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  • Jared Yellin

Opportunity Disguised As Extreme Challenge


“I ran out of money 3x in the past 9 years of scaling SYNDUIT and each time, I learned something new about myself that has helped me get to where I am today.”

- Jared Yellin


OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY!


I would say that the thing I am most proud of as an entrepreneur is the ability, in almost real-time, to see extremely difficult situations as opportunities even if I am unsure of what the opportunity actually is.


Don’t get me wrong…


REAL TIME = hours to even a day, but typically within a 24-hour span of the challenge I begin to condition my mind that even if nothing about the challenge makes sense - there is a reason it’s happening and growth will be the outcome.


But…

This was definitely NOT always the case.


I started SYNDUIT 9.5 years ago in my apartment…


I had no money…

I had no team…

I had no real structure…

I had no plan…


But what I did have was an insatiable desire to use my skills to solve problems…


My skills are the ability to write marketing copy and sell which became version #1 of SYNDUIT.


I SOLD myself as a copywriter and got 2 pretty high-profile clients to give me a shot…


Well, it worked and those two clients experienced some extraordinary results which led to the launch of SYNDUIT as an agency.


I hired a ton of people…

I got a big office…

I earned a ton of clients…


And from the outside in - we had it all!


Money was flowing…

Opportunity was everywhere…

Clients loved us…


But for me…


SOMETHING BIG WAS MISSING!


We had 400 active clients in our first year and all I could think about was serving 1,000,000…


But 1,000,000 clients meant a supporting team of 425,000 and I most certainly did not want to have a team of that size.


The problem with SYNDUIT was the correlation between growth and hiring and I don’t like businesses that require that variable to reach the next level.


So...this is when I had the vision for the software…


THE SIMPLEST MARKETING SOFTWARE IN THE WORLD WITH CONTENT FOR EVERY INDUSTRY THAT WE SERVED!


I interviewed 12 companies in 2012/2013 until I finally found a company that had a glowing reputation, experience building large scale software products, and were open to working with me.


They quoted me 10-months and $750,000 and I said - LET’S ROCK!


I was funding the software through the cash flow of the agency and at the end of 10-months, we got the product and 2 things happened…


1 - It was ½ of what we agreed on

2 - The final invoice was $1,500,000 and it should have been $75,000


I was able to negotiate myself out of this potential nightmare and even met my CTO as a result of this situation, but financially I was rather depleted.


So much so that once we brought the software in-house I had no money for payroll which was only days away.


My business management firm read me the riot act when they said you either need to completely abandon this project, fire a ton of people, or pull off a sales miracle.


This entire situation put me in a rather dark place…

How could I be in a situation like this when my driving force is to help more people?

Why would the universe conspire to make me fail?

What should I do?


Listen, I handled this like most people would - WHY ME?!?!?!


But quickly realized that WHY ME meant that the show was over and I knew we had not even gotten started yet…


Remember - EVERY challenge is an…


OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY!


I called a team meeting - expressed the dire situation we were currently in - and then got to work on building a 6-week marketing bootcamp for $997/business.


We launched this product on a Tuesday and by Thursday had 350 business enrolled and payroll was met the next day…


Running out of money this first time taught me the most important lesson one could learn in life AND entrepreneurship…

RESILIENCE!


But like I mentioned, SYNDUIT has almost run out of money three times for two specific reasons…


1 - Our vision is INSANE - build and implement 1,000,000 Annual Marketing Plans with 1,000,000 business owners inside of the simplest marketing platform in the world.


2 - We were under capitalized as we never raised any money which is unheard of in the software industry


The second financial OPPORTUNITY (disguised as a CHALLENGE) happened when we realized in 2015 that the only way to really scale to the next level and impact 1,000,000 businesses would be to scrap our existing platform and start fresh. This meant throwing away a $2,000,000+ in development to potentially build a better solution.


I emphasize POTENTIALLY because the complexity around what we set out to achieve had never been done previously.


Scrapping a solution meant that we needed to stop selling it too but this did not mean that we were able to stop paying out team, rent, etc. so we were burning through cash quickly until I had to have one of those fun and exciting calls with my business management firm…


“Jared, you won’t make payroll if something does not happen. You know what you need to do…”


Since this was not my first time in the bind, I was able to default to my newly sculpted RESILIENCE muscle, but this time around I needed something else to tap into as well…


I needed to ASK FOR HELP!


FARRRR too many people and entrepreneurs suffer alone...and suffering alone is a VERY VERY VERY dark place!


So after feeling badly for myself, asking WHY ME, experiencing a few sleepless nights...I go to work…


1 - I asked my team if we could push their payroll back by 2 weeks - everyone HAPPILY agreed! (we are on the mission TOGETHER)


2 - I asked a joint venture partner if we could move up our launch by 2-months and do a pre-launch with an extra few bonuses - they HAPPILY agreed!


The combination of these ASKS led to a 7-figure launch, the team got their paycheck, and we lived to tell the story.


PLUS, I now had a second newly sculpted muscle…


ASKING FOR HELP!


The third and final time could have and should have happened this year - COVID-19 and the irony is that the company came off of it’s best year yet, we eclipsed a milestone number of active users, and we were about to launch our most exciting initiative yet in 2020 - PRIVATE LABEL MARKETING SOLUTIONS!


But when COVID hit - our tribe of small businesses owners were hit the hardest…


Their businesses were closed…

Their income was halted…

Their fear was at an all-time high…


And we had to do something to support them, guide them, and offer a solution…


We instituted a plan where any business who asked for help would get 90-days of free software, we would change annual renewal dates that happened to land in March, April, and May, we added additional features, content, strategies, etc. and we did whatever it would take to support those in need…


The outcome…


We lost many many $100,000’s of revenue, but what we gained was a perspective that changed the company and changed my life and this was the third time we “ran out of money” (although we did not run out this time), but lived to share this critical lesson…


DO WHAT’S RIGHT...ALWAYS! (even if it’s hard, uncomfortable, and makes no sense in the moment)


We never ran out of money because of a lack of sales…

We never ran out of money because of a bad decision…

We never ran out of money because of doing something wrong…


Rather…


We ran out of money to learn a lesson, each time, that would prepare us for the IMPACT that we are going to make.


And I share this with you NOT to boast, but rather to help you realize…


EVERYTHING in life is an OPPORTUNITY even when the situation makes no sense, is extremely painful, riddled with frustration, and inordinately confusing…


EVERYTHING is an opportunity disguised as whatever you decide to call it…


But my challenge to you is DEFAULT to opportunity as your label, find the silver lining, learn and grow, and NEVER STOP pursuing whatever it is that you desire whether it’s love, health, finances, mission, entrepreneurship, or anything else that matters to you…


OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY - OPPORTUNITY!


Live with Intention,