I started my first business – an IT support company – while living in Silicon Valley during the height of the .com boom.
There were all of these exciting entrepreneurs doing amazing things around me, and I was sitting in Bay Area traffic driving from client to client, only surviving because of the insane demand for help with technology that existed at that time.
My business model was horrible…trading time for money.
It exhausted me, and after two years, I realized I should be doing something smarter.
I just needed to figure out what!
I chose to pursue my MBA at Babson College because it was the #1 program for entrepreneurship in the world, and because they offered an option to complete the program in one year.
I was eager to get back to building another business, so that was perfect for me!
I used my time at Babson to evaluate new business opportunities to start, but something kept drawing me back to the IT services industry I was in before school.
I knew it was an enormous industry with competitors that were very fragmented and poorly run, and I felt that If I could just learn to develop a better business model, I could do well.
Selling services to small businesses had some particular challenges that required creative problem solving.
They don’t have much money, they often aren’t well-run, they don’t have organized purchasing processes, etc.
But the challenge of creating a good business serving them was intriguing to me!
I knew I had to find a way to create what I call ‘Services That Scale’.
Our services had to be very carefully packaged, with clearly defined limits and affordable price points.
They had to be recurring revenue.
I had to be able to sell and deliver the service over the Internet so that we didn’t burn time driving from customer to customer, and I could provide the services anywhere around the world.
And I had to break the model of trading time for money, instead selling flat-fee services that I could find ways to automate as much as possible to increase my margins.
A month before graduation, I launched my next business.
The result was Everon Technology Services, a business that revolutionized the business model in the IT services industry and went on to be one of INC Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America three years in a row.
Our business was successful. I had three offices across the country, an amazing team, industry recognition, and millions of dollars of recurring revenue each year.
The model had worked, and other businesses were very eager to get their hands on our model.
After spending years building a service business in the IT industry that required lots of cold-calling, person-to-person selling, and long sales cycles, I was exhausted by the expensive, painstaking effort we had to put into building our sales teams and getting new clients.
But once again, I was drawn to use the lessons of my ‘Services That Scale’ approach to build a new business.
Could we do it again? Would the lessons apply to a new business?
What about the Marketing Agency industry? It had many similar characteristics as the IT industry…
Could we do it even better and faster this time? And refine our strategies to make the business even more efficient?
We took all of the lessons from my time at Everon and launched a new marketing services company (NOT an ‘Agency’…there is a VERY important lesson there!).
Once again, we applied the fundamentals of ‘Services That Scale’:
1. Carefully packaged services with tightly defined limits
2. Very affordable price points
3. Recurring revenue
4. Breaking the time-for-money model
5. Leveraging technology to scale and increase margins
This next business grew MUCH faster than Everon did!
I had proved to myself that the fundamentals of ‘Services That Scale’ were applicable to all kinds of services businesses…it was just a matter of figuring out how to apply them.
Since then, the great people I’ve been able to work with and I have built online service businesses, training businesses, software businesses, media business, eCommerce businesses, digital agencies, t-shirt businesses, and more.
We’ve built several of them into the multi-millions of dollars of revenue, sold one for millions of dollars…and yes, we’ve flopped, too!
We have also built communities of thousands of entrepreneurs, future entrepreneurs and business owners that we train, encourage, and mentor on applying the concepts of ‘Services That Scale’ to get leverage in their businesses and their lives.
The world economy is now heavily based on service businesses, which have rapidly replace manufacturing industries as the foundation of healthy, growing economies.
In fact, over 78% of America’s GDP is accounted for by services industries, and represents over 80% of private employment.
Most of those jobs are at small businesses, which tend to be poorly run, very small businesses that don’t leave much at the end of the day for the very hard-working entrepreneur that owns them.
The prospects of the impact we could have by bringing the ‘Services That Scale’ best practices to thousands of businesses worldwide is what drives us now!
If we can help these small service business owners – Agencies, freelancers, consultants, etc – use the ‘Services That Scale’ best practices to get leverage in their businesses and their lives – for more freedom, more money, and more impact – it will be our greatest win yet!
Read on to learn more about what we’re doing…
As an entrepreneur hustling to build a business and lifestyle you love, you need to find the fastest, simplest, and most effective way to get the results you’re looking for.
We call it ‘Leverage’ (but LVRG makes a much cooler logo, and is the name of our ‘parent’ company)
We are constantly on the hunt for the mindset, strategy, technique, or tool that will create as much freedom of location and time as possible, and generate as much profit as possible, so that we can make as much impact on the lives of our customers, families, and communities as possible.
More freedom. More money. More impact.
That’s what it’s all about for us. We are explorers on a never-ending journey to find what works to improve our businesses and our lives.
And when we find something that works, we share it with you.
Mike Cooch, is a “serial entrepreneur” with a Texas-sized passion for sales & marketing, business development, technology, and entrepreneurship.
He has founded successful, seven-figure businesses in technology services, agency services, publishing, and ecommerce (and flopped on a variety of attempts as well…keepin’ it real!).
His businesses have been named to the INC Magazine List of Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row, and were also nominated as a Best Place to Work in their respective cities.
He has an MBA from Babson College (the #1 ranked entrepreneurship school in the world 24 years running – go Beavers!), where he has been a regular guest lecturer on the topic of ‘Managing a Rapidly Growing Business’, and a BS in Finance from Colorado State University.
He has three children, is an avid skier, hiker and traveler, and is loving life in his adopted hometown of San Diego.
We love working with people to help them build businesses that give them more freedom, more money, and more impact – nothing is more fun and rewarding.
It’s important that we take a minute to define a ‘lifestyle business’ so that we’re on the same page about what that means and what our goals are.
To us, a lifestyle business is a business whose primary reason for existence is to allow for a particular lifestyle for the owner of that business.
It’s just as important to clear up what ‘lifestyle business’ doesn’t mean to us as well:
It doesn’t mean it has to be small.
It doesn’t mean that it has to make less money.
It doesn’t mean that is has to have less impact on the world.
It just means that the primary reasons for existence are not shareholder returns, growth in valuation, or going public – common reasons for existence in the business world.
It’s important for a few reasons:
1. Very few businesses go public or require huge amounts of venture capital – benchmarks of success for years in the entrepreneurship culture and community.
2. Many, many people who aren’t necessarily interested in or trained for running businesses for shareholder return are building wonderful businesses that give them an incredible life, and there has never been a better time in history to be able to do that.
3. Building a lifestyle business requires certain decisions that may not be ideal for investors, partners or employees, so you should be very clear about your goals, with them and yourself.
While we have built and operated successful businesses that were focused on more traditional measures, that is no longer our goal (at least for now and for the businesses we operate), and that’s not what the content and training found at DigitalMarketingLab.io will be about either.
To build a global community of thriving lifestyle entrepreneurs that are living the dream…their dream…with the freedom to chose the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ of their work, and the time, energy, and money to invest in the the ‘why’ that matters most to them, so that they can have the greatest impact on the lives of their customers, families, friends, and communities.
Build a company known for creating and sharing training, actionable tools, and experiences that:
Teach and empower our community to use leverage to have more freedom, earn more money, and make a bigger impact, and…
…celebrate the pride, passion, and excitement of being an entrepreneur!
To meaningfully impact the lives of 1,000,000 entrepreneurs, and collect 1,000 ‘raving fan’ video testimonials from entrepreneurs, their significant others, or their children, by the year 2025.
Lead With Value – give before we ask.
10X Value – if we can’t look someone straight in the eye and know with certainty that our product should deliver at least 10X what they paid in value…don’t ship it.
Be the Example – have fun, make money, and live the dream so that we inspire others.
Respect the Dream – entrepreneurs face challenges that would crush most people on a daily basis…we want to support and encourage, not minimize the challenges you’re facing.
Simple, Scalable, Repeatable, Recurring & Profitable – principles for every business we run and everything we teach.
Ok, we’re going to get a little deep on you here.
If you’d rather be able to think of us purely as capitalist sharks that only cares about the almighty dollar…now is a good time to look away.
Avert your eyes!
Still with us? Ok…here goes:
We love entrepreneurship…that’s our passion.
We believe that entrepreneurs have the ability to create what we call ‘Evolved Capitalism’, a future where we have less large public companies and Wall Street calling the shots for entire communities and countries, and more of thriving small and medium-sized businesses operating with a sense of connection to the people they employ, the customers they serve, and the communities they live in.
Although an official definition of capitalism, as seen above, defines it as “an economic and political system where trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state”, we think of capitalism a little differently.
We believe that our economy is best when controlled by private owners who have ‘a stake in the outcome’, as entrepreneur Jack Stake so eloquently stated in his book by the same name.
When people understand how the work they do contributes to their neighbors and communities, they act and feel differently than when they can’t see the connection between their labor and how it ultimately benefits someone.
That’s largely been lost in our world of Fortune 1000 companies and Wall Street traders that view things only in terms of the latest quarterly results.
That’s why we believe in ‘Evolved Capitalism’.
In case that sounds a little fluffy, let’s be clear:
We are 110% for building kick-ass, competitive businesses that gush profits!
The cool thing (really freakin’ cool!) is that we live in an era where we can have both kick-ass companies AND a more evolved approach to capitalism, thanks the the incredible advances of technology that enable us to automate more process, reach more people, and work when and where we want.
That’s awesome, and our Purpose is to play our part in advancing ‘Evolved Capitalism’ to businesses and communities around the world.
One of our primary goals is to help our community of entrepreneurs make more money.
That being said, we don’t believe in get rich programs – only in hard work, adding value and serving others.
Our content and training programs are intended to help you improve your business skills and encourage you to take action so you can build your business.
Building a business takes a lot of work and discipline, just like any worthwhile endeavor, and while our programs are meant to accelerate your success, they are no substitute for hard work.
Please don’t enroll in our programs if you believe in the “money for nothing get rich quick” ideology; we only want serious people who want to work hard to build their business for the long term.
As stipulated by law, in promoting this and all our programs we use illustrative numbers only and we cannot and do not make results guarantees or give professional or legal advice.
We do, however, guarantee your satisfaction with our programs, and you have a full 30 days from purchase to evaluate any of our products and request a refund.
If you dream of building a business that gives you more freedom, more money, and more impact – you’re our people and we’d love to keep in touch!
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, join our social communities, and stay in touch!
All the best,
Mike Cooch & The DigitalMarketingLab.io Team