How I Managed Three Businesses Without Quitting My Full-time Job...
...or losing time with my family.
GERALD W JONES II, CPLP
From the desk of Gerald Jones.
A few years ago I was a training specialist for a large consulting firm in Omaha, Nebraska, where I still live today. I was earning a decent salary but my wife and our four beautiful children (and our two mischievous pups, Jax & Maestro) all depended on my single income to survive month-to-month. Oh, before we get into the thick of it, let me make one thing clear...
This is not a "rags to riches" hero story.
I created a process that solved a really big problem for me, and I've helped other business owners use it to solve their problems as well. That's why I want to share it with you. I didn't find the Holy Grail and magically start manifesting mountains of cash or anything like that.
I simply found a reliable way to put my companies on a growth trajectory while I got to spend more time enjoying life with my family. If that's something you want for yourself, keep reading.
Also, if you're a "Joe Friday, just the facts, ma'am", kind of person, feel free to scroll all the way to the bottom to Read My Offer and Sign Up Now.
However, if you'd like a little more context before diving in, let's keep going.
A little more context.
Recap: It's early 2016. I'm a consultant. Good money, great family, but only one income.
At the time, I was pushing through the last 21 credit hours to finish my business degree. I visualized that once I had that done, I could focus on building towards my family's financial freedom. Little did I know that juggling 7 courses over 5 months was child’s play compared to what I would get myself into later that year.
Shortly after graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University, in May, I started instructing for other companies as an independent contractor to generate additional streams of income. I also started a small e-commerce business, selling clearance rack items for profits on Amazon and Ebay.
A few months later, I founded my weekly interview format podcast called, “Buy Black | The Voice of Black Business” to share the lessons I was learning about business ownership and give other entrepreneurs a free platform to connect with new customers and clients…
...all while continuing to devote 40 hours a week to my corporate job and whatever time was leftover to my family...and sleep.
You’re probably thinking, “How the h…?!” YES! SO WAS I! SO WAS MY WIFE! I was BIH-ZEE and, needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was completely overwhelmed.
The sleep went first. Then family time. Soon, I was missing podcast interview appointments, shipping my e-commerce products late, and forgetting questions and key facts during my episode recordings.
Trying to do everything by myself was costing me money, but more importantly...it was killing my reputation. It felt like the only commitment I was honoring was to the corporate world. Everything else was in shambles.
Something had to change.
In short order, I set up two LLCs in Nebraska (one for training and the other for e-commerce). The process was much quicker and cheaper than you'd expect.
I drafted mission statements and core values, laid out my strategic goals for each, and then tested a few business model options until I found the systems that worked best for my lifestyle.
That’s all it took for me to see a clearing through the forest!
I started tracking the repetitive tasks that drained most of my time. Whenever possible, I replaced myself with an automated program that handled everything for me. For example:
I mentioned before that I had been forgetting and missing appointments. When I did remember to pick up the phone, I often found myself woefully unprepared to conduct my interviews.
Through some research, I found 10to8.com Appointment Scheduling Software. I married that program with Google Forms and set up a guest application system that captured all of the information I would need to conduct an interview, then allowed my guest to book the day and time for our call. The 10to8 system:
Automatically synced appointments with my Google Calendar
Sent multiple reminders to my guest and myself leading up to our call
It even sent follow-up surveys to guests about their experience with me...
ALL FOR FREE...all without me having to lift a finger.
Not only did I STOP MISSING APPOINTMENTS...my guests started complimenting me on how PROFESSIONAL my scheduling team was! My "Scheduling Team"!?
They had no idea that my team was just an automated software system!
I was hooked.
I started automating everything I could find:
Social media cross-posting
For tasks that could not be handled by machines alone, I found ways to outsource the work:
Using the "Fulfillment By Amazon" (FBA) program to handle shipping and customer care for my e-commerce business saved me dozens of hours (and headaches) each month
I found a drop-shipping company to CREATE and SHIP t-shirts promoting my podcast...all I had to do was upload the designs
I hired specialists from platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to handle data entry, do research jobs...and design a podcast t-shirt or two (SHHH!)
Basically, if I didn't absolutely HAVE to do it myself, I hired a person or program to do it for me.
The amount of pressure that I was able to lift from my shouldes in only a matter of weeks was astounding! I was spending more time with my family and, when I was working, I had the freedom to focus on my three most important jobs:
Creating high quality episodes for my podcast listeners
Delivering a great experience for my training students and podcast guests
Building and nurturing relationships with my audience, customers, clients, and partners
As my podcast grew over the next several months, I spoke to dozens of business owners who were trying to find the same freedom and balance that I had created for myself:
I interviewed an Ivy League student who was juggling his senior class load while managing his environmentally sustainable tennis shoe brand
I built a friendship with a North Carolina BBQ sauce king who was balancing high-profile competitions and expanding his brand footprint with working a full-time job and being a great husband and father
I talked with a military officer who provides leadership consulting services to faith-based organizations during his time between assignments and deployments
They were all making it work, and...
They had four critical things in common.
1. Each of them was on a mission to change the world in some profound way, and they could tell you exactly what their mission was in plain, easy-to-understand language.
2. They each had designed a business model that fit their lifestyle, rather than letting the business dictate the life they could live.
3. Each business owner used extra sets of hands (or automated programs) to keep the business growing while life demanded their attention elsewhere.
4. Finally (and most importantly), they took action. As soon as the pieces were in place, these small business owners put their plans to work.
These are the first steps toward becoming a free business owner. Let's break them down:
The elements of a D.O.P.E. Business Plan.
DEFINE the strategic objectives for your business
ORGANIZE your business model to fit your lifestyle
PRIORITIZE work streams to automate, outsource, and delegate
EXECUTE your role as Chief Executive with a Strategic Action Plan
Creating structure and setting up these processes requires a surprisingly small time commitment (I did it in less than an hour a day over about 4 weeks), but the potential return value is impossible to ignore!
One well-known serial entrepreneur that I interviewed drafts plans for these systems before he will even TEST any new business idea, and several of his companies net over $1,000,000 in profits each year!
You might be saying to yourself, “Yes, but that kind of success only works out for a few lucky people.” If you’re thinking that - and if you are, I don’t blame you for being skeptical - I challenge you to consider this...
Entrepreneurs don’t become successful business owners by luck.
Small businesses don’t become large corporations by luck.
You cannot be successful long-term without:
Knowing where you are going,
Planning how you are going to get there, and...
Having the right vehicle to complete the journey.
My D.O.P.E. planning process will walk you through setting up all three.
More amazing facts about this process.
You can do it in your spare time
You don't have to write boring drawn out documents
The best mission statements and strategic goals are only one sentence long.
You can test most automation programs for free
In many cases the only investment you'll need to set up is a little bit of time to set things up.
Outsourcing to freelancers is surprisingly cheap (often as low as $5)
You can run tests with multiple vendors without committing unreasonable amounts of time or money
The investments you make are usually tax deductible
Do it once and it's yours forever
You can scale up, scale down, update, and modify as the needs of your business grow and change.
This will be your business' most important insurance policy
This is the most important part. Once you have the right structure in place, your company is set up to keep making money whether you can work or not.
Your family will thank you.
I’ve put my entire D.O.P.E. Planning Process, from Defining Strategic Objectives through Executing Your CEO Role into a step-by-step, guided membership program.
Each section is designed to feed the next, building a solid foundation and frame that will support your business at every stage whether you are just starting, stabilizing, or scaling up.
If you’re wondering why I would put so much work into sharing my secrets with other entrepreneurs (many of whom run the same types of businesses as I do) here’s why:
A huge part of my personal mission is to help people win. I’ve talked to far too many small business owners who are overwhelmed, burnt out, and on the verge of having to decide whether to give up their business or lose their family.
I don’t want that for you...or anyone. There is plenty of room in the market for all of us, but not enough business owners play the game to win.
Your first lesson is free.
To prove how confident I am, I'm offering a 100% Money Back Guarantee. Sign up below to access the program kick-off module, "Your D.O.P.E. Mindset" for 30-days. This module is designed to change the way you think about planning and organization for your business, so that you start with a champion's mindset and start building your business the way winners build their teams.
Here's what you'll get.
"From Self-Employed to CEO: How Close Are You?" Training
This training session does an excellent job of teaching you the small, critical differences that make elite teams like the Navy S.E.A.L.s, the Golden State Warriors (Pre-Kevin Durant, of course), and the New England Patriots consistently better than their competition. You'll learn how to sketch out your complete business model on a single sheet of paper, and you'll get an even more detailed understanding of how the D.O.P.E. process I've created really works, and why it will work for you.
In-depth Business Owner Assessment
This thorough assessment will give you insight on where you are right now on a 4-point scale from Self-Employed to CEO. The questions were carefully selected and crafted to help you reflect on how you currently manage the critical functions in your business like:
Setting and communicating strategic goals
Managing time and projects
Onboarding new customers, partners, and team members
Automating and outsourcing work
Planning your exit strategy
You will receive a rating that shows where you stand today along with helpful tips to start building more balance in your business immediately.
1-on-1 Assessment Review & Strategy Session
On top of all the module content, you and I will sit down face-to-face (well, kind of...we'll be on a Zoom video conference). During our 30-40 minute call I will answer any questions you have about the mindset module. We'll review your assessment results and do some strategic planning for implementing DOPE concepts in your business.
There's zero risk to you.
Sign up today and you will only pay $97 for the DOPE Mindset Module.
If you don't like my advice, or my voice, or even the color of my shirt, you can cancel within 30-days and get a full refund. No questions asked, no surveys to answer, no hassle at all.
However, if you complete the Mindset module and it completely shatters the way you used to look at starting or growing your business (which I'm confident it will), and you want more...do nothing.
After our 1:1 review and strategy call, I will unlock the full DOPE Business Plan program for you immediately. You will be able to walk through the process, building your DOPE Business, step-by-step at your own pace!
That's a lot to give away. What's the catch?
I’m willing to give you all of this for just $97 with a 100% Money Back Guarantee, because I’m confident that either:
A - This module is going to fill the few remaining gaps that have kept you from achieving your goals. You'll have everything you need and be well on your way to success.
(By the way, if that turns out to be the case, LET ME KNOW. I want to hear your story!)
B - The Mindset module will be a great start, but you’re going to need more guidance to reach your goals. I’m betting on the idea that offering you some of my best stuff in good faith will help you trust that this is the right program, and I’m the right person to help you take your business to the next level.
After the first 30-days, you'll pay only 2 additional installments of $250 to unlock lifetime access to the full program.
Build your DOPE Business at your own pace
Join our Bi-Weekly Q&A Sessions
Get Best Practices, Tips, and Resources for other members
Regular program updates and additions
Join today. There’s no catch. I just want to help you win.