How physical products convert to online continuity membership sales

Today’s guest sells things like flashlights but apparently the big revenue doesn’t come from the flashlights but the continuity service he sells afterwards.

So, you buy a flashlight and you sign yourself up for some kind of membership where he charges you on a regular basis for content he delivers to you online. You can see how the margins on that are better than a physical product. I want to understand what the business is behind it.

Trey Lewellen is the founder of Lumitact tactical flashlights.

Trey Lewellen

Trey Lewellen

Lumitact

Trey Lewellen is the founder of Lumitact tactical flashlights.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I do interviews with entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses.

My voice is incredibly hoarse. It’s because I’ve barely slept more than six hours. Trey, man, I’ve got kids. Kids are waking up in the middle of the night. My wife is out at conferences, and frankly when she was here, I was the one waking up and dealing with it. I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m exhausted. And I’m still training for a triathlon, because I will not be stopped, and still showing up for interviews. But I have to acknowledge my voice definitely sounds way different than it usually does.

All right, guys, listen to this–today’s guest sells things like flashlights, but apparently the big revenue doesn’t come from the flashlights, it comes from the continuity service that he has afterwards. So, you buy a flashlight and you sign yourself up for some kind of membership where he charges you on a regular basis for content that he gets to deliver to you online. You can see how the margins on that are better than a physical product. I want to understand what the business is behind it.

Here’s the thing. His name is Trey Lewellen. When I asked him, “Look, you have a lot of products. You have this oil thing, this gun thing, this t-shirt thing. What do I introduce you as the founder of?” He gave me a list and said, “All right, if you want the umbrella company, it’s ILMG.” I said, “What is ILMG?” He goes, “I Love My Gun.” How did you say it?

Trey: I said, “I love my gun.”

Andrew: I love my gun.

Trey: Love my gun. Got to.

Andrew: Which is the first product he started to sell, which sold t-shirts for gun lovers. Since then, as I’ve said, he’s expanded to other things. I want to find out how physical products convert into online continuity membership sales. I want to find out about what kinds of ads he buys, and I want to find out how this whole thing happened, because he was sitting at a conference next to I think it was a teenager who said, “This is what I’m doing with my business. What the hell are you doing with your life, old man?” He said, “What the hell am I doing with my life?” And he changed it around.

All right. This whole thing is sponsored by two great companies. The first is called Toptal. It will help you hire your next great developer. The second is the software I used to book this interview even though Trey didn’t realize it, he was using Acuity Scheduling to book this interview with me. I’ll tell you more about them later. First, Trey, welcome, man.

Trey: Hello. Good to see you, man.

Andrew: All right. I don’t understand this. I’ve heard about you a lot. I come from an ad and I buy one of these flashlights. How much does a flashlight cost? Pretty inexpensive, right?

Trey: We sell the flashlights for $59.

Andrew: $59? Okay. So I buy this tactical flashlight for $59. What’s the monthly upsell? What am I buying afterwards?

Trey: Well, that’s a great question. So what I always tell our students and everyone who ever comes to me is like, “What do you sell next?” It should always be the same thing you just sold them, ironically enough.

Andrew: What do you sell? I’ve heard you. I prepared for this interview by listening to your interview with ClickFunnels or going through the transcript and you basically said the same thing. You said, “Look, there are lots of different things you can sell.” Let me ask you about this one. If I go in right now and I buy one of these flashlights, what are you going to sell me today?

Trey: I’m going to sell you flashlights, and then I’m going to say, “Hey, do you want another flashlight for 20% off?”

Andrew: Where’s the continuity there?

Trey: It’s about the third upsell into the–

Andrew: What’s the continuity? By the way, I clicked on one of them, you’re asking me for my address, at least from your homepage, which I don’t imagine is the way you usually sell to people. It’s $224 per unit, which is a lot of money for a flashlight, I guess. Then you give me another one for 20% off. What do I get if I continue to pay you monthly?

Trey: So you’re looking for the continuity piece, not the gist of the funnel. So, basically, to kind of rewind on you, the funnel is the premium funnel. We make no money on that funnel. That’s all gone to advertising and things like that. It’s a breakeven funnel. Where the money is really made is the continuity piece.

So, in that continuity, we provide what’s called our NGOA Buyers Club. Inside the NGOA Buyers Club when someone becomes a member, they have tools and accessories where they can become a sharper shooter. They can have downloadable videos. We do interviews every month. We have a podcast, a secret podcast and a regular podcast that we allow them to listen to. Then we also allow them to purchase fire arm and ammo through us.

Andrew: I see. If I buy a flashlight and maybe I buy another flashlight for 20% off. Then you say to me, “Hey, Andrew, do you want to be a member of the NGOA, National Gun Owners Associations, Buyers Club?” I say yes. I pay you on a monthly basis. You allow me to buy ammo on a discount from you guys. You let me watch videos, listen to audio interviews and you teach me how to become a better marksman, is that it?

Trey: That’s it. Yeah, pretty simple.

Andrew: How much is that per month?

Trey: $10.

Andrew: $10 a month?

Trey: $10 a month. So we wanted to make it a no-brainer.

Andrew: Paid annually?

Trey: You can pay it annually. You’ll save two months. Basically what we do is we charge an upfront fee. We charge $96 up front and then $10 a month after that. There’s an enrollment fee.

Andrew: Why do you do the upfront fee?

Trey: That upfront fee is going to allow us to buy more traffic for that funnel. So, whenever you have that upfront fee, you’re collecting more cash up front, obviously. It’s software. It’s not a physical item, so it’s pretty much all cash. So you can take that cash and apply it towards your traffic, which allows you to grab more of an audience.

Andrew: I see.

Trey: Like they say, the more you can spend on traffic, the more buyers you can acquire, right?

Andrew: Okay. How much money are you bringing in each year? Let’s forget each year. Let’s talk about 2016. We’re now in 2017, so let’s talk about last year. How much?

Trey: So what we did is in 2016 is with all our products, our premium plus our premium shipping, premium funnels, continuity, I believe we were right around $20 million is what we brought in.

Andrew: $20 million last year from all that?

Trey: Yes.

Andrew: What percentage comes from the physical products?

Trey: That’s pretty much all–I would say 75% is physical products. About the rest of it is going to be continuity and then we also do a couple other things like Amazon, Groupon, things like that.

Andrew: What do you mean by Amazon, buying Amazon ads or selling on Amazon and selling on Groupon? That’s what you mean, isn’t it?

Trey: Yeah. When you’re building a brand such as that and when you have a big following, people might not want to buy it on your order form. We have a lot of people that call our customer service like, “Hey, I wanted to call and make sure you guys were real.” It’s kind of like you’re on the phone like, “Yeah, I’m real.” I think that’s kind of hilarious that people call and you can say anything. You’d be in your garage.

But then of course more people are more comfortable buying on Amazon. So they’ll go to Amazon and buy it more than maybe your order form. So having your product on different fields is smart because people are comfortable with that, maybe Walmart.

Andrew: So if I want to buy this G-700 I could by it on Amazon?

Trey: You totally could. Yeah.

Andrew: How do you get the continuity product in there?

Trey: You don’t.

Andrew: I see. Amazon won’t give you any of my contact information. Have you found that putting your contact information in with the flashlight or other product is actually useful?

Trey: You know, we’ve tried stuffers. I haven’t had much luck with them. We’ve tried a couple of different things. Some of them we see some really good results, and some of them it’s like it’s pretty much a dud. I don’t know it’s hit or miss. All of my success has just been primarily online.

Andrew: Okay. How much of this–what did you say you made 2016?

Trey: Around $20 million.

Andrew: How much of that was profit?

Trey: Profit, I would have to look. I think we’re around a 10% to 20% profit margin. Here’s the thing though, our profit is not coming from the funnels. That’s one thing you have to understand. A lot of people think our profit comes from the funnels, which it doesn’t. It’s more of the back end. It’s the email campaigns we’re sending out. It’s the branding, the follow-ups, sending text messages or sending an email our or maybe it is a direct mail piece.

Andrew: What does a text message promote?

Trey: It can promote anything. Let’s say we’re doing the oil, right? So, if we got a lead that comes in and we know that person is a gun person, we’ll text them and say, “Make sure you grab your free oil this month.” They’ll click on that text message and pop through our funnel via their mobile phone and boom, there you go, you got that opt in and then the next upsell is into the NGO Buyers Club.

Andrew: I see. Okay. You’re saying the physical products don’t make any money. It’s the upsell afterwards. If you’re selling me something for 20% off, is that going to make you money?

Trey: We take the entire revenue from the funnel and we look at our profits off that funnel. So, let’s say the average cart value on a funnel was $100. Then my profit, let’s say, was 75%. Then I take that 75%, and I apply that to my ad spend. So I’m okay spending up to $75 for a conversion. Then with that conversion, I’m getting a buyer lead. I’m getting a buyer plus I’m also getting leads, especially what we do is we use ClickFunnels and we use the double order form, which works really amazingly.

Andrew: What’s a double order form?

Trey: It’s when they put in their name, email, phone number, address and then they have to click a button, which actually submits that form and then they see the credit card information and then they see the pricing. So, what’s nice about that is we get about a four to one ratio on that. So, for every buyer we receive, we get four opt-ins. So, if we have 300,000 buyers or 400,000 buyers, we get 1.6 million list.

Andrew: So, why not show the price before people put in their contact information?

Trey: One, it’s a way to get the lead. Then also it creates them to go through the next steps. They’ve already gone through so much that they’re going to keep on processing the order. We’ve just found that works way better than just a standard order form on one page.

Andrew: I see. They don’t even see the price until after they’ve given you their contact information and they’ve already put some time into this application process or payment process. I see. Then they’re more likely to stick with it.

Trey: They’ll see the price like on the top banner. But they won’t see how many units. We’ll show them you can get a unit today for $10, but then once they put in their information, they’re going to see, “I can get one for $10, two for $20, three for $30,” and so on.

Andrew: I see.

Trey: The other thing is follow up and declines. So, when someone has a decline on that or when someone doesn’t buy it for some reason, maybe they get a phone call, things like that. They go off and so we’ll have an email follow up saying, “Did you mean to not purchase that? We still have it on our desk ready to go out.” We kind of get pretty creative with that.

Andrew: Okay. Where do you get most of your traffic?

Trey: Most of our traffic comes from Facebook. We run a lot of Facebook ads through that. We do some email drops. That’s pretty fun. Then basically affiliates, affiliates push it.

Andrew: What’s an email drop?

Trey: An email drop–let’s say you know of a magazine that’s all about guns. So you call out to that magazine and be like, “Hey, do you guys rent your list,” and they say, “Yeah, we rent our list. It’s $5,000 to send an email to all of our 100,000 subscribers.” So then basically you get to copy and paste your creative in that email that they send. So they might say, “Hey, a word from our publisher or subscriber or whatever.”

Andrew: I see.

Trey: Then from there, it’s all your copy and then they’re coming right over to your order form.

Andrew: What is TotalLander.com? Do you know that?

Trey: No. That’s new to me.

Andrew: I’m looking at your referral traffic for NationalProtectionAssociation.org. That’s one of your sites?

Trey: National–yes.

Andrew: The number one source of traffic is TotalLander.com by a wide margin. I can’t figure out what that could be and there’s nothing on that site. It’s a site in Chile. No, huh?

Trey: I don’t know what that one is unless that’s one of the affiliates. Most of our traffic is United States. The thing is with our NGOA Buyers Club, we can’t do anything internationally. We have to keep it all US. We’re not really pushing much traffic there.

Andrew: Oh, because you’re shipping in the US.

Trey: Because you can’t sell like a gun to Canada or to China.

Andrew: You’re actually selling guns in the mail like that?

Trey: You cannot do that. No.

Andrew: Can you do it in the US?

Trey: You can. Yes. You have to ship it to the FFL. You can’t ship a gun to someone’s house.

Andrew: Where do you ship it?

Trey: Like the gun shop. So a gun shop is going to have their FFL, which is a Federal Firearms License.

Andrew: Okay.

Trey: So, basically you have to have a Federal Firearms License to purchase a firearm and to send it to another FFL to receive it. Basically they have to make sure you’re not crazy before they hand over the gun.

Andrew: All right. I’ve got to say this to anyone in the audience, if you know what TotalLander.com is, please tell me. As I’m doing this, I can’t figure out what it is. But according to SimilarWeb, they’ve got one million visits every three months, 352,000 visits in the last month and they’ve been sending you a lot of traffic, go figure.

Trey: We love that.

Andrew: All right. I think I see then how this business works. What I’m wondering is what the hell are you doing here? Why do you need to be on Mixergy? You know how to buy Facebook ads. You’re selling guns to a guy–I don’t even know what a gun is, really. I didn’t even know what the–

Trey: We’ve got to get you one. Maybe that’s the purpose. You asked for the purpose of this call. The purpose of this call is to get you a gun. We’re going to make that happen.

Andrew: No, you’re a smart guy. There’s a plan here. There’s a master plan that I don’t really understand. It’s not exactly to sell gun oil. It’s not exactly to sell flashlights. I know you’re doing some coaching. Is the goal here to say, “Look, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I want to sell coaching and if I’m going to sell coaching, people need to know the guy behind those ads. The best way to do it is to do interviews like Mixergy.” Is that it?

Trey: You can say that. Here’s a little bit of the background behind that. There’s a story behind that.

Andrew: Okay.

Trey: When I was growing up, I was like 16, 17, I was actually doing pools. I was selling pools and then a little later on I was actually selling tea. I was importing tea from India. What was interesting is I didn’t know where to start, where to begin, what to do. There were not podcasts. There was not really the internet yet, too much of it. Facebook didn’t exist yet. I remember always being very frustrated not being able to have a mentor. I didn’t know what to call it, I just thought like, “Hey, I need somebody to show me. . .”

Why can’t someone who’s making $1 million a year doing with well in life and saying, “Hey, here’s how you do this. Here’s how you become successful.” I didn’t have that. I couldn’t find it. There were no Facebook groups to look for that. I said to myself if there ever comes a day that I am successful and I find a way or I find something that I deem successful, I want to reach out. I want to make sure that people understand. This is the way that I think it should be done is creating a voice in a noisy world.

Andrew: Why not buy ads the way you’re buying ads for your other products? If you want to get the message out there, why not create a funnel, buy ads and get traffic to it?

Trey: To the mastermind stuff, the coaching?

Andrew: Yeah, to any of this, to the mastermind stuff, to your education, to everything.

Trey: We do. We do that. As you know, when it comes from a reputable source such as yourself, it has much more value that holds realistically. But at the end of the day, it’s giving back. Do I need the coaching? No. Is it low hanging fruit? Absolutely. At the end of the day, we do the Unstoppable Course, those are on TreyLewellen.com. That’s all free content.

Andrew: They’re on where?

Trey: TreyLewellen.com, just our website. The Unstoppable Course, we’ve been doing those for two months now. I want to do those for two or three years. The reason behind those, if something were to ever happen to me, there are teachings to my little guy. I’ve got a little three-year old. I wanted to make videos to where I could leave like some sort of messaging or path to say, “Hey, here’s kind of how you work the world and we’re giving them to the world to experience at the same time.”

Andrew: One of the images on that site, on TreyLewellen.com is you on a private jet. Do you have a private jet? Did you go on one just for a photo shoot? Where are you now?

Trey: I’ve been on three, three private jets. If there’s anything that’s ever motivated me in life, I don’t know what it is about private jets, that’s just my motivator.

Andrew: I know what you mean. I know what it is. First of all, super luxurious that you can actually count the number of times you’ve been on it, right? I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a car. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a nice hotel. They just happen in life. But how many times have people been on a jet. That’s number one. Number two, you get to go pretty much anywhere on your dime. Number three, it saves a shit-ton of time. I shouldn’t be cursing. I should let the guest curse. That’s what it is.

Trey: I love how you put it on my dime. It definitely is your dime. They are definitely not cheap.

Andrew: Right.

Trey: But you definitely do save time. I can understand why people take private jets. The first one we took was we took the family. That came out of my personal funds. That wasn’t a company jet or anything like that. No, I don’t own a jet. We just charter them. I don’t think I’d ever own one to be frank because one, they’re crazy expensive and maintenance and all that junk. I’m okay with kind of renting them like an Uber.

It was just a goal for me. It was so outrageous. When I put that on–that was actually like four years ago. I wrote it on a piece of paper, I said, “I’ll be on a private jet.” That’s when I was in insurance making like $60,000 a year and it was hell no way that I would ever be able to afford a jet.

Andrew: And at the time, you said you were going to be on a private jet.

Trey: Yeah. I was in a coaching program.

Andrew: Sorry, you said what in coaching?

Trey: It was actually called Bold through Keller Williams. I was an insurance agent. I took it to meet real estate agents. But little did I know, it was going to have a big impact on my own life to where they’re telling me like, “Here’s how to outreach for your goals.” It was pretty awesome.

Andrew: I want to go back in a moment and catch up on your story and how you got here. Let me just finish this thing about the jet. When you go on a jet, do you then hire a photographer and get them to come on and say, “This is going to make for great photos.”

Trey: I’m pretty sure all those photos were done with an iPhone.

Andrew: That’s it? Like your wife would have taken a photo of you being happy and writing in your journal on the plane?

Trey: Absolutely. We took–actually, I have the camera right here that we took the video footage. It was my brother, he was on there, his wife, myself, my girlfriend and then my little boy and then my parents.

Andrew: The reason I ask is this. I realize I do some pretty badass stuff in my life. It’s more like workout-type stuff, like long distance stuff. This would make such a great photo, but I’m so engaged but I never take a photo. I thought there’s a service now that just like you call an Uber, you can call a photographer and they come and take a picture. I said, “Maybe that’s what I should be doing. If I don’t have the patience, just get somebody to take a photo.” If I’m on a jet, I’m not taking a photo on a jet, but I should because it makes for a badass photo.

Trey: I think you would. You would not miss that opportunity. You want to savor it.

Andrew: When I savor it, I’m so in the moment that I don’t give a rip about the rest of the world, but I shouldn’t. I need to take a second and do a photo. All right, by the way, you have a three-year old. How come your voice isn’t hoarse like mine? Are you getting sleep?

Trey: We get plenty of sleep. We actually do.

Andrew: I tend to get a lot of sleep too but it’s been a disaster the last couple of weeks. All right. Let me take a moment to talk about my sponsor and then I’m going to come back and find out how you got here. At some point, I want to dig into your funnel. One of the things you’re going to offer my audience is a copy of your funnel. I want to ask about that too.

So, first, my sponsor is a company that you had no idea you were even using. Before this interview started, I said, “Hey, listen, Trey, I’m going to talk about my sponsor. Do you have any issues with these two people?” One of them was Acuity Scheduling. You said, “What? Acuity what not?” The cool thing is Acuity Scheduling is what you used to book this interview with me. I loved that you didn’t know that. Here’s why.

When you want to get someone on the phone, you can’t make it difficult for them to schedule a call. You can’t go back and forth and say, “Are you available here? Are you available then? How about now? How about later? What time zone are you in?” That’s a shit–that’s a problem. So, you’re much better off saying, “Here’s a link to my calendar. All my availability is on there. Pick whatever day works for you.” Then after you pick it, you put your name and your phone number and all that so I know who you are and I know how we can connect. In this case, it’s also a Skype, so I could connect.

The reason you don’t know what it is, is because I take their code from Acuity Scheduling. I embed it on Mixergy.com. It looks like it’s part of my site. When you get emails, it looks like the emails are coming from Andrew that say, “Hey, tomorrow you’ve got an interview,” an hour before, “Hey, looking forward to having you on.” Boom. As soon as you’re done, you’ll get a follow up. All that stuff is super simple.

We actually had a guest, the founder of Calm.com, Michael, said, “Would you guys mind not using that ugly ass photo you took of me and putting it on your site? Here’s a better photo.” I said not only do I not mind, a few people have asked me to change their photos. How about when somebody books and interview with me, on the calendar invitation, I can say, “If there’s a favorite photo that you want me to use, just put the URL here.” Boom. Problem solved. No more people feeling like I used a bad photo of them and feeling a little unsure of whether they could tell me to pick a better photo. That’s the beauty of Acuity Scheduling.

If you’re out there and you want to get more of your calls–actually, if you want to get on more calls with your potential customers or your existing customers, there’s no better tool. I know it because I’ve used them, literally, used a dozen different competitors. This is the one that works best and the one that’s so easy I could hand to anyone on my team and say, “Update it.” In fact, when Michael said, “I don’t like the photo, can you adjust it?” I didn’t go back into Acuity and adjust Acuity and have it ask every guest if they have a favorite photo. I said to my assistant, “Can you figure it out? Just add it on.” She did because it’s easy.

If you’re listening to me and you want to get more people on the phone, you’ve got to check out AcuityScheduling.com/Mixergy because when you use that, you’re going to get a ton of free time to really use this software and see how much you can improve your business. Your sales people are going to thank you for it.

Your product people who get to talk to potential customers and existing customers are going to thank you for it. Your customers are going to thank you for it because you’re going to make it really easy for them to get on calls with you. Go check out Acuity Scheduling.com. Trey, I see you’re looking at it up. What’s your thought? How are you going to use Acuity Scheduling?

Trey: It looks nice. I know we use a scheduling partner now, so I’m definitely going to compare to it.

Andrew: Good. Check it out. One of the good things about this is I know you use Infusionsoft, right?

Trey: I don’t.

Andrew: Someone on the team does?

Trey: Someone on the team does. I have no clue how to use that.

Andrew: It integrates with Infusionsoft. It integrates with so many other apps. Go check it out, AcuityScheduling.com/Mixergy.

Trey: I bet it integrates with ClickFunnels though. Does it integrate with ClickFunnels?

Andrew: It integrates with everything because not only did they create individual integrations, they also integrate with Zapier.

Trey: There you go.

Andrew: Whatever they didn’t think to integrate, boom, Zapier, zaps it over.

Trey: There you go. All right. It works. We just know.

Andrew: It works beautifully. You were mentioned a little while ago you had a couple of businesses growing up. One of the businesses you said was a pool cleaning business. This was back when you were 16 years old. We’re going to jump to how you got to where you are in a moment, but your dad shut you down. Why’d your dad shut down the fact that you had a business, what’s up? Do you want me to call him up right now and ask him?

Trey: We can totally do that. That would be a fun conversation. We should totally rock that.

Andrew: Text me your dad’s phone number. Let’s see if we can call him on speaker right now.

Trey: He’ll totally. . .

Andrew: Your mic is so good that as soon as you leave six inches away from your mic, nothing gets picked up. I’m going to call your dad right now.

Trey: You can’t even hear the conversation in the background.

Andrew: It’s such a good mic.

Trey: It is. You know who referred this mic?

Andrew: No.

Trey: Smart Passive Income, good old Pat Flynn.

Andrew: Pat Flynn recommended it? That guy is so good. He’s one of these super detail-oriented people. Every little thing has to work. I said this before. I was at a conference. I needed a cable. I’ve got the number. I was at a conference. I needed a cable. He had a cable carrying case so that he would have every possible cable to connect his laptop to whatever presentation setup they have. What’s your dad’s name?

Trey: John.

Andrew: John.

Trey: Call him and then be like–he’d totally answer.

Andrew: This is so good. I love that you’re willing to do this.

Trey: Absolutely. This is fun. I’m curious what he’ll say. I know the answer.

Andrew: I’ve known Tucker Max forever. I’ve asked him to let me call his dad in the interview. As open as he is about everything, he would not let me do it.

Trey: This is how we do this.

Andrew: This is so cool. All right. I bet he’s not even going to answer because he doesn’t recognize my number I’ll text him. I’ll say, “I’ve got Trey on. Can we talk to you?”

Trey: “I have Trey in handcuffs and we need to. . .”

Andrew: Got voicemail. Okay. I’m going to send him a text message right here. St. Charles, Missouri, that’s where you guys are from?

Trey: Yeah, St. Louis.

Andrew: “Interviewing Trey. . .”

Trey: While you’re doing that, I’ll give you my story and then we’ll see how close his story is.

Andrew: What’s the deal? What was this pool cleaning business or what was the pool business and why’d your dad ask you to stop?

Trey: All right. So, basically we had the pool business. I actually am from Hannibal, Missouri. That’s about an hour north of St. Louis, which is more of a smaller town. It’s about 18,000 people. It’s where I grew up. It’s where he grew up. Everybody knows everyone and everybody’s clean and collected and cool and fun. So we had a pool. We actually had a pool in our house. I didn’t have a job. I was working at Golden Corral. We went to this pool cleaning business and they said, “Hey, your son should clean pools because we have a lot of customers coming in asking for their pools to be clean?” I was like, “How hard is that?” You’ve got to know all the different chemicals and blah, blah, blah. So, basically you go to this little two-hour schooling of how to learn chemicals and you know everything you need to know. I did that.

That’s kind of when I had my first advertising. That’s the first time I ever advertising in display advertised in the newspaper. I had no money. I’m 16. I have no money. I was like, “How much, dad, is it to put a newspaper ad in the newspaper?” He’s like, “Let’s call.” So, he’s like, “$35.” I was like, “I don’t want to spend $35.” He’s like, “If you get one pool, it will pay for itself.” That was his analogy. I was like, “That’s true.” So, I said, “Okay, let’s do it. We did it. I got three clients off this ad at $30 each.” So that means I get to clean their pool every week for $30 each. I was making $90 a week cash just by cleaning these people’s pools.

So over the next two years or three years, I got that to like 10 or 12 pools. So I do them all in the morning from like 9:00 a.m. to like 11:00 a.m. or it was like 4:00 a.m. I was waking up like super early because it gets so hot. So I did that.

Then my dad, he got a job as a DSM, a district sales manager. So we moved to St. Louis. That’s kind of where our patch came through. We moved to St. Louis and I was like, “I’m going to do the pool business here because it’s making so much cash and he’s like, “I don’t know about that.” I was like, “Why?” He was like, “Well, people kind of sue people here and what if you go and rip somebody’s line or you don’t know him as well as we did back in Hannibal.” And I was like, “Yeah. . .” He pretty much put the fear of God in me. I was like, “You’re right, I probably shouldn’t do that.” So, basically I freaking ditched this business and I’d probably be a pool boy today if I would have never taken that advice.

Andrew: Did you in your mind build it up like you gave up so much money just because of your dad? At some point did you feel resentful for it?

Trey: Yeah. You’re always like, “Man. . .” I was making $400 a week on a Saturday and Sunday cleaning pools. To a 16-year old, 17-year old, that’s mega cash. That’s $2,400 a month in just cash money.

Andrew: Here’s the deal. If you’re a really smart guy, why’d you end up at Unilever? Did you wear those beard nets?

Trey: Oh, Unilever.

Andrew: Unilever–why’d you end up working at Unilever considering how entrepreneurial you were right from the start?

Trey: You know what? That’s a good question. I think because I failed, you know? That’s a really good question. So pool business did really well. Then I did the tea business. I couldn’t really get it to go. Then in that time, this was 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. This is when parents are like, “You’ve got to college. You’ve got to get a degree, something that’s secure.” That’s where their background is. That’s where our background should be. That wasn’t my drive. That wasn’t my passion. But it was also something that I didn’t have anything else, so I needed to do something.

So I went to [inaudible 00:29:44], got the job for–I worked as a contractor for Unilever. That’s where they made shampoo for the ladies. I learned a lot about shampoo. But I also took a step back and I said, “In 50 years, what am I going to look like?” I took around the people in the factory and I’m like, “These aren’t the people I want to look like,” no teeth, long hair and pepper beards and hairnets and earplugs and glasses and jean clothes, steel-toed boots. I’m like, “This is not me.” I wanted something more.

That’s when I went into the path of kind of becoming an insurance agent because you’re more of an entrepreneur that way. They let you hire an assistant and hire your own business, have your own booking. That gave me kind of like the inspiration I needed to know it’s kind of easy to hire people. I was scared to do that. There’s so much paperwork and things that could go wrong, but realistically it’s pretty simple. It was just my own roadblocks getting in the way is really what happened.

Andrew: So then you go to Traffic & Conversion. That’s Ryan Deiss’ event, right?

Trey: Yeah. They just had one.

Andrew: Yeah, they did. Were you there?

Trey: No.

Andrew: Apparently bots were really big at that conference. So I heard you went there and then you sat and you had this life-changing moment with a kid sitting next to you. I’m wondering why does a guy who sells insurance end up at Traffic & Conversion.

Trey: So I was there because a good friend of mine–wild story. So there was a guy named Michael Maher, who wrote a book called “Seven Levels of Communication” that I read as an insurance agent. That was to teach you how to get referrals. He put me in touch with a guy named Shawn Lynam.

Shawn Lynam told me, “You need to meet this guy named Garrett J. White.” I was like, “Who’s Garrett J. White?” He’s like, “Dude, he’ll change your life. You need to go meet him.” I said, “Okay, how do I meet this guy?” “He’s really hard to get a hold of, but I know he’s going to this event called Traffic & Conversion.” I said, “I don’t know what Traffic & Conversion is, but I’m going to go there just to meet this Garrett White and this Adam guy.”

So, that’s kind of what led me to T&C. I brought a friend. I was excited to meet Garrett but then I was also excited to learn this new information. It was just like a firehose of info. We went back to the hotel every night and we stayed up until 3:00 a.m. just writing down ideas and concepts and just understanding like this is how you can make money online. This is how it works. They’re telling you the secrets. That’s how it began. Yeah, you said I sat by that kid.

Andrew: What happened with that kid?

Trey: That was the first day. I’m sitting there and I’m 25, 26 maybe. I’m sitting there and there’s this younger kid, he’s probably ten years younger than me, probably 17, 18. I’m looking at him like, “What do you do?” I asked him how much he made last month. He goes, “I made $10,000.” I was like, “$10,000?” I’m making only $6,000.

Andrew: I love that you’re willing–I’m taking a photo for your dad to show that we’re on right now talking. I love that you’re willing to sit next to a guy and ask, “How much are you making?”

Trey: Well, I was curious because these kids are like so young and they’re in t-shirts and shorts and not taking notes and I’m always like fiercely writing. They’re just acting so cool like they know all this. I’m like, “How do these kids know so much?” I just got to a point where I’m going to be blunt, I’m like, “Hey, how much you make?” He’s like, “I made $10,000.” I’m just floored. I go, “How did you make that much money?” He goes, “It’s so simple. I just post pictures of cats and videos of cats.” And I was like, “You made $10,000? Did you sell cat food or litter or something?”

Andrew: What was he selling?

Trey: He sold some sort of software. I don’t even know what he sold. It was some sort of software. But I was like if it’s that easy to sell software showing cat videos, then count me in. I’m totally doing this. So when we came back, that’s when my brother was graduating from law school. I said, “We are starting a business together.” He kind of said, “What do you want to do there?”

Andrew: So you were kicking around a bunch of ideas. I know the idea you went with. You did an interview with our producer before we started to get us prepped here. I’m wondering what are some of the ideas you were kicking around that weren’t right or were almost right. I want to know your thought process for finding this thing that I never would have expected would have taken off.

Trey: That’s a good question. So I guess it really comes back to we started actually with a dog page. We started with a Weimaraner page.

Andrew: With a what page?

Trey: A Weimaraner. My girlfriend at the time had a Weimaraner.

Andrew: That’s a type of dog?

Trey: It’s a type of dog. It’s a hunter dog, beautiful dog. We started a page like that.

Andrew: On Facebook.

Trey: We were testing the waters.

Andrew: What’s the idea behind the Weimaraner–I can’t even pronounce the name.

Trey: Weimaraner.

Andrew: What’s the idea behind that? What’s the business model there?

Trey: We had no business model. That’s the hilarious part. We didn’t know what we were doing. I knew we had to start a fan page because that’s what this kid did at this T&C event. I said he’s making $10,000, so somehow we’re going to make $10,000.

Andrew: I’ve got to say, I’m looking at this dog, I’m not into looking at dog and cat videos, but this is a pretty cool looking dog. It looks serious enough that you could feel proud to have one, but also cuddly enough I wouldn’t mind him sitting on my lap while I’m watching a movie.

Trey: Exactly.

Andrew: So you said this guy has cats, we’re going to do dogs and we’re going to niche down to have this Weimaraner page, but you had no business model.

Trey: No business model. Absolutely zero.

Andrew: So then what came next?

Trey: The same with the guns. We’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall is what we’re realistically doing. We’re saying let’s throw wet noodles at the wall and see what sticks. We had a Weimaraner page. We had a Mustang page. Then we had a gun page. Crazy enough, the gun page is what started to take off. We started to see engagement and comments and shares.

What’s really nice about all that is that Bryson, he graduated from law school and he was going to become a police officer. Little did we know is when all those Ferguson events were going to happen here in St. Louis. I don’t know if I saved his life or not, but I might have. That was the one big thing when we started a business. I said, “I don’t want you going into police enforcement because I don’t want to see you come home in a coffin. I want to make sure you’re here. Let’s do something. Let’s take my drive and whatever marketing experience I think I have and your passion of guns. Let’s stir that in a pot and see what happens.”

Andrew: I see. The gun page was a Facebook page with photos of guns and people holding guns, is that it?

Trey: That’s pretty much what it came down to.

Andrew: Okay. People I guess were sharing it, liking it, what did you do to goose up–oh, there’s your dad. John, right? John, you’re on, we’re recording right now. It’s good to hear from you.

John: Is Trey there?

Andrew: Yeah. He’s right here. Do you want to say hi so he knows it’s really you?

John: Yeah.

Andrew: Trey said that you know that it’s really him.

Trey: He knows what’s up. Can he hear me?

Andrew: Can you hear him?

John: No.

Andrew: Here we go. If you speak, he’ll hear you now.

Trey: He’ll hear me now? So he was asking me about the pool business I had and wanted to know why you didn’t think it would be such a hot hitter in St. Louis. Your mic is now gone.

Andrew: Basically I’m asking why did you stop his pool business in St. Louis?

John: I think probably because of the liability issues.

Andrew: That’s exactly what he said.

John: I don’t know that I stopped it. I’m in insurance. So he didn’t have–when he was in Hannibal, we knew everybody and they were friends and things like that. He’d get very awesome at it. But you get to bigger cities and you’re talking million-dollar homes, so to speak. . .

Andrew: It sounds like he was entrepreneurial even back when he was a kid, maybe especially back when he was a kid and it seems like this tea business that he had maybe made him feel like he wasn’t as entrepreneurial as he thought he was before. Does that sound right to you?

John: I don’t know. Actually, no. When he did [inaudible 00:38:12], he stayed with the tea business. He stayed with it and took it clear to the end and kept trying new things and ordering product and things like that. I don’t feel that he did. I think it was a good start for him. If you want to go way back, that kid was a performer back in grade school. He did magic shows for the talent show in second grade and third grade and stuff like that. He was never bashful, class clown sometimes, but not bashful.

Andrew: What do you make of the business that he’s got right now where he’s selling flashlights and gun oil and stuff like that and also getting on podcasts like this and performing? What do you think of this?

John: It’s awesome. I’m proud of both my boys.

Andrew: Yeah.

John: They’re doing awesome. I wish I was in their shoes when I was that age.

Andrew: What’s the moment when he started this business that you realized, “His life is going to be different and I’m proud of the direction he’s going in with the new business?”

John: I believe when he drove us up in the private jet and said we’re going to Las Vegas.

Andrew: I was talking to him about that earlier because he’s got a photo of himself on a jet.

Trey: Like he’s almost listening.

John: Yes. [Inaudible 00:39:39] on a private jet more than I have in my whole life.

Andrew: Yeah. The guy has made good. I’ll stick with the interview and I’m going find out more about how he’s doing it now, but I really appreciate you for coming on here, especially since you don’t know who I am just to tell us a little bit about your son.

John: All right. Sounds good. Tell him say hi.

Andrew: I will.

John: All right. Bye.

Andrew: Bye.

Trey: That was too funny.

Andrew: I love how he ends a call saying, “I love you too.” I have a hard time saying that to my dad. Do you have an easy time saying, “I love you,” to your dad?

Trey: Absolutely. All my family.

Andrew: I can say it to my kids. I can say it to my wife, but beyond that, it’s just like work I love you and I really do love people for work, but personally it feels a little too close. I love that he was willing to say that on camera like that.

Trey: Absolutely. He wasn’t on camera, we all were.

Andrew: He didn’t know, on mic, anyway.

Trey: Yeah.

Andrew: I see the direction that you’re going in. I’m wondering why your brother. Why bring your brother in for a partnership? Did you feel like maybe you wanted some comfort because you were about to get out of your comfort zone of the insurance business?

Trey: I would have gone and done something. What’s ironic though is from the previous businesses that I did have, most of them were break even businesses. He was saying as you heard that I stuck with the tea business. I stuck with that thing for like three years. But realistically, that dang thing didn’t make any money. What it really made me was knowledgeable. I understood what didn’t work. I understood what needed to change.

As you kind of said, I was changing things. I was like, “Why isn’t any of this working? It sucks. I’m not making any money. I’m just taking money from here and putting it over here and nothing is left for Trey and I learned a lot from that of like what to do.

So it came the time to where Bryson was graduating, I think a lot of people ask you, “What’s your why? What’s your passion?” My why was, “Why do we all have to do this all by ourselves?” There’s no reason for that. So, why not share? The same thing goes with, “Hey, I’m going to create a dog page just like yours or I’m going to create a gun page like yours.” The same thing, that’s cool. That’s why we have the mentorship.

We open our books. We show people what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. The reason is there’s so much freaking money out there and so much potential that what we’re doing right now might seem a lot to people listening, but at the end of the day, it’s a drop in the bucket. It really truly is.

Andrew: This revenue, $20 million, is a drop in the bucket compared to what could be made?

Trey: I mean look at all the companies out there. Look at Tesla and Apple. Come on.

Andrew: When you start going to Tesla, we are kind of playing small ball. But you’ve got to build somewhere. Let me take a moment here. We’ve got backstory now in the second segment. Next we’re going to go into details of how this business grew and I want to go into the early sales because I think that gives us a sense of what was working early on.

But first, I’ve got to tell you about my sponsor. In fact, before I get to my sponsor, I want to tell you about a guy named Justin Hartsman, who didn’t expect I would mention him here. The reason I’m telling you about Justin Hartsman is he heard me talk about Toptal and Trey, he even knew like–he said, “Andrew, I know everything you say about the Toptal commercial including top as in the top of the mountain, tal as in talent. It’s the best place to hire developers, best of the best.” He emailed me and he said, “Andrew, I went to hire and I wasn’t happy with them.”

Totally fine. Any time you sign up with any of my sponsors, if you’re not happy, I want to know. The reason I want to know is I always want a sanity check. Am I talking about my sponsors because they’re great for me and because they pay me or because they’re really good for my audience? And for Justin, it happens that it wasn’t a good fit. I’m happy to follow up with him and make sure it’s not an issue with Toptal, that they didn’t screw up.

But he reason I’m bringing up a person who says that it screws up, not that it screwed up but that it wasn’t a good fit for him is because I talk a lot about how many people benefitted from hearing me talk about Toptal, who said best developers out there, Andrew’s talking about how much they put people through this testing process. I’m going to and hire from them. They do, for the most part. If for some reason, you go to Toptal and it doesn’t work out for you, I want you to let me know, Andrew@Mixergy.com.

They’re not just a sponsor. They’ve become good friends because I’ve introduced so many people to them. So, if doesn’t work out, I will stand behind my sponsor. You can email me and I will help make it right. But for the vast majority of people listening who are looking for developers, who are ready to pull their hair out because the developers they find are not very good or it’s just too hard to find them or they’re too expensive, I am telling you, Toptal has performed.

So, if you’re looking for a great developer, go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. When you do, they’re going to give you 80 hours of Toptal developer hours when you pay for your first 80 hours and that’s in addition to a no risk trial period. So many people at Mixergy have signed up for them including me.

They just keep buying ads over here because they really do have a tough screening process because the prices that you pay to hire these great developers really are reasonable. I wouldn’t say super low. I know you can find cheap developers out there, but those cheap developers aren’t Google quality developers. You want people who can think for themselves, who can understand your problem and come up with a solution and Toptal will.

So, for anyone out there who signs up, if you’re not happy, let me know. I’m not just here reading it because they’re happy to pay me. Anyone can pay me for an ad. I will not take just anyone. I will only take people who will proudly stand up and say my email address is Andrew@Mixergy.com. My office address is 201 Mission Street in San Francisco on the 12th floor. I stand behind them and I’m open that I will only take companies that I am proud of and will do right by my audience.

So go check out Toptal.com/Mixergy. If you have a good experience, let me know. If you have an experience you’re not excited about, let me know. I’m here. I love my sponsors and I want you guys to love them too–top as in top of the mountain, tal as in talent, Toptal.com/Mixergy.

I feel like I’m asking for a world of pain there, Trey, when I say that. If they’re not getting a good experience, I want to be there. I want to know about it.

Trey: Have you ever read the book “Pre-suasion?”

Andrew: Yes. I had Robert Cialdini on here because I love that book. Why do you say that? What’s the context here?

Trey: What you just did was a chapter written in that book. That was absolutely amazing.

Andrew: How’s that? I love that actually I get to use his ideas without even recognizing it.

Trey: You did it.

Andrew: What was the technique that I used?

Trey: You gave a pain. You gave a true statement. People want truth. So I’ll have to go back to that chapter, but I was like–I’m actually listening to that book right now and you nailed it. It was basically showing a pain in a truthful way. You’re very truthful, like, “We might be the most expensive flashlight out there, however, it was because blah, blah, blah.”

Andrew: Yeah. You’re saying talk about the bad part of the product, not just the good part, it gives credibility, 100%. I agree with you. It wasn’t an intentional thing.

Trey: It works.

Andrew: But I agree that by saying Justin Hartsman had a bad experience with Toptal and emailed me, I think that it does give credibility to the add and I didn’t do it for credibility, I did it because I want to be open and say, “This is the way I want to operate.”

Trey: That’s perfect. You just gave Toptal a 33% lift on that web address.

Andrew: That would be great. Good. All right. So you have all these people who are into guns who are looking at what you called gun porn, right? You look at photos–I’m now into cycling porn, by the way. I can’t stop looking at people who are cycling, not like naked people on bikes, but I love cycling, so I’m watching people cycle. I get it. I get why someone would want to look at this gun porn, photos of people with the guns or just guns. You then figured out what to sell to them. What did you sell?

Trey: What do we sell currently?

Andrew: Yeah. No. What did you sell to the people going back to your story you had, this Facebook page. A lot of people were looking at it and looking at photos of guns and you decide, “I’ve got to sell something or else this is not a business. It’s a hobby.” What did you sell?

Trey: Totally. We started with t-shirts. That’s where it all started. This is when like the big t-shit era was coming out. Everybody was like, “Oh my gosh, t-shirts sell online.” So, everybody’s jumping into the t-shirt pool. I was doing it. I was training on it. I was showing people what we do. This is like repeating itself.

Andrew: You were selling t-shirts but you were also selling people on learning how to sell t-shirts.

Trey: Yeah. We had the two companies, Trey Lewellen and the ILMG.

Andrew: It was always two companies? You’re basically a guy starting a new businesses and you’re still starting at the same time a business teaching people who to start businesses?

Trey: Yeah. We had success before I started teaching. I’m not too into the guys who had like one successful campaign and then they’re like, “Hey, now I’m coach.” We definitely were in business for like a year.

Andrew: First you were selling t-shirts, first you were making money. Okay. Then you were teaching people how to do it. The t-shirts, you sold them on Teespring. I had the founder of Teespring on here, long-time Mixergy fans. I’m wondering why use Teespring though because Teespring requires that you sell a certain number of t-shirts before you print them, right?

Trey: They did. There were two downfalls to Teespring. The first one was yeah, you had to enter a number. We were always high ballers, so we were like 300. If we didn’t hit that 300, we were pretty much screwed.

Andrew: That means all the people who came over up to that 300, if you don’t hit their target, they don’t get their t-shirts. You don’t get that in revenue, right?

Trey: That’s kind of how they started out. It was a big move to make that 300 pitch, which kind of helped us in the long run. And then the other downfall–they don’t do this to this day–they don’t give you the buyer information, phone number, email, address.

If you are going to be in the online business, if you are listening to this podcast and saying, “I want to change my life and quit my job or increase my bottom line,” you’ve got to have that database. That database is your golden key to being successful. Without it, every time we had a campaign that completed or end or whatever or deplete, we are unemployed until we found the next winning shirt. We didn’t have a database to email people.

Andrew: You also were spending a lot of money on ads. How much money did you spend to make your first few bucks?

Trey: Oh gosh. Well, to make my first few dollars, I was a child and I was pretty much–

Andrew: No, here’s where the pre-interview data helps me. Apparently, you guys spent $500 roughly on Facebook ads to make $7, but you said, “We actually made $7. We’ve got something here.” Is that right?

Trey: Yeah.

Andrew: So the whole thing was not exactly working even though you were starting to get it to work, then Ari in the pre-interview, our producer, said, “Hey, listen, Trey, what the hell did it?” You said, “I went to Palm Springs.” Why did Palm Springs help? What did you learn there?

Trey: Oh man, Palm Springs changed my life. It really set me free is really what Palm Springs did, not the location but the mastermind that I went to.

Andrew: Whose mastermind did you go to in Palm Springs?

Trey: That was Adam Spiel’s. He doesn’t have a mastermind anymore, unfortunately. But that’s the other guy that I met at T&C. It was Garrett and Adam Spiel. Those guys were working together at the time. I was like, “Adam, show me how to make money.” So, basically, Adam is a genius. He showed me a lot of things about Facebook.

Andrew: What did he teach you about Facebook?

Trey: At that time he taught me how to make ads, what to use, how to run them, all that stuff. The Power Editor wasn’t even a thing back then. That’s when I started Facebook ads.

Andrew: I see. So then you go back home–

Trey: No. We go to Palm Springs.

Andrew: And then Palm Springs, he’s giving you more training and one of the things he teaches you is the MTO technique. What’s the MTO technique?

Trey: The MTO, that’s where it hit bottom and all of a sudden it went up. The MTO is a great strategy. You should use it. MTO would be saying like, “This month, I want minimum 100,000 listeners to my podcast. My target would be 200,000.” What would be outrageous, how many listeners?

Andrew: A million per interview. We’re talking about outrageous as like a BHAG type of thing, right?

Trey: Totally. It’s so out there, you don’t even know how it would be possible, just crazy. That’s kind of where he sat me down and we sat in this group. I’m there with people who are million-dollar people. They’re like, “I made $1 million last month and blah, blah, blah.” I’m like, “I made like $3k last month. I didn’t make anything.”

So I was the last one to go, unfortunately. So they’re like, “What’s your MTO?” I was like, “My MTO is like $5k, minimum $5,000.” I was making about $6,000 doing the insurance, and I was still doing insurance. I wanted to make sure that if I did quit I had enough income to replenish what I was already doing like food and groceries and home and stuff like that.

Then my minimum I made for $15,000 and then for outrageous, I was like $60,000, just because I was making $60k as an insurance agent. In my mind I’m like, “If somehow this world comes together in some way or form and I’m able to make $60,000 in one month, I pretty much have given myself 11 months of vacation. I have no clue what I would do with myself.”

That was kind of my running joke inside my head, but I wrote it down as an outrageous goal. Then kind of came the next question as like, “How are you going to go from $5,000 minimum to $15,000 or $60,000?” And I was kind of saying, “I’m spending about $10 a day on Facebook.” They’re like, “What are you going to do to become uncomfortable?” I said, “I can maybe do $20 a day.”

I remember to this day I’m still friends with him, great friends, Rob Kosberg. He drops his water bottle and he just kind of looks at me like, “Ooh, big baller there, dude. You’re really going to go places.” I was like, “What do you think $30?” He’s like, “No, like $100. Try $1,000 a day.” I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s crazy.” Like my heart sank a little bit, “That’s crazy.”

Well, little like three months, four mounts later, those MTOs started to show up. They didn’t show up on paper. They showed up into my bank account. It was like, “Wow. We did $5k. We did $15k. We did $30k.” We did $30,000 in March. Then come May–it was like right in between May and April. We did $117,000 selling shirts in one month.

Andrew: Just t-shirts?

Trey: Just t-shirts.

Andrew: Were you done with Teespring at that point?

Trey: No. That was on Teespring.

Andrew: It was on Teespring?

Trey: Yeah. That was on Teespring.

Andrew: It was all by buying Facebook ads to your t-shirts.

Trey: Yeah.

Andrew: I’m guessing you were targeting people who were fans of your page.

Trey: No. We targeted–that was a gun shirt.

Andrew: Hang on a second. Since we called your dad, let me see if I can get my wife on speaker. You got a few more minutes?

Trey: Yeah. We’re here.

Andrew: Olivia, you’re now part of this interview, okay? Don’t say anything to embarrass me. Talk about how great of a lover I am or something really good.

Trey: We’re totally embarrassing him because I got embarrassed.

Olivia: You want me to come home to find you doing your [inaudible 00:54:51], road bike shirtless, grinning from ear to ear.

Andrew: That is true. It’s called Zwift.

Olivia: [Inaudible 00:55:02] and hearts full of love.

Trey: This is going on.

Olivia: Shall I go on?

Andrew: I have to admit, I was talking over you a bit and laughing over you just because I’m a little embarrassed and didn’t know where you were going with that. But it’s true. She did come home and she saw me shirtless riding a stationary bike in the living room because I had to try something called Zwift, where I’m riding a stationary bike or a bike that has a trainer on it to make it into a stationary bike. My little character on my computer is riding. The faster I ride, the faster the characters ride. I get competitive now on this stinking home bike, but I love it. Yes, I was shirtless.

Olivia: Is this your interview cadence? You are like rapid, rapid, rapid.

Andrew: I don’t know what it is right now, but it’s true. I am very rapid. Trey, I could see exhausted just from listening to me, but he’s being very accommodating because I’ve got a good audience for him, I think.

Olivia: I should get off the phone because it’s not fair to monopolize, but hi, Trey.

Trey: Hello.

Olivia: Andrew, remember to smile more. You said you never smile in your interviews.

Andrew: That’s true. I’m smiling a lot with Trey now though.

Trey: We got the smiles going.

Andrew: Thank you for the reminder. I’ll call you later.

Olivia: All right. Ciao.

Andrew: Bye. See, I was being a little chicken. I didn’t know what she would say. I married a hippie chick. Her levels of what you’re supposed to say and mine are totally different. I grew admiring people like Alex P. Keaton from what was that called, “Family Ties.” She grew up admiring the moon and the crescent moon, I don’t know.

Trey: This might make for the best podcast title yet.

Andrew: What?

Trey: Trey’s dad. . .

Andrew: Trey’s dad and Andrew’s wife.

Trey: Claims liability and then all of a sudden some hippie comes online. I don’t know how it all went down, but it happened.

Andrew: That is true. The hippie chick.

Trey: That’s awesome. That’s amazing.

Andrew: Be a little more–I’m going to take it down a notch. She’s right. I am a little bit hyper in this interview.

Trey: You’re just excited. I’m excited.

Andrew: I do get excited.

Trey: This is good stuff.

Andrew: I’m glad that–as tired as you can hear my voices, there are so many other things I could be doing. I stop to do this interview and it’s not because I have to do it because I committed to the sponsors, because I committed to the team, committed to you–I freaking love your story, Trey. I could talk like this for hours. But I shouldn’t. I should shut up a little and let you talk more.

This is fun, right? Look at this. I understand artists. They get excited about art. The truth is I feel like this is both art and you’re impacting people’s lies tremendously, the people who work for you, the customers who are buying from you, the people who are going to be changing their lives just like you changed your life because of that kid who was sitting next to you at Traffic & Conversion. This is meaningful, exciting work. Of course I’m going to be excited.

But let’s go back to the substance of it. What did you do that was substantively different when you came back after you had your minimum target and outrageous goals?

Trey: I had my mind right.

Andrew: But what did you do with that mind that was right? What did you change? What specifically did you do about the ads that was different than before?

Trey: It wasn’t–here’s the thing. There were two things. There was the MTO and then there’s something that Ari didn’t ask me. There was a guy there. His name was Satyan. I can give you his link, but great guy. I don’t know what that dude did to me, but he did something. He pulled me aside and said, “We need to go do an exercise real quick.” And basically not going in depth with the exercise, but basically what happened was he took me down to like my inner core. Like he peeled back the onions on the surface. Like my surface was, “I don’t want to spend $10 because I can’t afford it.”

Basically he was able to peel back the peels and get down to the core, which was the core–the core problem of my Facebook ads was me thinking that my family would not approve of me and me living on the streets is really what it came down to. What was what my inner core, my subconscious came down to. He’s like, “You’re not wanting to spend money because you’re afraid you’re going to be homeless and your parents would disapprove.” “Yeah.” He goes, “Okay, now we’re somewhere.”

Man, after that, I was like alive and I was like, “Holy crap. This is amazing. Who cares if I spend $100 a day?” I went back that day and went back to Missouri, came home and I was like, “We’re spending money.” And we started money and guess what? With money, shirts also appear. You sell more shirts. We sold a crap ton of more shirts. We were doing around $5,000 a day in Facebook ad spend to hit that April goal. But we came up with a problem.

So there were roadblocks no matter how fast and how quick you go and where you grow, but one problem we had was our credit card limit was at $10,000 and our Facebook limit–at that point, Facebook had limits, which was at $5k. What sucked was we were running so hot on Teespring that we were spending $5k a day on Facebook ads. Then the second day, Facebook says, “Sorry, we weren’t able to charge your credit card because you’re maxed out.”

We had to call out credit card company, pay off our credit card, which would take 24 hours to reconcile and then boom, hey, now we’re back to zero. That time, same thing, Facebook down, up, down, up. It takes pixels to refire, all that junk. We’re just trying to make money. We’re trying to make $100,000 this month because we’re on such a freaking jet stream. It was just amazing to watch it.

That really brings me down to something, your listeners. The big takeaway would be not always looking at the biggest goal. We’ve talked about the private jet, that’s cool. I think private jets are awesome. They’re fun. You might too.

You might think a Corvette is awesome or a Maserati or a Lamborghini and you’re always ahead of that big goal or like maybe your outrageous goal is a million listeners in one month or one podcast. That’s so big that if you keep concentrating on that big goal, that outrageous goal, you’ll tear yourself to shreds and you’ll never get there because you’re not celebrating small wins, in my opinion. I think it’s the small wins in life that get you to those big wins in life.

When I say a small win, I’m talking like go out and treat your family to Dairy Queen. Go have an ice cream cone. It doesn’t have to be somewhere expensive. Go play a game somewhere. Go play mini putt golf, but take a moment in time and say, “Hey, wifey, the reason we’re at mini putt tonight is we did 100,000 listeners on this podcast.” You know what I’m talking about?

Andrew: I see. You mentioned in the past that you do that and I wondered why that was such an important thing for you to bring up, like I bought an ice cream cone for my girlfriend. That’s what it is. It takes that big hairy goal and puts it out of your mind for a moment and how far you are from it and allows you to focus on what you’ve already achieved, which then strengthens your confidence and allows you to keep getting closer to that bigger goal. Is that it?

Trey: It tells your brain that you’re on the way. You’re having successful moments. Have you ever had a whole day at work and then you come home like, “What did I even do today?” Have you had those?

Andrew: Yeah.

Trey: I have those like once a week. I’m like, “What the heck did I do?” I know I did something. But if you don’t write down your accomplishments, it feels like you didn’t do anything, but realistically you did a lot.

Andrew: And you do that, you write down your accomplishments every day?

Trey: You’ve got to, even if they’re small, like, “I created an email campaign.”

Andrew: Where do you do that?

Trey: I do it in a journal.

Andrew: You sit down in a journal every day? What time?

Trey: It depends. Sometimes if I can’t get into it at night, I’ll do it in the morning. I’ll do like a miracle morning or what not. I’ll take about five or ten minutes just a recap of what I did the day before.

Andrew: That’s like a Hal Elrod miracle morning?

Trey: I forgot who wrote–

Andrew: That’s the author of the book. Then you said–sorry?

Trey: I just follow the savers.

Andrew: Then you said t-shirts are getting overcrowded.

Trey: They did.

Andrew: Everybody now is recognizing the value of t-shirts. I’ve got to move on to something else. How did you figure out what to move on to? It’s very hard when you have something that works to transition away from it, let alone to find the next thing that works as fast as you did.

Trey: I don’t know if it’s fast. It’s always in the workings. We were crashing, to be real frank. We were coming off because I learned real quickly that this was a database we need to have in place and we’re not getting that database. We need to create something that is a database. That comes with leads and management and al that stuff.

Andrew: I see. You don’t start from scratch every week or every month the way you did with Teespring?

Trey: Right. We used Ontraport at the time because ClickFunnels didn’t exist yet. It was in existence but no one knew about it. I was trying to come off Teespring. I was creating a website that could take orders. I spent $5,000 to build this website. In short, in two months after we slowed down our ads on Teespring ready to launch this new website, took our first order and it all failed. It pretty much just all crumbled and broke. There was no way to grab orders and upsells and nothing worked. I was in like dismay. It was really bad.

So, I called up a friend named Kim Doyle and I was like, “Kim, this is what’s going on. It sucks. My life is going to be ruined. I’m going to have to go back and get a job.” As entrepreneurs do, we sink in this hole like, “Get me out.” She’s like, “You need to check out this thing Russell Brunson is doing,” which was ClickFunnels. I was like, “What’s that?”

And got on it, tried the free trial, whatever and made our first order form. I heard this thing called arbitrage, where you pretty much go to Amazon, which is crazy as a thought, but basically if you want to start making money today and not have any inventory and no risk and zero money in the bank, you can totally do this and this is what we do today.

I went to Amazon, saw that Amazon was selling this sign, which was kind of close to our audience, which was, “Warning: Due to Ammo Increase, There Will Not Be a Warning Shot.” It was like for $6 Prime. I was like, “Okay, I can sell this for maybe $12.” We had a large audience on our fan page. It was 100,000 likes.

Keep in mind, I know I say these big numbers or you say a million listeners. That is so far-fetched to some of these listeners that we’ve got to reel it back a little bit. You started with one listener and I started with one like. That’s the real of this conversation. I put my pants on the same way you put your pants on, the same way your listeners put their pants on. There’s nothing different between me and you. We’re not smarter than them. You know what I’m saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Trey: There’s nothing different here. We had 100,000 likes. We built that up over time. We had an audience to reach. We built that up through t-shirts. That’s totally cool. You can do it today with Facebook like ads. So, we posted this sign on our page. I put the order form for $12. We posted a sign.

So we didn’t have any advertising. We were just using our organic reach. I think we sold like 12 signs. I looked at Bryson and I was like, “Holy crap, people are buying these signs. So Bryson’s over at his computer going to Amazon, downloading the orders and then typing in each person’s address on Amazon Prime and sending these guys signs.

Andrew: You don’t have to pay shipping. Amazon is going to send it out to your customers.

Trey: Yeah.

Andrew: So, basically, Amazon is sending these out. So nice to them. And apparently Amazon only allows you to have like 1,000 uncles and aunts. At about 1,000 mark, you get an email from Amazon saying your Prime account is going to be shut down. I was like, “I didn’t know.” They’re like, “Please review our terms of service.” Apparently, Amazon is pretty dang smart. They actually use the word arbitrage in their terms of service. I was like, “That’s pretty fancy.” They actually know about it.

So then we had to not use Prime. We actually had to bundle up with shipping. That happens. It gave us an idea of like what’s able to work. That’s how we started to find out how to sell products, like how to sell physical products. Those 1,000 orders gave us enough information and knowledge and education on how our funnel should be operating and working to where we can use it through our organic reach and then through paid advertising.

So we made enough money–we probably made $100 off those signs. We sold like 10 of them. We made $10 each, so $100. So, we used that money as house money and then we used that $100 to do a Facebook ad towards the sign to publish it. That’s when we sold like 1,000 of these signs from Amazon just arbitraging them.

Andrew: Where’d you learn about the upsell and how to have a continuity product?

Trey: I learned that from Perry Belcher.

Andrew: You sign up for a lot of these guys’ masterminds and programs.

Trey: Yes.

Andrew: It seems like even when you were making $60,000 a year, you spend a good amount of money going to these programs.

Trey: Yeah. My first mentor was Adam Spiel. I paid, I think, $5,000 a month or something.

Andrew: That’s a month salary you were paying him?

Trey: Yeah. I was taking all my money from the t-shirts like, “Dude, I’ve got to pay you.” I looked at as an education, like I’m paying him to educate me on his knowledge. I hired up to like–I don’t know even know what the count is. I think I may have told Ari. I think I counted it for her. It was like 12 mentors or something so far that I’ve had. Each mentor has given me a piece of the puzzle. I’ve not had a mentor who knew it all. They’re good at one thing or maybe two, but I had to dictate and educate myself from that knowledge has grown me not only as a person but as a business owner.

Andrew: What does it cost to be part of your mastermind?

Trey: $20,000.

Andrew: $20,000 and then what do I get for $20,000?

Trey: That’s a good question. We have a 12-week training that you go through, video training. Then we have weekly calls. We have group mentoring calls. You and I get on a phone call and say, “Hey, what’s working. Show me your funnel. Let’s open your screen and show me what’s working and what’s not working and what can I do to get it to work and crank and tweak and all that stuff you need.”

Andrew: It’s all about the same thing that you do, which is selling physical products with an upsell.

Trey: Yeah. Absolutely. Upsells, down sells, thank you pages, retargeting, the back end. We go all the way into how to get affiliates, how to do email marketing, how to open a call center.

Andrew: That’s a big part of your belief. The physical product needs to be the door opener. Why? Why not sell a video first?

Trey: You totally could. But one thing that Perry always said on stage was it’s almost five times easier or ten times easier to sell a physical product than it is a digital product just because it’s something that as humans, we want something physical in our hands. We want to have something to touch. That’s always the way to go about it. Then to take that and then also to take the other piece from a mentor I had named Carl White was he said the secret to success was always getting in front of a parade.

So, as you know, we just had this big St. Pat’s parade. Someone put that parade on. Someone put that together. I don’t know who it was. What I do know was I knew where it was located, which was Facebook. We’re going to relate all this back to Facebook. I could say, “I know there’s going to be one in St. Louis.” I could target people in St. Louis and do a survey saying, “What’s your top favorite drink? Is it Coca-Cola, tea, lemonade, water, juice? Which one is it?” From that survey, I’m going to conclude the highest one might be lemonade, let’s say.

So two differences here–if I was the guy that just noodles at the wall, I would go to Walmart and I’d buy, let’s say, 20% of each. So I’d buy 20% of Coke, 20% of lemonade, 20% of water, and bring that all down to the parade at the same day. More than likely at that parade, I’m going to find out what is the most popular drink. But I only brought 20% of it versus me the guy who knew the parade was going to be in existence and happen and I surveyed them previously and I said, “Hey, what I’m asking is what do you guys like to buy?”

Andrew, what’s your favorite drink? “I love Coca-Cola.” Okay. That’s what I’m going to bring to your house. You’re going to get Coca-Cola. Imagine that. I spend all that money. I take all that revenue and I go down to the parade with Coca-Cola. I’m probably going to sell the majority of my Coca-Cola. It’s going to be gone because I surveyed them previously.

Andrew: Do you survey them or are you doing test sales first?

Trey: No. We do surveys. We just ask. We ask for hand raises. That’s all we do. People make this stuff so complicated and I like to keep it super simple is we ask our buyers, we ask our email list like hey, what are you guys buying? They raise their hand, they’ll tell us. We’ll have phone calls with them. They say, “I just bought X, Y and Z.”

A really easy trick–a lot of people don’t know this–you can go to Amazon wish lists. In Amazon wish lists, you can use your database and use an email and take your emails from your database and put them in that wish list on Amazon and they’ll show you what’s on their wish list. So, you can see what type of products they’re buying.

Andrew: Hang on a second. I went through so much work to hide my wish list because I put random stuff on there and I was a little embarrassed by it. There was nothing I should be super embarrassed by, but I don’t need you to know what I’m thinking about.

Trey: True. And you have some people like that, right?

Andrew: I thought I have your email address. I don’t. I have your support email address. But if I were to put your email address into Amazon, I can see your wish list?

Trey: No. Mine’s gone too. I hid mine.

Andrew: Let’s take this guy Justin Hartsman. I like you, Justin, that’s why I’m going to you. Amazon wish lists–where on Amazon.com do I find other people’s wish list?

Trey: You have to say like friends’ wish lists, though.

Andrew: Got it. I see it. It’s find a list or registry. I’m going to type in Justin’s email address. He probably doesn’t use his work address, but let’s see. That’s not in there. Okay. I’m going to look for Noah Kagan. I’m going to take his Gmail, which is usually the best email address for people because you can’t change those easily.

Trey: We’ve found a success rate of about 30%.

Andrew: I’ll take that, even at 10%. That allows you to figure out what they want.

Trey: Yeah, what they’re buying. How many times have you gone to add stuff and you add products and you’re like, “Save for later, add to wish list. I’ll just grab that later.” That puts it in your wish list. What we’ll do is grab our database and go through there and do 100 names or 200 names and we look for commonalities. What are people buying in general? Are they buying safes, first aid kits, compasses? What is it? Then we start to use that data to start throwing out to them and saying, “Hey, are you guys buying compasses?” “Oh my gosh, look at this compass I just bought. Look at this first aid kit I just purchased.”

Andrew: It’s not about selling the thing on their wish list, necessarily, but understanding what are they like? Are they survivalists, which one of the things you discovered. If they are, then what can we sell to those kinds of people?

Trey: Yes. Absolutely. Again, you’re getting in front of a parade. Your Facebook fan page is the parade. You’re asking them questions of what are you guys buying? A lot of people go with a product first approach, which is, “I have this fancy freaking pen I just invented and it’s going to sell millions because I think it’s cool.”

Well, I tried that a lot. I realized a lot of people don’t like what I like. They don’t think what’s cool is what I think is cool. We started going with a market first approach. What that market first approach is we’re able to say, “What are you guys buying? What are you interested in?” When they come back and say, “This, this and this,” guess what? We go sell them that. We’re not here to go reinvent the wheel. There’s so much pie out there, I just want some crumbs.

Andrew: What’s this thing you told Russell about how to find out what your avatar’s wallet size is. Once you know who they are, how do you find out how much money they have to spend? Boy, we’re really going over here, but let’s come to an end soon.

Trey: What was that piece? You’ve got to remind me on that one. I talk about a lot of stuff.

Andrew: I guess you told me about wallet size. Maybe people can check out that interviews on ClickFunnels, which is one of the things my assistant put together for me. Is this a great interview or what?

Trey: This is good. How do we share some golden nuggets to make these guys freaking love this podcast?

Andrew: What do you mean? What do you have in mind for a golden nugget?

Trey: I don’t know. What can we share–challenges are always good. Like if I had to do it all over again, what things that we ran into that were problems that might–

Andrew: I like it. What would you do differently?

Trey: Hold on. I’ve got a big list.

Andrew: Or what’s working for you for ad buys right now? I know we’re going to show what your current funnel looks like and give them a sample of it. That’s what that URL is that we’re going to give them.

Trey: We’re not just going to give them a sample. We’re going to give them a freaking downloadable funnel so they can start making money today. What are we doing for ad buys? We’re doing basically the same as we always have, which is Facebook, email drops and affiliates. Affiliates drive most of our traffic, if not all of our traffic. Basically we’ll do a little bit of Facebook on our just to make sure the funnel is operational. Then we give it to people.

Again, we’re giving this stuff to people who know what the heck they’re doing. I do two things really, really well. I know how to find offers that convert and I know how to build a freaking good funnel. Those are the two big things I can plant my feet in and say this is what I do well. Getting traffic and driving traffic and taking support calls and making sure the air conditioning is running on time, all that stuff is delegated out. It never was at the beginning. You have to wear all those hats. I get that, totally understand that.

Andrew: And this funnel that we’re giving them, it’s a funnel on ClickFunnels.

Trey: Yes. It is.

Andrew: It automatically gets loaded into their ClickFunnel account.

Trey: Yeah. If they don’t have it, it’s super cheap.

Andrew: There’s a trial period in there. That’s pretty smart of you too because now you’re going to make money from that too, which is not your upside. That’s not the reason why you’re here. That’s not going to make you enough money. That’s interesting. I like that even the lead magnet is a generator for you.

Trey: It is. You’ve got to, right? You kind of get smart about this stuff. So, here are a couple of things. Where would you say your listener is at? Are they at a job?

Andrew: They have companies. They are–they’re guys like Justin, who I brought up. Justin might actually qualify for an interviewee. They have companies and trying to figure out how to grow it. They’re kind of like you were when you went to that first mastermind, maybe a little further.

Trey: Okay. So one thing you need to put on your order forms, your upsells, your down sells, your opt ins and even your website is chat. We use PureChat.com, affiliate link not included. I think it’s $15 a month, super cheat. They get three users. I’m telling you, chat will change your life on so many different levels. We call it chat 911 just for fun. But basically it would be five hours before we knew our order form was broke. With chat, it’s within about five to ten minutes because someone’s popping up and they’re saying, “I can’t get my card to go through,” versus someone taking the time to email you and say, “I’m having trouble.”

Andrew: Why do you use PureChat, by the way?

Trey: I don’t know. It was the first one I Googled when I first started and we’ve never switched.

Andrew: Okay. You keep a chat up. What else?

Trey: I’m just going to fire ball, spit ball so that way these guys get tons of value today.

Andrew: I might be in love with you. I might need to break up with Olivia and marry you.

Trey: Oh, I don’t care to see you riding a bike with no shirt on.

Andrew: I like the way you think and I like the way you’re hitting us with a lot of useful, actionable stuff at the end.

Trey: Here’s the other thing is game changer time–look at your business now and then times it by a thousand. Let’s say you’re doing 100 orders right now. What would it look like to do a 1,000 orders? How does your back end–what systems start breaking down? I know that’s a crazy thought, but think again. We were selling I don’t even know, 2,000 shirts in one month and then the next shirt we sold I think like 20,000.

So how do you go from 5,000 to 20,000? Luckily, Teespring, the great thing about Teespring is they had support and they had chat and all that back end ready for you. You didn’t see that. With your own business, you know what I’m talking about, you’ve got support, you got chat. You have Ari taking all those customer service calls. You have the emails coming in. Someone needs to field those. And when you’re taking the time to do that, you take away what you’re really, really good at, which is interviewing.
Andrew: So you’re saying before it breaks down, figure out what’s going to break when you get bigger.

Trey: Yeah. It’s going to happen. If you’re in the business to be in business, you’re going to get bigger. No one stays the same. If they’re a true entrepreneur and really hungry and a lion, we’ve got a big poster out there that’s a big lion with bloody teeth that says, “If you’re going to be–everyone wants to be a lion until it’s time to do lion shit.” Holds true. So a lot of people until they have to show up to blow up, they don’t do it so hot.

The other thing is–what else can we do here? Making sure your logistics are in order–we do physical items, so we had our own shipping company, which was a horrible idea. If I had to start over again, I would hire that out. I would look for a drop shipping company. You can easily Google drop shipper. Ours would be drop shipper St. Louis. Yours might be drop shipper New York, to where you can find someone who’s going to hold your items and ship those for you. Again, you want to make sure you’re doing something in your favor to where you can work on your business versus working in your business.

The other thing is looking at time. So, recently, I have a Maserati on the way, the other thing is maybe I should I have bought a Tesla. Tesla just came out with the drive from A to B without any hands. So I’m thinking okay, it takes me 20 minutes to and from work every day. That would save me an hour of time. Over the course of a month, that’s 20 hours of free time that I could be working on my business making phone calls, chatting with podcast interviewers or emailing or whatever it is or talking to coaching clients and saying, “I’ve got 20 minutes. Let’s chat it up really quick.”

So I want to take that a step back because maybe I can’t afford a Tesla right now, but you can afford is maybe going and grabbing some Amazon links and having them pay you some Amazon affiliate prices. That’s where I started. I made the joke of how Amazon would pay for my lawn. Amazon would bring us maybe $40 a week or so. That was just enough for the lawn to be mowed. It would take me an h our to mow the lawn. Right there, I saved four hours a month.

Andrew: Yeah.

Trey: That’s huge. When you can start speaking those types of volumes, like, “What’s it take to get a cleaning lady. What’s it take to get a chef?” Most of you guys think it’s probably pretty expensive. It’s cheap. It’s very inexpensive. Things like that. What about someone who goes out and shops for you for your attire? How about someone who gets your dress ready? How about when you are doing weightlifting, having a coach?

All those things put together will save time to where your day extends. So stuff like that, that’s been really huge for me is cracking that code of time because just like you, we’re busy. So, when we can find that extra 20 minutes or 30 minutes that doesn’t take those times, we can do some pretty cool thing.

Andrew: Are you still using GetFriday.com for stuff like that?

Trey: We do use GetFriday.com. Those guys are awesome. They’re like $7 an hour, no withholdings.

Andrew: For a virtual assistant.

Trey: For virtual assistants. I learned from them from “The 4-Hour Workweek” from Tim Ferriss. GetFriday is fantastic. They have 300 people. They back themselves up. They can do all types of tasks except for you deliver you some goods. They can do Excel documents, upload YouTube videos, do transcripts, take emails, reply to emails, organize, stuff like that, which makes it really simple. We have them a lot of the Excel data analysis.

The other thing is like your credit card breaking, making sure that your limits are up. So, like someone getting used to Facebook, they might not even think about their credit card breaking. That’s where the thousand multiplier comes from. Like if you were going to scale up your ads, what’s going to break? My credit card would break because I only have a limit of $5,000. You should probably get that raised from $10,000 to $20,000 to be ready.

We use an American Express Plum Card. I love that because there are no limits. There really are like zero limits. We are doing like $200k in Facebook ads a month just from American Express. We actually had the guy from American Express show up at our door and he brings in this paper. It was hilarious. He goes, “Who are you guys?” I was like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “What do you do?” I was like, “I don’t know, we sell gun stuff.” He’s like, “Wow. I’m your American Express rep.”

I was like, “Nice to meet you. What can I do for you?” He’s like, “Let me show you something.” He pulls open this chart. He shows me all his clients, 400 clients that he looks over. It shows all these really small graphs, one little bigger graph and one amazing large graph. He says, “That large graph, that’s your guys’ spending compared to all my other 400 clients. You’re my top one. What you do in spending trumps everybody all together.” I was like, “Holy crap. That’s kind of cool.” That’s why we like the American Express Plum Card because it allows you to spend so you don’t have those caps.

The other thing would be UPS. We ran into a big thing with USPS, the United States Postal Service. When we started ramping up really fast with orders, the United States Postal Service gave us a four-digit mid. So, when you’re using Stamps.com, which I don’t recommend, they will give you a small mid if you ramp up like we did, then what will happen is you will start duplicating your UPS tracking codes.

When you do that, that’s going to create a lot of havoc within your organization, meaning what’s going to happen is they’ll get an email with a USPS tracking link, they’ll click on that link. It’s going to say it’s been delivered and not just delivered, delivered in a different city, different state. That’s going to create phone calls like, “I just ordered this and it was shipped yesterday and it says it’s delivered in the wrong state. I need a refund. Are you guys legit?”

This was such a big issue that we got in trouble through many sources. We had the police showing up to our front door and asking if we were a real business because some dude in Milwaukee called the police station just to make sure we’re legit because he called the USPS postal service guy, whatever they call him, the head of it and was like, “Do you guys duplicated tracking numbers. We would never do that.” So, who are they going to believe? Are they going to believe the USPS guy or are they going to believe the guy selling products.

Andrew: This all happened because of a what’s the mid thing?

Trey: Scale. The mid could not handle our scale.

Andrew: What’s a mid?

Trey: A mid is basically on a USPS tracking number, you get the last four digits of a mid. So, they’ll give you like zero to 999 or something like that. Then on that mid from the digits before it, you only have like maybe a thousand packages per rotation.
Andrew: I see. You’re saying if you grow to fast like you do, then they recycle those tracking numbers because they didn’t give you enough and they’re saying, “We never do that.” But in your case, they did because they gave you such a small number of codes.

Trey: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s how you got skewered by the Better Business Bureau.

Trey: Yeah. Those guys were nice as well. That created the next step. People were calling the BBB. They’re like, “These guys are scams. They’re sending it to different places, different locations. So it makes us look really bad, right? It’s nothing that we could do or handle. We didn’t follow our own rule, which is, “What happens when we scale it to 1,000?” Stuff like this is going to break.

But I don’t know even know how you prepare for that if you didn’t know about it. There’s no way I would have known like mids break or there’s even a med. Even something that’s tied to USPS, like how do you know that? So, even if you went through that exercise of times it by 1,000, there are still things like this out of your control that you don’t even know are in place, right?

Andrew: All right. I think we got a lot in here. What’s the URL for anyone who wants to go see the funnel? By the way, I was wrong. You actually do not need to have an account to get this. Yes, you can put it into your ClickFunnel account, but you can click and see every single page of the process, see how it works without creating an account anywhere. What’s the URL that you created?

Trey: MrOnIt. That’s my nickname.

Andrew: Mr. On It?

Trey: MrOnIt.com/Mixergy. Keep it simple.

Andrew: MrOnIt.com/Mixergy. All right. Why don’t we leave it there. Is that the best place for people to follow up if they want to get to see more of your work?

Trey: Yeah. The best thing would be grab that and then the Unstoppable Core that we’re putting out, that’s free content. They can get to know me.

Andrew: I’ve been on your site this whole time looking for it. Maybe I missed it.

Trey: It’s just TreyLewellen.com. It should be the–if you go to TreyLewellen.com, the first heading is Unstoppable Core with Trey Lewellen, watch now.

Andrew: Yes. I was looking all around at all the other details of the page and the thing that was right there, only because I was trying to figure out more about you, what you were selling. It’s right there–Unstoppable Core is right there with Trey Lewellen. Cool. Trey, it’s good to meet you. I obviously had a good time here.

I am going to stick with my wife. Good advice there. Let’s be honest, I was never going to leave her. I do like this conversation. I like the way you think. I enjoyed the fact that you were willing to roll with my punches, like what happens if I say I’m going to call your dad, you don’t back off. You don’t feel uncomfortable when I push you, you’re an easy guy to talk to. I love it. Cool, Trey. Trey, now’s the time when you say, “Andrew, I love Mixergy, it might be better than any podcast I’ve ever done.”
Trey: It is the best podcast I’ve ever done.

Andrew: Boom. Let’s leave it there.

Trey: It’s amazing.

Andrew: Thank you so much Trey.

Trey: It’s going to be the number one podcast on–who are you in comparison to? Who’s your number one right now?

Andrew: Number one guest?

Trey: Yeah, the one that has the most listens.

Andrew: You know what I would guess has the most listens and it’s kind of an unfair advantage? It’s Paul Graham of Y Combinator because for a long time on Y Combinator, he put a link to his Mixergy interview, like you want to know more about what Y Combinator is? Go to Mixergy, see the in-depth interview that Andrew did with me. That was a tremendous help.

Trey: That’s awesome. We’ve got to do something like that. And we’ve got to push some ads to it, then we’ll outdo him.

Andrew: You would push ads to this. You got people who would push ads to it?

Trey: I’ll push ads to it.

Andrew: I’ll buy ads, how much? I don’t want you to pay for it. If I pay a couple hundred would you put on this and how do you know if it worked?

Trey: Well, I think what we could do–what do you sell? What have you got for purchase?

Andrew: We have a premium membership, but I don’t even need that. What I need, I would go for more listens. That would be a big one for me.

Trey: Let’s just go for that. Let’s skyrocket this thing.

Andrew: A couple hundred bucks and we’ll see how it grows the listens. You’re going to feel awkward asking me after this interview is over, so let me ask you here. What’s the best way to send you money? Is it PayPal?

Trey: To send me money?

Andrew: So, you can pay $200 for the ads. I want your team. If you guys have ad buyers, I want to see what you guys do.

Trey: PayPal is fine.

Andrew: All right. I’ll ask you for your PayPal. Put it in Skype once you’re done. I’ll send $200. I want it to come from me. I don’t need you buy ads for your own–actually, that wouldn’t be bad either, but I’m not asking you to do it. I’d much rather say a couple hundred bucks, I’ll pay it. Let’s see how it impacts your downloads. All right. I’ve got to give my voice a rest. For a guy who shouldn’t use using his voice, I used it more than most interviews. But it was worth it, Trey. Thanks so much for doing this interview.

Trey: Absolutely, man. Thanks for having me.

Andrew: Thank you to my two sponsors. If you need a great developer, go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. If you need an easy way to get on the phone with potential customers, go check out AcuityScheduling.com/Mixergy. Bye, everyone.


  • darren

    enjoyed the call, but how do you download the free funnel without leaving your credit card details @ clickfunnel?

  • Great interview! I watched Trey’s video that CF made with him a little while ago. I really like how it broke everything down to basically show that really anyone can do this type of thing, but it doesn’t happen over night which is important for people to know!

    Andrew, my friend, I didn’t know you were training for a triathlon?? That’s my jam! Which one are you doing? May I suggest the Maine Ironman 70.3 in August! That’s the big one on my calendar this year. You’ve got a place to stay if you wanted to come see all that Maine has to offer! Good luck in your training, bud!

  • Chad Zeman

    Same, this interview is great, Its been suck in my head, and I finally searched this out looking for the funnel they talked about, no such luck.

  • Malcolm Angus

    That referral site (“Total Lander”) sounds like a referrer spam site.

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