few people have called it, lovely Imogen Allen called them little beetle steps, which I completely agree with. I think they are little beetle steps, but then you look at what beetles can produce over a long period of time. And hopefully that’s what I’ll get back to.

You have to also remember that YouTube and Facebook and stuff is curated. It’s a highlights reel. It’s not reflective of real life.

So any of the material I’ve put out has absolutely been my best of moments. And I’ve put myself in the mindset to do that. Recording this video will knacker me for the rest of the day.

But above all else, I think it’s a choice. I think we decide to interact or be how we want to be. We decide how we want it, how we want to act.

And there’s an interesting dynamic about, Is it victim perpetrator and savior or something. And those that three like relationships dynamics, and if anything, I’m on the savior side, which is not healthy.

So yeah, I think it’s choice. And I think you just decide to do it. It’s as simple as that. Yeah. I hope that answers the question.


Boluwatife Idowu asks, If you had to start your funnel business all over again, what would you do right? First of all, I would choose a niche.

The second thing is I would set my price for 25K and I wouldn’t do anything lower than that. I would only do work for 25 grand plus, and I would just look for four projects a year.

I spent way too long, doing low quality work for kind of anyone and everyone. But that’s the thing I would do. I would say we’re only going to build funnels for online summits, something like that.

We would just go and do that. I would just smash that out nonstop and create a load of content around that.

I would also hire people as quickly as I could, or at least develop partnerships whereby if I had work come in, I would be able to pass work over to someone so that I wasn’t having to do the delivery work as well.


Christopher Woods asked, “Firstly, I want to say that I hope you’re doing well and I’m sending positive vibes your way!

I will take them. Thank you so much.

“What’s your income goal for 2021?”

Our income goal originally was I think 150,000 pounds. It might still be around that, but because of this, it might have shifted slightly. I think that’s what we’re going to try and aim for still is 150K.

Everyone knows that 2020 has been a crazy time for people. So yeah, that’s the goal. Having said that our biggest goal is actually to make more profit.

If we kept the same revenue, but we had high-profit levels, that would actually be what we would really want to aim for.

At least that’s certainly what Alanah’s aiming for. My job is, “Yes, let’s go for 150 grand. See if we can do that this year.”

That was the AMA. Thank you so much for your time, guys. I hope that was useful.

Let me know if you do have any more questions down below. There are a few of the things like, are you worried about testosterone levels or the ability to have kids?

As far as I can tell my testosterone levels are still the same. It’s an interesting one because I did have this from a lot of guys who reached out to me. Are you worried about testosterone?

If your testosterone drops so as to not put too fine a point on it, an orchidectomy is they remove one of the testes. I’ve had one taken away, which only leaves me with the two now. It’s a joke.

Typically your testosterone levels stay the same. Your ability to have kids stays the same. It’s actually the chemotherapy that can drop them both, which is interesting.

But interestingly, most people already assume that they have high testosterone. I got this question from a few people and I was like what are you doing with your testosterone now? Like I’ve seen your lifestyle, I’ve seen your diet and frankly, I’ve seen the shape you’re in.

I don’t think you’re doing anything with the testosterone you have now so why would you be worried about losing testosterone? Because you’re not using what you’ve got now.

Also, it doesn’t matter. Some of the top athletes in the world have low testosterone. Signified by things like a lack of body hair.

But they are still huge or muscular or fit or extremely healthy. The truth is it actually doesn’t affect your life that much and it looks like as far as I can tell my ability to potentially have children if we wish to do that in the future hasn’t been affected.

Nothing really seems to feel different. I can’t really tell the difference but that was a really common question that came up as well.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.