Transcript of Interview with Omar Martin
Editor: If you've ever wondered if it's possible to make a huge career change in order to make it big in online marketing, then you are going to love this. Omar Martin has an amazing story to tell, about how the events of September 11th, 2001 made him reassess his priorities in life. Now, on September 11th, he lost good friends that day, and he decided to upstate New York, where he's working in medicine alongside the New York Fire Department to move down to Orlando, Florida. These days, Omar runs a successful online business together with his wife, Melinda. And I hope you're as excited as I am to find out more all about that, Omar, it's a real pleasure to meet you.
Omar Martin: Thank you very much. I appreciate you having me on.
Editor: Well, I guess for those who haven't come across you before, perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about your story. And what inspired you to become an online marketer.
Omar Martin: Well, for me, it was culture shock, doing any marketing or any sales, my formal education was in medicine, and I was studying to be a physician. I graduated medical school in 1996, I was working for the New York City Fire Department, as a paramedic, I really loved what I did. But frankly, I just wasn't happy. It's the type of work where it really takes a special individual, especially where I chose to work. It was, the busiest one of if not the busiest, 911 system on the planet. And you go from the worst moments in people's lives, to the next worst moment in somebody's life, to the next over and over again. And your day is just filled with all these jobs. And, in spite of all that I was very good at what I did.
Omar Martin: But it's a very unappreciated job. And, you're a moving target for a very low salary, low wage, and mostly unappreciated, especially back then. But I think the straw that broke the camel's back for me, was September 11th. Like I said, I was already, wondering is this really what I meant to do for the rest of my life? And, the events of September 11th, it wasn't yeah, I lost my best friend and partner, I wasn't working, by the way, I wasn't on duty when this happened. But, not in a way makes it even harder, right? But, it was devastating. It wasn't just my partner, Dave, that died. But it was 343 brothers and sisters from the New York City Fire Department. So, I reevaluated things. And frankly, that was the event that, made me decide that I'm never going to go back to medicine.
Omar Martin: I'm going to find ways of helping people, find ways of maybe making this planet a little bit better place than I found it. But it's going to have to be outside of risking my life physically every day. And, that's where my journey started, to find something else. So I had to put my pride and my education in my back pocket, and I had to start looking for something to do. When I came to Florida, from New York, it was culture shock, because I just had to find a way to make some money. And upon arriving here, I just, I only had about 200 bucks in my pocket, didn't know where I was going to stay where I'm pretty much all my possessions, were in the trunk of my car.
Omar Martin: And I just picked a paper, got a newspaper and picked an ad, and went on a job interview. And I was interviewed by this beautiful woman, and I didn't want to come back for the job to be honest, the job was door to door sales. It was horrible. But it was she was very beautiful woman, and I got the job obviously. And I ended up marrying that very beautiful woman who today helps me run is still my boss today. She was my boss. And that is my beautiful wife, Melinda, who is the CEO of our company today.
Editor: Fantastic. I mean, it's an amazing story to hear that you went from, the awful events of September 11th. And that was the catalyst that propelled you forward into almost a new life, I guess, for want-
Omar Martin: Yes.
Editor: Of a better description. And you mentioned, you lost your good friend, Dave, on that dreadful day. Would you say that's been a catalyst for you, in terms of driving you forward and giving you that desire to succeed?
Omar Martin: Oh! Man, absolutely. You see with Dave in particular, he had dreams man, you ride so you spent so many hours working with somebody in the ambulance or your partner, you get into a lot of stuff together. You come really close, and Dave had dreams man. Dave, unlike myself, Dave was a very physically fit guy. He was very athletic. He was and his dream was to own a gym. He wanted to own a business but his idea was to make it an entire little strip mall where it was a spa, it was a gym, it was like a whole health and fitness centre where, you can come in and it was just, and all of that died that day with him. That entrepreneurial spirit and that stuff that he wanted to do and he wanted to create so, yeah. In many ways, it was a springboard for me to want to do something else. So yeah, it was, the circumstances of September 11 did in fact, they were, very inspirational.
Editor: Yeah, they went from, as you say, a very sad situation, to getting you into the position where you met the love of your life. And then look how that turned out in terms of your business. So, it just goes to show to, you need to keep the faith, I guess. Now, we chatted with John Thornhill recently, and he told us how you said to him, "Tell me what to do John. And I'll do it." So I guess he was your mentor. Is that right?
Omar Martin: Yeah, John and I have become the best of friends. I mean, if it wasn't for John, I'm not saying that I wouldn't have found something to do. I made a decision a long time ago that I was going to be successful, and that I was going to find something to do that can help others. And, John just happened to be the person in the path when it came to internet marketing. And it came to it's actually a pretty interesting story. But when I met John, he was offering this coaching programme. And, he was very good at what he did. But for the very first time, he was about to start teaching others. And I was in that first class of his and I was, frankly, I was just enamoured by the concept that you can make money on the internet, it was so completely different than anything I've ever done.
Omar Martin: Remember, I was in medical, I was from the mentality from the old school way of thinking was like, "You have to put in your dues, you have to go to school, get an education, put tonnes and tonnes of years, and years in university. If you want to have something that pays you really well." The doctors, the lawyers, those are the guys that make the big money, and I can't, I grew up thinking that. And then, I'm introduced to the concept that wow! You can actually make really good money from home doing stuff on the computer. And back then, it was very new, the whole thing to me, and I was just enamoured with the concept. And John was really good at what he did.
Omar Martin: So, when I saw that I could learn the process from him. I instantly tell guys I was convinced, once I discovered exactly what he was doing, I was convinced that I was going to be an internet millionaire I was like, "Okay, that's it." And I just, I had no problem telling them. I was like, "Hey, man, I'm going to be your best most successful student like ever." Like, "I'm going to get better at this than you." I didn't say that [crosstalk 00:27:52]. At the time, but I definitely thought it, and you know what? Here we are, at the time that this interview took place, it's been 13 years. And, we John and I are the best of friends. I mean, he's flown here to the states many times. He has a drawer in our guest room that has his own clothes in it. So we've just become, great friends. And we've done products together and we've partnered up we were actual partners, we have a bank account together and we've done amazing things, and we've been able to help countless other people 1000s of other people as well as a result.
Editor: And how did you guys meet? What was the product that you purchased?
Omar Martin: Oh! Man, that's such a, great question. Because the way that it happened, it was just it's almost like the stars aligned back in 2007. Around that time, Melinda and I had gone through the whole door to door selling thing, we had believed it or not been homeless for a while. It was tough, right? Because after September 11 by 2003 I was already doing the door-to-door sales thing with Melinda but, we were broke, we had no place to live and we were literally squatters. We were just not making any money and it was a real devastating blow to my pride, having all this education, having had a really good paying job up north and then now I'm down here trying to impress the girl of my dreams here [inaudible 00:27:52], right? And it was tough, but we got out of that, we did well in the door-to-door sales business. We opened up an office and then eventually we got tired of that face-to-face selling and decided, we're going to try corporate America. We're going to settle down. We're going to, buy a house.
Omar Martin: We're going to get a couple of dogs and then we just like everybody else in America, we went broke. We were just overspending. We're up to our eyeballs in debt. We didn't know what we're going to do. So by 2007, we were trying to put together some money for the holidays for Christmas to be able to buy some gifts. We literally had no money in the bank and I turned to eBay. I figured you know what? I know people can sell stuff on eBay. We had a garage full of junk and I figured one man's trash is another man's treasure. Maybe I can sell some of that stuff on eBay. And while on eBay, I noticed that, "Wow! Look, there's these little PowerSeller icons. And there's people really making a lot of sales on here." But for us, it just wasn't working like we would spend more money on shipping supplies, than we would make on selling stuff. And it was just, it wasn't working. But I was determined to figure it out. So by, I don't know, call it fate, call it whatever you want to call it.
Omar Martin: I decided I was going to do a search. My search phrase was going to be how do I become a PowerSeller? And the part that fate intervened was when I accidentally put that search term in the eBay search bar, instead of in the Google search bar or the browser. So what popped up was a listing on eBay for a book called The 90 Day PowerSeller Challenge, by none other, than this guy named John Thornhill. So, here I am thinking to myself, well, "I'm a pretty smart guy. It's a book, it's a 90 day challenge. I'll buy the book, I'll read it. And within 90 days, we will be living happily ever after as a PowerSellers." That is not at all what happened. It's something magical took place right then, in that moment. I bought this book for $12. And I received a download link. And in that moment, I was like, "Okay, I just got a link, a link for a book that I bought to learn how to sell physical items." I'm like, "What the hell am I doing?" So I never read the book.
Omar Martin: I just realised from that moment on, I got to learn how to sell links like this guy. Because I won't have to ship anything, I won't have to pack anything out. So I just became determined to learn everything I could about selling digital books, eBooks. And the amazing thing is that the next day, I get an email from this guy, who I never and I'm like, "Oh my God! How did you get my email?" And he's selling me something else. And he's welcoming me aboard. And then before you know what? I bought another thing and I'm like, "Oh my God! I keep getting emails." I was just introduced to this whole new subculture of marketing and I was just, I was amazed by it. And I said, "This is it. This is what I'm going to do." So, I started learning from John and his emails and his blog, and eventually, he came out with this course, this coaching programme. And that's when things got really heavy because I was still broke, right? And we didn't have enough money to afford it, to afford the coaching programme. But I went ahead and took money out of the bank, even though we wouldn't be missing our rent payment, our mortgage. And I invest that, I brought Melinda into the room, and I said, "Honey, this is John Thornhill." I opened up the website.
Omar Martin: And I explained to her, what I was trying to do, and the moment I said how much it was going to cost, she was like, "Are you crazy? We don't even have that money for the rent." I said, "Yeah, we're already going to be late with the rent, we might as well be really late." So she said, "Okay, if you're going to do it, do it." And I think that was probably one of the best decisions of our life, because we've been able to build a multi, a seven figure company, as a result.
Editor: Incredible. I mean, what an amazing story. And it just goes to show that from those small acorns, mighty oaks can grow. And as you say, you've now got a seven figure business. How pivotal was it for you to have the backing of Melinda at that point?
Omar Martin: Man, this is a great question as well. Because, a lot of people ask us about that. About the dynamic with husband and wife working together and doing this, and you know what? We're not the only couple that has tried their hand at building an online business. But I think there are a lot of people out there that find themselves in the position where they have a confrontational spouse, or they have a challenge with, getting that support from their spouse or their partner. And, they have a really hard time at building an online business. And what I tell those people that approach me about it, I've even had someone come to me on a webinar and said, "Man, Omar, this is awesome.
Omar Martin: I wish you could just talk to my wife. If you talk to my wife, she would know that this is legit, and that I can make money." And for a moment I contemplated I was about to say, "Yeah, bring her on. Let's..." But then I said to her, I said, "You know what? There's absolutely nothing I can say to you, right?" I started thinking about this. And I said, "Man, I don't have to prove to your wife that I'm legit. Or that making money online, you have to prove to your wife that you're legit."
Omar Martin: And I realised that with Melinda, anything could have been on that computer screen when I pulled her in. It could have been a website for Tiger Woods, and I could have been telling her, "Hey, I'm going to be a multi million dollar golfer." It didn't matter. You see, I had already been homeless with Melinda. I had always already started from scratch from Melinda. Melinda already knew what I was about. She knew that I was a determined person, if I said, I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. And she already supported who I am as a man.
Omar Martin: And that's why, we were able to do this together. It's not the path we chose, it's not the product that we purchased, it's the determination and the connection that we had. That's what she supported. So, I think a lot of people that are looking for a way to get their spouse to support their internet marketing business, what they need to do first is really get to the root of the problem. Like, "Why do you have this problem with your spouse?" I think that it's a little deeper rooted than just you're trying to do right now.
Omar Martin: And we get into these businesses, usually at the worst possible times in our lives, right? When, our houses, in like, we're in bankruptcy, our houses in foreclosure, and our cars are getting repossessed, and we think all of a sudden, "Well, now must be a good time to try to start a business." And what ends up happening is our spouses have a legitimate concern about, spending all this time and money on the computer on something that is not going to return an instant investment. So, I think really the person that has that challenge with their spouse, and isn't getting that support, they really need to reevaluate why that is, because not likely because of the business. There's something else there. And fortunately for me with Melinda, like I said, we had already been through so much stuff in our lives. And we had a solid relationship at the moment that I proposed this new direction.
Editor: And you absolutely right. And normally when the chips are down, that's where you end up making those decisions, those life changing decisions. It sounds like that's exactly what happened. Your back was against the wall. But actually you thought, "This is something I can do." And the internet. I think sometimes people forget that the internet is here to stay. If you remember life before the internet, it's almost like you can convince yourself that the internet is only going to be a fad, it's going to be around for a few years, and it's going to disappear again, but it's not. It's going to be around for a long time.
Editor: So I think that, by you investing your time, your effort, and your energy into an online business, probably that's the most, that's the wisest thing you could have done. Because, if you look at sectors like banking now, that for years were always seen as jobs for life. That just doesn't exist anymore. Whereas with the internet, you can create your own business and of course, it's worldwide. So, good on you for taking that leap of faith, and also for Melinda, for backing that leap of faith as well, I guess. And you say that she's, obviously an integral part of your business. How does that work for you guys, Omar?
Omar Martin: Well, she is the boss. She is the CEO of the company on paper, and in real life, she really steers the ship here. And I think initially, she was very sceptical. She believed in me, but she was sceptical about her own role in the business, and she watched from the sidelines for that first 18 months or so, which is how long it took me to really get it going. And then once she saw how the money was coming in, consistently, I was able to convince her to leave her job and start working with a company, but what would have been an 18 month learning curve for me was just the beginning for her. So, she was very slowly coming in and getting used to what was going on. But it didn't take long for her to start pointing and realising like, "Wait you could be doing, you're doing that wrong." She's correcting me on stuff and fixing stuff that I was doing wrong.
Omar Martin: And the cool thing about it is that, I think like with many couples, Melinda and I have very different strengths and weaknesses and we complement each other well in many aspects and where I lack in organisational skills, and scheduling, and managing, and operations, and logistics, and that kind of stuff that is really important when you start growing a business. In the beginning when it's just you, it's really about discipline, right? Just got to make sure that you don't get distracted and end up watching cat videos on YouTube for three hours when you should be building your website. But as long as you have the discipline to manage yourself, you can get a business on off the ground. Melinda really helped us take what I had started and turn it into a company with employees, with multiple profit streams and really scale it. And it became pretty obvious, I would say maybe four or five years into it that she should be the one steering the ship not me.
Omar Martin: That my role is really, I'm the creative guy. I'm the visionary, the one that, and she is more the integrator. She's the person that makes things happen that. If she lets me soar while keeping me grounded if that even makes sense. But she helps keep things running while I'm creating new funnels, new product ideas, developing new things, and it's a really good combination. We work together in the same house, we've always had, now that also takes some acclimating, because unlike certain couples that have different how, and I know that with, after COVID, and everything that happened with lockdowns, I know that this has changed a lot, and people are seeing things differently. But for us or internet marketing, internet marketers in general, we've been social distancing for the last decade, right? We've been working from home, it's not really something new for many of us, but for a lot of people it is. And what happens is, when all of a sudden you have to work, you have to be around your spouse 24/7, you don't have that little, break that you used to, it's challenging, it's difficult.
Omar Martin: But I think one of the benefits from myself Melinda is, remember, she interviewed me for my first sales job. So we've been working together long before. But now in the business, we're working together. So it's like, okay, when it's lunchtime, you go have lunch together, okay? So it's dinnertime, you go have dinner together, it's time to, it's everything is together. Okay, it's time to go to bed, everything is together. So, I think it's important to have some time and make some time apart, or I'm going to go work on some chores, or I'm going to go do something out in the yard or whatever, and she's going to go work on something, and without that, it just all gets, meshed together. But the dynamics, are pretty interesting when you're working with a spouse.
Editor: So you have to have a pretty strong relationship in order to be able to have, that work life balance, I guess. If you're working together all the time, and, you live together, obviously, to be able to balance those two things is a real challenge, but also one that you seem to have embraced, and work through. I mean, we mentioned before about your background is in medicine. You trained in the medical profession, then you chose to leave that behind Omar. I mean, that's such a big step to take. How supportive with the rest of your friends and family when you took the decision to do that?
Omar Martin: Oh! Man, I left most of that behind. You see, I have a very small family. I don't have a lot of people that I would, see on holidays and stuff. My parents are Cuban immigrants. So, it was really just me and my older brother, and we're not very close. So, when I left medicine, it was a shocker to my parents, because I was the first in our entire family history to ever graduate college, let alone go to medical school. So, that was a very big source of pride for them. And then all of a sudden, they looked at it like, "Oh my God! Our son, what's he doing?" But nobody was counterproductive or went against my decision.
Omar Martin: What I did find though, is as far as friends, a lot of them I had to leave behind because it's funny, when you're not doing well, at least it's been the case in my life. Nobody was trying to give me financial advice or help or anything like that when I wasn't doing well. But when I started making money, it seems like everybody had some advice as to how I should be spending it or their idea of how I should do it. And a lot of people ask me like, "Well, did you change when you started making money?" Or, "When you started building a business and becoming successful?" Or, "What happened to your friends?" And so on and so forth. And it's funny, because my success or my money I don't think changed me.
Omar Martin: I think it changed the people around me when it comes to my friends. And I really just became immersed in the new relationships that I was creating with our online business. And, the people that are, friendships like with people like John Thornhill, who you brought up. I think a lot of the friendships and the people that I knew in the past, were holding me back and negative influences in a way. And now I have some lifelong friendships from the medical profession and, some stuff like that. But, I think that, I just made a whole new set of friends and a whole new set of colleagues that are, totally different. Because in the medical field, particularly in EMS, where I was in, we create this wall, we create this persona to deal with the types of things that we're seeing every single day. And generally, we are bitter people. It's just this persona and personality that you create to help you cope with the constant trauma, the constant loss, the constant, terrible stuff.
Omar Martin: If you don't do something to protect yourself, if you don't build that wall and become that cold person, you take everything to heart, everything hurts you, you become and you don't, you can't be as, you can't perform the way that you need to. But the friends that I met online, are and in the business world and people like John Thornhill. And it's just totally different. It's a totally different type of comparing internet marketers with, paramedics EMTs and first responders. It's a completely different type of person.
Editor: Yeah, it sounds like one of those episodes of Scrubs, you know the TV show? Where you've got the cynical old medics, and then you've got the newbies coming through are all enthusiastic. I guess it doesn't take too long before actually, you slip into that negative role. As you say, just as a coping mechanism. Because, if you're facing, I guess, death around you and so on. It's one of those just coping mechanisms that will kick in. I mean, you've done so much, Omar is why it's difficult for me to try and encapsulate exactly what you've done in your career. You've done so many six figure launches now. I was wondering, maybe you could just tell us a little bit about the launches that you've done and how you've gone about that and maybe some tips, that people that are thinking of doing the same themselves.
Omar Martin: Yeah, for Melinda and I, it was about figuring out how to sell digital information products online so that we wouldn't have to do the whole shipping thing and physical items. And so anything and everything that we could automate, simplify, digitise was of interest in the beginning. And a lot of what we wanted to do, the tools for it just didn't exist. I mean, when I started doing this, we were still on dial up internet. I see newbies complaining now about, "Oh my God! It's so hard to make money." You can watch sales video. If I wanted to watch a sales video when I started, I had to leave it downloading overnight, so that I can see it in the morning and play it. So, the challenges were totally different than we had to deal with. Nowadays, you have drag and drop page builders that didn't exist, you had to do HTML, and you had to build your own website and things like that. So, back then, when we started, it was all about trying to create tools, and systems, and processes that can simplify, and just make the whole digital marketing process easier. So, we started by creating our own digital products. And then eventually, we found that as we got good at creating and launching our own digital products.
Omar Martin: The reason that we got good is because we started creating our own tools, our own plugins, our own things, just that we could operate as a company, and we can do things better. And what ended up happening is those very tools that we were creating for our own business, our own launches ended up becoming products that we would launch as well. So we started creating a pretty diverse product portfolio. And we teamed up with a group of people, that we call the Affiliate Jedi at the time it was, it started ourselves. David Nicholson, John Thornhill, Michael Cheney, it was just basically a group seven of us and we would collaborate on Voxer and on Skype, and we would have these calls and we talk about what we're building, what we're doing, we'd support one another's product launches. And we almost sometimes line them up, where we would say, "Okay, well, you're doing this now. Okay, well, that was going to go grateful, what I'm going to launch next?" And I don't see enough of that happening nowadays, in internet marketing, where people are forming alliances, and they're building their businesses together.
Omar Martin: And, they're growing, in these, it's so much easier when you support each other, and you're holding each other accountable and creating products together at you can really build a community of people behind you. And, instead of having to go it alone, and I think that would probably be a good tip for people that are starting out is, yeah, I can, at the end of the day, we could talk about whether you should be using WordPress, or you should be using that, or you should be using this. But at the end of the day, what really makes a difference is you. It's the choices you're making and the actions that you're taking every day, not the tools that you're using. Because, if we did $1.7 million last year using, I don't know we use WordPress and OptimizePress as our technical where we build our sites.
Omar Martin: But then if you said, "Well, if you were using ClickFunnels or this, would you have made more? Would you have it?" No, we would, because it doesn't come down to the tool, it comes down to the operator. It comes down to who's using it and what you're doing. And I think that the part that a lot of people miss is the relationship building, the strategizing, that thing is much more responsible for your success than whether or not you're using this particular tool, or that particular Gizmo or what have you.
Editor: Now, I mean, that's pretty good advice as well, as you say, "Build that network of connections, if anything, just to keep you accountable." I think that's a really key piece of advice. And also, as you say Omar, almost get out of your own way. Don't focus on, the minutiae of should I be on WordPress? Should I be on ClickFunnels? Or Kartra, or GrooveFunnels? Or whatever it might be. What the latest thing is, just make a decision and carry on moving forward, because that's the only way you are going to be able to achieve what you've set out to do. So some real key learning points there. I think if you were starting out now though, what do you think you would do differently?
Omar Martin: I would do a lot of things differently now, because it's a different internet now. It's a different internet now than when we started this interview. Let alone and, when I started my career, look, you've chosen to do business and build a career in the most rapidly, advancing, platform industry, in the history of mankind. The internet, has created a communication boom that makes the printing press and the Industrial Revolution pale by comparison. And because of that, it is constantly changing. So it is a very rapidly changing environment that you're building your business in.
Omar Martin: And when I started, it was different because we didn't have the social media and, the challenges that are going through today, right now, at the time that we're recording this interview, there's all these things happening with social media blocking people, cancelling accounts, and they're having a really hard time, back then there was Facebook, it did exist, but it wasn't at all what it is today.
Omar Martin: Back then, if I wanted to meet other internet marketers, I had to get on a plane, travel to an event, stand in front of them, hand them a business card, shake their hand. Now, you just go find them on Facebook and send them a message or you go Tweet them, it wasn't like that. And even though Facebook existed, it didn't even have a search bar, there were no, it was completely different. So, you're building a business today in a different environment than I built mine. And I think what I would focus on, today would be creating content right from the beginning, like just tonnes and tonnes of valuable, unconditional content. I would give it to people with no condition, no condition that you have to sign up that yeah. I would start building a tribe by providing unconditional value first. I would focus on assembling an audience, containing it in a digital stadium, creating that barrel of fish that I'm going to shoot my offers into later.
Omar Martin: I think that a lot of people rush to create products, they rush to build a list there. And don't get me wrong, building a list and creating products are, very important. But a list is a byproduct of having a business, it's a byproduct of having an audience. It doesn't happen the other way around, you don't get a business because you build a list, you get a list because you built a business. So if you focus on creating value, and then, injecting that value into an audience, inevitably, you're going to have a list of customers as a result. The list is the byproduct. And I think that's what I would do now. I think one of the other things that I would focus on, is as quickly as possible focus on processes that create recurring income, instead of focusing on launching and getting, throwing yourself into this perpetual feast or famine cycle, which is what happened to me. In the beginning, it took me 18 months to figure out how to create and launch your product profitably.
Omar Martin: But, a lot of people don't realise they see your successes. We did internet selling for newbies in 2009, we did half a million dollars in sales, we generated $30,000 monthly recurring income as a result. But before that, my first five product launches, they made me nothing as a matter of fact, I went backwards, my first launch, I made zero sales. Other than my own test sale, there was no sales made. So a lot of people, they see the big successes, but they don't realise the things that you have to go through in order to get there. And today, I would say, "Focus on building that audience, focus and do that by providing unconditional value first, and then focus on creating recurring revenue products." The gym membership model, where you're selling a username and password, just like in a gym, they sell you the key card to get in and access the material that's in there, access the equipment. If you follow that mentality, you're going to create something that's, hugely important for the survival of your business within the first year. And that's called capital. Most businesses fail because of lack of capital.
Omar Martin: It's not lack of ideas. It's not lack of traffic, it's lack of capital, you don't have the finances to keep you going while you learn. But the quicker you get into creating recurring revenue, the quicker you're going to be able to alleviate that problem of working capital. So those are the things that I would focus on right now, if I had to start again.
Editor: [inaudible 00:27:52] one of the things just to pick up on one of the points that you mentioned is that, when you did your first few launches, in some cases, you say you went backwards. Why was that do you think? What was the reasoning behind, you losing money effectively on those launches?
Omar Martin: I was trying to mimic what I was seeing other people doing without understanding what went into it. So, for example, the one that I lost money on, I think it was my first launch, I didn't understand that you needed affiliates. I thought, field of dreams, you build it, they're going to come right? Well, nobody came, other than my wife and a couple of people that knew I was doing a launch that day, because they were my family members. Nobody came to this site, right? So, the next one I created it, but then I realised, "Okay, well, I have to have affiliates." I started recruiting affiliates. And I said, "Well, I got to give something away, I got to give away a prize."
Omar Martin: But I had no idea how that works. So I said, "I'm going to give away a big expensive camera." I didn't make enough money to justify giving away the camera, I went backwards. I lost money and time, in creating the product, I launched the product. And then I made less money than in sales than I did, that I had to route, I had to pay out in prizes for these affiliates.
Omar Martin: So I got that squared away by my third one, then and what I realised by my third one is, well, I have to have affiliates, I have to have appropriate prizes, I have to be able to make sure that I'm not giving away the farm with these prizes. But I need a lot of affiliates to make this work. So my mistake on the third one was I started approving anybody and everybody. I didn't have any requirements for affiliates. And what I had is I opened the doors to myself for fraud. So I had fraudulent affiliates, creating accounts to launder money through my product launch, and to the tune of 20 something $1000 I mean, I thought third launch, "Oh my God! Look, I've hit it big." And I almost lost my PayPal account. Because, so again, I went through all these things that I had to learn and I had to overcome the hard way.
Omar Martin: And sometimes now I teach people and I say, "Hey look, this is what you should do. This is what you should expect." And they don't listen. And then they get jammed up because I'm like, "Look, man, I'm telling you, I went through this." We went belly up for the first five launches. And it wasn't until that sixth one, where all of these things that I'd learned in the prior five, came together.
Omar Martin: And I did it right. And we had our first six figure launch that was internet selling for newbies. At that point, I had made enough mistakes trying to sell online that I had figured out a recipe for doing it properly. And we launched that product did, I believe somewhere around $450,000 in sales after it was all said and done, affiliates paid, prizes paid. Melinda and I were able to put $180,000 into the bank for us to keep. Now that for a lot of people might not sound like a lot of money. But I can tell you it was more money than I had ever saved in my entire life. It was more money than both Melinda and I together had ever had in the bank or individually I'd ever had in the bank and even working my high paying Fire Department job. So it was it. And that wasn't even the best part of it. The best part of it was that as a bump offer, we created a recurring membership product, and charge $39. And we were able to put 1300 people into a $39 per month product. So now you can do the math of how much money we're rebuilding every month. So even after paying the affiliates on that recurring product, we were banking $30,000 a month.
Omar Martin: So again, it took me I didn't give up on launch number two, or launch number three even with, that fraud almost or launch number four are the other problems that I'm not even going to get into that I had to go through that learning curve. I mean, but because we didn't, we were able to, pull off launch number six. Today, a lot of people come online, they buy this coaching product, they watch this free video, they download that plug in and boom, they're screaming and yelling, why they're not making millions within a month, or at least 100,000, or at least $10,000. And that's just they just create these false expectations. And added on that it's not always their fault, they read these deceptive claims on these pages. And they think well, "This is going to be easy, it's the internet after all. So I'm just going to put in a couple of hours and I'm going to get rich." And that's not the case. Anything and everything of value is going to take a significant investment of time and money.
Omar Martin: But, you can't give up on it just because you have some pitfalls, and there's not going to be no shortage of them. The internet is constantly changing the things that you learn today, on a particular platform, on a particular process, they might be different a month from now, two months from now. The person who wins at this game, is the one that is most open to change and most willing to adapt to the change of things. If you're not willing to adapt, if you have a hard time with new things, you're going to have a really hard time building a business on the internet because it's constantly changing.
Editor: Yeah, I mean, kudos to you for keeping on going as well, because I think a lot of people, by the time you get to launch number five, and you're still encountering issues, you may start to think, "How long is this going to take?" And as you say you got the breakthrough at launch number six. So I mean, that must have been a proud moment for both of you and Melinda at that time. What's next for you though, Omar? What are you working on right now? And what can we look forward to coming, from you and Melinda in the near future?
Omar Martin: Oh! That's a great question. This past year with, at the time that we did this interview, the world has changed after COVID. And there's been a lot of pivoting, that a lot of businesses have done online. For us, in particular, selling digital information products and tools that helps people's online businesses, we've actually done better. Because at this time in history, more people are turning to the internet to consume information, to learn how to digitise their own passion, their own way of making money. And here we are, with the skills and the tools that can empower them to do that. So we actually did well. But what I realised is that, making it easier and faster for people to consume that information and find that information and consume that information, we started doing a lot of workshops. One day workshops where somebody can come and sit down and in front of their screen for six hours and just go through an entire, training course that teaches them how to do a particular skill, whether it's traffic driving this building. We realised that doing that in the age of Zoom, and people being so open to jump on webinars and things like that, it worked out really well and making it affordable for people 20 bucks a pop, we realised that it was really beneficial for them. And it was also beneficial for us because it forced me now in one day to create an entire product.
Omar Martin: So we leveraged that. We started dual purposing what we were doing so charging admission for people to come and learn something and then while we record that, we can sell that as a product as well. So we started doing that. What I've come to realise now, 13 years into this, we've all read as long as the internet exists, we will never have a problem making money again. We have so many different income streams. And we've effectively Melinda and I remove the factor of money from the equation of our lives. And something happens when you get to that position in life, you really start looking like, "Well, what else can I do? How else can I help people because, there's got to be more to it?" And we're looking for different ways to do that I've become much more involved in my church, and we're helping our church actually, is inspiring us to create a platform for churches to do online ministry.
Omar Martin: So the skills that we have been using online for many, years, webinars, and things like that. People at churches, they knew nothing about them really. So we're looking to do some things there and other thing and our own company where we've been creating software, to help people more quickly be able to create Lead Funnels, Leadpages by removing the barrier. So we're working on a product called Convert Tools for a full launch and Convert Tools is a platform where people will be able to pay a monthly fee. And they already have a library of products there, hundreds of products that Melinda and I have created.
Omar Martin: And they can use our products as their own to generate their leads, their lists, their funnels. And we're putting all of our tools that we've created for ourselves throughout the years into this one platform where you can log in and use them in your own business. So, we're working on those things and diversifying, our company to adapt with the current internet that we're seeing today and the current challenges of the world and life and what's happening post-pandemic wise, as well as finding a way, to really add a little bit more, to the planet than what we were doing by just making money.
Editor: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's amazing in itself. And Omar, how can our listeners or readers, how can they find out more about you? How can they contact you to find out more about the services that you offer?
Omar Martin: Yeah, that's pretty easy. The name of our company is Higher Level Strategies. So if you go to higherlevelstrategies.com, that's our main company site. And you can contact us there and you can read some of our blog posts and things like that on there. But higherlevelstrategies.com is where you can connect with us.
Editor: And please send our thanks to Melinda as well who's helped us organise this interview. Omar, it's been an absolute pleasure to chat with you. Thank you so much for being so generous with your time and your knowledge.
Omar Martin: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.