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Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur

By September 26, 2017 November 11th, 2017 No Comments
Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur

Get a real job John Valenty! I heard that a lot, but I never seemed to need one. Here’s a recap of my entrepreneurial experiences from early on:

Extreme lemonade stand at age 8 (hired my first employee)

House & pet sitting at age 10 (got my first bank account)

“Shipshape Yacht Maintenance” at age 11 (Got my first business cards)

“Quality Yard Maintenance” at age 14 (Got my first magnetic signs for the truck I wasn’t old enough to drive yet)

First franchise purchased at age 15. “Sunshine Polishing Systems” (Thanks for your help with that Mom and Dad!)

Earning more than my high school teachers by age 16

Dropped out of high school in 11th grade at the recommendation and endorsement of my District Counselor. When I asked “why”, his answer was because there wasn’t anything else for me to get out of high school and I should just start building my business full time. I said; “what about college?” He laughed, and said I didn’t need a high school diploma to go to college and said I should enroll in the community college if I really wanted to go. I had just about given up on that thought until he said that the girls were a lot nicer in college and I could go at night and build my business in the day. I took his advice and my semi-adult life started that day. I also enrolled in the community college and found out it was true, the girls were a lot nicer!

At age 17, I had a small crew of mobile auto detailiers that would service the local car dealerships and retail clients.

At age 18, “Valenty Enterprises” was established and all mobile auto detailing services were ceased and replaced with more profitable mobile cosmetic paint and dent repair services.

At age 19, I hired my first professional business coach.

I was training people from all around the country how to perform mobile paint and dent repairs and also had a small fleet of mobile service rigs working the San Diego area. My income was about $10-$15K per month and I was one dissatisfied entrepreneur. I couldn’t seem to grow the business beyond that. My coach promised me if I hired him that he’d show me how to double my sales at a minimum or I didn’t have to pay him. I went for it.

At age 20, I was living proof that the right business coach can do wonders. My business was making $25K-35K per month the following year.

Still, I was not reaching my profitability goals. I learned the hard way that the only thing worse than a retail business can be a highly technical service business. I had built myself and elaborate “job” requiring my hands-on expertise (hours for dollars) to make a living. I realized I was too near the bottom of the entrepreneurial food chain again and had to make a change for the better.

I had big dreams and imagined what life would be like with a business that produced residual monthly recurring revenue. I couldn’t get the concept out of my mind.

By age 22 I was working every midnight infomercial get rich quick program I could get my hands on. I was one of those few people who were able to make the programs work–but not enough for me. The problem I found is that they did not pay very well in small scale and large scales took large investments which I didn’t have. After that phase, I developed a small mailing list business and learned the direct mail marketing game inside and out. I brought many of the concepts I had practiced into my next endeavor.

By age 23 I found the network marketing industry which at the time I felt was not a good fit for me. I was not at all comfortable with the style being used to develop sales organizations in most of these companies. While looking for a company to sell for, I kept hearing these compelling front-of-the-room pitches which I knew I wasn’t cut out for. Still, I was enamored with the concept of selling consumables and the residual income had that can be earned from it. I was determined to make it work.

At the time, my mother was slave to a very intense corporate job and she was also committed to making the business for work us so she could make a break from the corporate world.

The first company I put my heart and soul into fizzled out after about 6 months and really wasn’t a good fit for me. The second company my mom and I joined a couple months after had a line of nutritional products which seemed like it could be a better fit, but they had no systems of any sort to develop a steady flow of customers. This prompted me to build my own direct mail marketing system.

My goals were to automate the marketing process and make the phone ring with people on the line who wanted the product.

To make a long story short, I assembled a small marketing team made up of a couple buddies and one guy I met through a classified ad. My mom signed up my younger brother Mike under me and somehow got him (an engineer-type) to work the business with us. My mom and I worked night and day for a period of time teaching our team how to work our direct mail marketing system. We also taught them how to find investors to help fund the marketing campaigns. That was August 1995.

My team was also motivated to make the system work and together we launched one of the largest and most successful direct mail marketing campaigns the nutritional supplement industry had ever seen. By December my income was over $20,000 for the month and it nearly doubled each month until eventually exceeding $100,000 per month in 1996 and over $300,000 per month in 1997 with over $30,000,000 per month of gross sales. As a family we earned well in excess of $20,000,000 from just one company in about five years.

Not that anyone needs to make more than $300,000 per month personally, but I had huge dreams and believed that I had maxed the compensation plan in the business. So, I started looking into other ventures.

At age 25 I founded Work@Home Magazine, published 3 issues, made it to the Barnes and Noble magazine rack. I also formed the opinion that it would be 1-2 years before the business would become profitable. Even though I was already into it about $400,000, I was not prepared to invest millions into this idea. I cut my losses and pulled the plug on the magazine.

At age 26 I was married to Shelleen Valenty and her 4 year-old son Zachary.

Just getting into internet technology at the time, I promptly lost a million dollars trying to develop software without the first clue how to manage slippery software developers. Saving my own ass through a rapid technical education process prompted the formation of Earnware Corporation. The company’s purpose was to help my sales team and other businesses grow though the use of Internet and telecommunications technology. Little did I know that would be the start of my new passion and captivate my attention and focus for more than 10 years.

At age 27 I met my current partner Rob Greenstein. Rob is President of Earnware Corporation today.

At age 28 I had my first child Sophia Valenty.

At age 29 my partner Rob and I sold the web domain workathome(.com) for $2,100,000. That got me hooked on the web domain business.

By age 30 I had earned well in excess of 15 million bucks and had my second daughter Fiona Valenty.

By this time I had assembled a list of highly valuable web domain names.

At age 35 (2007), I planned out 20 years worth of start-up businesses many in synergistic support of each other and intended to be powered by Earnware technology.

At age 35 (2007), I restarted http://www.Wellness.com with a major focus and made it my mission to help people live healthier and happier lives.

At age 40 grew Wellness.com revenues by nearly 10x and reached 4,000,000 unique visitors per month.

At age 44 (2015), I co-founded BeachsideMedia.net from which we would launch and manage a number of promising web properties.

At age 45 (2016), I co-founded Soulvibe.com, Happierdaily.com, Unitedvoice.com and ModernSurvival.org

At age 46 (2017), I’m putting it out to the Universe… I’m ready for more help. I’m listening.

In my spare time… I intend to launch helpfund.com (and .org) which have the potential to become the most powerful direct contribution systems in the world.