How I worked for 3 months and sold $100K of courses/consulting with email automation

Today, I want to do something slightly different.

I basically want to go over the marketing and sales strategy that I used to be able to earn a hundred thousand dollars in three months.

More like a hundred thousand pounds in three months. It’s slightly more than that.

This, for some of you will be like, that’s not a lot of money. I agree 100%. But the interesting part that I want you to take away is how I basically only worked three months.

This gets more specific out of the whole of 2021. I worked from February through to April. We took January off. Then, I didn’t work again until basically December of 2021.

Most of you all know this, but in April I was diagnosed with cancer and a subsequent problem with that meant that I had kidney surgery as well.

I basically went into hospital while my kidney was rupturing and they were like, “Hey, Mr. Killen, thanks so much for coming in. By the way, you’ve also got cancer.”, as my kidney was exploding.

I was like, “All right. Okay, great.”

The difficult part is that even if I wanted to work, I couldn’t have. The amount of drugs that I was on like painkillers and the number of surgeries I had.

My abdomen is now covered in scars from having full rounds of surgery.

I then had chemotherapy and I am extremely grateful in a funny way to have gone through all of that because it showed me the value of things that really matter.

I’m also extremely grateful to everyone who is watching this, who knew me back then last year and a few months ago and supported me and sent me kind messages and just was there for me.

So, overall I am extremely lucky.

It begs the question and this is the number one thing that I think people ask me when I tell them this is, “Well as a business owner, were you not worried about losing revenue?”

Yes, my biggest concern as I was laid there in the hospital ward with the bed with IV drips coming out of my arm was, “How am I going to pay the bills?”

How am I going to pay my staff?

How am I going to pay my business overheads?

How am I going to keep paying the mortgage?

None of this stuff goes away.

I was like, “Well, in that case, we need to put in plan a place so that the business continues to earn money even though I’m nowhere near it.”

The best leaders in the world have a really funny way of looking at things.

Jim Collins talks about this in his book Good to Great.

There are a few other books that talk about this principle. How anyone who is successful will gladly attribute everything they’ve done to luck. Then when they’ve made a bad mistake, they’ll look inwards and say, “What did I do wrong? How did I lead my team wrong?”

Lousy leaders will say, “Every decision I made is great. That’s why we’ve had good results.”

Whenever anything bad happens, they’ll look to the external market or to their team and go, “That’s because other people made mistakes.”

I can, without question wholeheartedly say that my ability to earn money while I was taking nine months off was exclusively down to my team.

I have been, and still am extremely lucky with the people that I have hired, with the people that want to work with me, with the customers that I have with you guys, my audience.

I have won the lottery when it comes to my working situation.

I have a wife who was like, “You absolutely should not work.”

She was glad to be able to do whatever we need to do. She took time off work to look after me. She went through some shit the day before I was going in for chemotherapy with her job.

This is a really important point. My ability to earn through this is luck.

Any time, anything would have gone wrong. If I had to take time off in April and then come back in December, this gap here, if I hadn’t earned any money, that is exclusively my fault.

If it had gone badly, if I hadn’t earned anything, I am happy to say that is absolutely my fault.

The fact that I was able to earn money is down to two things, My team and an outstanding amount of luck.

The reason this is important for me to talk about is because a lot of people have said to me, “You’ve set up your business in a way that allowed you to make money.” I will talk about that in a minute.

It’s actually more simple than you might think, but I want you to know that the truth of the matter is it was down to other people and it was down to luck.

I’m just glad that I happen to set up the business in the right way. It just so happened to work out in the right way. I just happened to be lucky that my business model suited the situation I was in.

There is no amount of outstanding leadership or special growth hacks that will take you to where you need to go. We’re already on track to have our best year ever because I’ve managed to come back.

But it’s only because I had managed to learn and had a team that was so outstanding throughout this period where I was forced to not be able to work. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have.

Where I had Kate, we had Clarence and Jha now. Chelsea joined a little bit afterwards, but she is accelerating this. I want to add that she is accelerating this growth.

If anything, I consider myself even more lucky that I’ve managed to find someone else who’s equally as capable and dedicated.

I am the biggest roadblock to my own business

There were a few things I noticed. One, I am the biggest roadblock to my own business.

I had a lot of people say, “Well, you set up the business in this way.”

It’s just luck that it worked out, that I set up the business in a way that managed to do this, that you could follow the exact same model as me and not go well.

However, if it hadn’t gone well, if I hadn’t earned anything, I would have to look at myself and say, “That was my fault.”

The first thing was to understand I was the biggest roadblock. If all the decisions come through me, if all the work goes through me, if all the sales and marketing goes through me, of course, it’s going to be me as a roadblock.

I have to on the scale of freedom to control, freedom being over here and control being over here, I had to move the slider back down to freedom.

I had to relinquish control.

I took Kate on as a coach and I remember texting, I was like, “I can’t do the call this week.” Even that is naive because I should have said, “I can’t do the calls for the next nine months.”

I thought, well, I haven’t invested enough time in training Kate, but Kate turned round to me and said, “We’ve got this, man. We got this, don’t worry about it.”

I remember turning to my wife, Olivia, and saying, “I think I’ve just made myself redundant from my own business.”

Now, is that an outstanding leadership strategy or some stroke of brilliance? Of course, it’s not.

It’s luck that I found Kate. It’s luck that Kate did the program with us. It’s luck that Kate is smart enough and capable enough to go through that program.

Team and luck is how we managed to do this. Yes, we, unfortunately, lost someone, Alanah, whoI’m still friends with.

She’s a great person, good business leader, but she left during that period.

Nothing against that. That’s bad luck. Great team member, bad luck.

She left, but was it my decision and my poor planning and leadership that caused her to leave? Almost certain. Almost certainly and I have to accept a hundred percent responsibility.

What I’m trying to say is if I’ve managed to do this and you’re looking for some magic hack that will show you how to do it, you’re going to have to accept that it is going to come down to the team you hire and the luck you have.

If things go wrong, it’s your fault. You have to take responsibility for the faults and you cannot take responsibility or credit for the things that go well.

We ran campaigns that worked

The second thing, this is a bit more tactical, is we ran campaigns that worked.

A few days ago, I did a video on my launch funnel, the Jeff Walker-style product launch funnel (PLF).

That was a campaign that had worked previously twice. I was like, “Hell, let’s do that.” So, I said to my team, I need you to hit go on this particular campaign and everything else subsequently was done.

Previously, I’d have been like, “Look, we need to keep income coming into the business.”

Oh, another thing by the way, with the luck aspect is not just the team, but the customers we have. You guys, the audience,

I’m lucky to work with such talented people, such forgiving people, such hard-working and dedicated people. People who do take responsibility for their own actions.

If I was working with lousy people who didn’t spend money on their own businesses or didn’t invest then,Yes of course I’d be annoyed, but that would be my mistake.

But the fact that we happen to put the right product in the right campaign and send it to the right group of people is ultimately luck.

It was my team who pulled the work together of lead generation, having conversations, supporting people, onboarding them, and then delivering them.

Everyone played their role. It got to the point where Jha was sending me reports once a week, now it’s once a month saying, “This is how much money we’ve made. These who our top customers are.”

I was like, this is incredible. I can’t take responsibility for the success that I had essentially, but we ran campaigns that worked and we repeated them.

There is a weird thing in marketing where to find novel new stuff all the time. I know that this campaign worked, we hit send, it made more money the second time.

We hit send again, a few months later, it made even more money the third time.

Ee ran stuff that worked. I didn’t insist on creating new campaigns every time. That massively reduced the workload and it meant that my team could get on and do the work that they needed to do.

We cut back, cut down, and focused

The third thing is we cut back, cut down, and focused.

I knew I couldn’t deliver all the stuff I wanted to do. The new book that I wanted to create Sell Futures, Not Features, it’s pretty much written now and we’re editing it.

We’ve got the new audiobook for Five Figure Funnels coming out recorded by my friend Robert Plank, but we had to cut down.

I had to go, “Let’s get deep into things rather than trying to do too much. This is not the time for growth. This is the time to expand.”

Yet through that specificity and that mindset of being happy to not grow, we actually grew considerably.

I was able to take home over a hundred thousand through not having to do any work for nine months.

Run what works, cut back, cut down, and focus and understand that you are the roadblock.

If you want to scale your revenue, doesn’t matter what platforms and systems you use. That’s what you got to do.

I didn’t have a choice. I was just lucky that this happened to me. This is why I think it’s one of the best things that could’ve ever happened to me is because it was lucky that biology, chemistry, the universe, when you’re going to have to take nine months off, even if you wanted to work, you couldn’t.

I couldn’t hold a conversation for more than 10 minutes. Olivia would find me just constantly sleeping.

Yet I had the good fortune to work with a team who understood what we wanted to do, but because we were focused, we were specific and I will be forever grateful to them.

Of course my wife for allowing me to go through that journey and now I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

I would only want to keep the methodologies that I have learned through a period where I couldn’t work to continue growing the business.

We’ve gone even further down. Everyone’s on a four-day workweek now. It’s got nothing to do with the amount of time. I just wanted to share that with you.

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.