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FAMILY, MISSION, LEGACY. 3 words that define and drive me. And, yes….3 letters with a different meaning (FML = F*CK MY LIFE) that for the longest time I found myself saying every time life seemingly “kicked me” when I was down. The failed businesses. The financial stresses. The failed marriage. The 2 baby losses…
SO…WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME AND MY ADVICE? WELL, IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH MY BACKGROUND AND STORY, LET ME GET YOU UP TO SPEED SO YOU KNOW WHY AND HOW I CAN HELP YOU.
Until recently I felt ashamed of “my story” as an entrepreneur and the struggles I’ve been through. But, I’ve decided to come clean, knowing that it could serve you on your path (or at least help you avoid the same landmines I’ve stepped on). Flash back to 2003, I graduated with a Marketing degree and immediately went into a sales role with an advertising company. At that time, there was no such thing as “social media” or “social selling”. When I started my first job in sales, my manager handed me a phone book and said “good luck kid”…and I thought “alright, it’s either sink or swim time”!
I was good at it. For 3 years i consistently exceeded my sales goals.
I would hit the phones everyday and i would attend networking breakfasts, lunches and conferences to meet people that i could serve with the products and services i sold (or that could refer me to people I needed to meet).
While you can still do this in today’s world, 90% of decision makers never answer cold calls, and there are way better ways to spend your time thatn heading to time-consuming networking events to meet with strangers hoping that one of them will either become a client or know someone that could be a good referral.
So, just to be clear, I did NOT “grow up” with technology.
Quite the opposite, I was trained and still do believe in the power of a handshake and building real genuine relationships with my clients. In 2005 I was handed 2 books by my best friend and future business partner, Mike Olaski (The 4 Hour Work Week & The Emyth Revisited) and
started to learn about how I could carve my own path in business as opposed to working for other people/companies.
I dove head first into my first entrepreneurial venture and founded a website development agency in 2006.
While we had some success with that business growing it to six-figures in 12 months…we sold off the assets at a loss within a year, I accumulated around $50k in debt (from friends & family loans), I worked long hours and my first marriage fell apart as a result.
LEARN MORE ABOUT
“What 7 Deaths Taught Me About Living”
in my feature article on Entrepreneur.com
Now let me get really vulnerable and honest with you.
I’m going to tell you what REALLY happened to me over the next 5 years that ultimately lead me to creating The MVP Method and this guide.
Not the sugar coated, prettied up version of “my story” that most marketers use to make themselves look and sound good…here’s the ugly TRUTH!
Jump ahead to 2010. It was one summer night like any other in Vancouver. My head was down as I walked through my local grocery store, picking a select few items for my grumbling stomach… And, even though I looked like I had it all together… I was completely broken on the inside. As I peered down at my mostly empty shopping cart, I began to estimate how much the food would cost me… I thought to myself, “Damn, I sure hope I have enough money to cover this!” In my business life, under-delivering for clients has simply NEVER been an option.
So why was I screwing up THIS much in all the other areas? My list of defeats kept growing…
- Failing to reach my goal of becoming a professional hockey player.
- Having my first wife cheat on me and then divorce me.
- Accruing massive debt to pay for my unused 6-year college degree.
- Drinking myself to sleep because of constant depression, overwhelm, and guilt.
Stacking one loan on top of another from banks and family, just to pretend that my digital marketing consulting business wasn’t on the verge of going under… I was stressed out, exhausted and just inches from giving up after WAY too many 12 or 14 hour days! And for what?
I was the guy that had to carry all the load in my consulting business… and somehow the harder I worked, the less I made… The icing on the cake? I was sleeping on a blow up mattress at my mom’s house at the age of thirty-freaking-four! Sheeeeesh!
In the public eye I was still a huge success…
My “wins” on paper could easily be listed off… From receiving a great marketing degree, to making it up to the college ranks in hockey, to exceeding sales targets in my first advertising sales job, to “following my dreams” as an entrepreneur… But I always felt beaten up on the inside… and my bank account NEVER reflected my hard work… It was only after that painful moment at the grocery store, on that sweaty Vancouver night, when I was considering just giving up on it all… that I made a choice… I was going to give in and just get a J.O.B (ugggg)!
That decision pushed me to apply for a number of jobs…
which led me to miraculously meet someone who
changed my life, my reality, forever…
They say that behind every great man is an even greater woman…
That was Sharmila.
She was a sales recruiter and I was this new guy in Vancouver, on the brink of giving up. She saw something in me that I didn’t… That I had the power to lead… that I could overcome any obstacle life sent my way…
She slapped a lifetime of victim mentality right out of me…
replacing it with a true self confidence
that I could achieve anything I set my mind to.
As embarrassing as it sounds, she even gave me another loan to throw me out of the financial pit I dug for myself, instilling a newfound responsibility to succeed. It was honestly one of many “rebirths” I’ve had as an entrepreneur. And good timing too! I was given the courage to TRULY see the next BIG opportunity standing right before my eyes… and seize it. A place you may be standing at this very moment.
The First Link To Success
While stumbling through different client projects as a digital marketing consultant to pull myself out of debt, there was one super power I discovered that I never even knew I had.
Call me old fashioned, but I always valued REAL connections.
Right before meeting Sharmila, I had the opportunity to work with a professional sports team to leverage their social media presence.
As a former hockey player, I was always a “sports fan” and saw it as a dream opportunity to work in the sports industry.
I was a bit skeptical of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Linkedin then… feeling like it could never replace a phone call or an actual conversation.
But, I had a feeling that this could be something I could sink my teeth into and see where it would take me.
One day while surfing the internet looking for experts in sports media… I stumbled upon the name “Kathleen Hessert”.
Turns out, she was responsible for blowing up the first million follower celebrity on Twitter…
I made up my mind then and there that I wanted to co-host a webinar with her… even though I had never done one before. She was the perfect topic expert for my own sports networking education… but I had no way of contacting her, other than through her social media accounts, in particular Linkedin…
I figured it was a long shot but sent her a message anyway.
To my surprise, she responded… in just 20 minutes!
Trevor with Kathleen Hessert (Founder – Sports Media Challenge) & Tom Jolly (Sports Editor – NY Times) at NY Sports Business Networking Event
I couldn’t believe it. In minutes, I had access to one of the most sought after sports media influencers!
It just so happened that this “technological thing” I was at first intimidated by ACTUALLY allowed me to connect with the people I wanted to connect with (including thousands of potential mentors, prospects and clients)… whenever I wanted.
I realized that as long as I had an internet connection, I could connect with anyone in the world in an authentic way.
I became obsessed… and worked hard to create a business around this obsession.
The Second Link To Success
It was obvious that with the right strategies, this platform could open doors that I never thought possible before.
One of those contacts made along the way was Lewis Howes (School of Greatness). We were both running in the same circles in the “sports social media” world…and while we didn’t know each other, we both had the same idea to create a training program teaching other people how to leverage Linkedin.
While brainstorming for the perfect name, I came up with “LinkedInfluence”… and quickly registered the domain.
Well…it turned out Lewis had the same idea and reached out to me to purchase the domain.
I quickly said “no way”…but I’ll give it to you for free if we can work together. 🙂
We made a deal, and for the next four years (2010 – 2014) I channeled my “online networking knowledge and passion for sports into supporting business professionals level up their careers in the sports industry by operating Lewis’s Sports Networker.com business.
I leveraged this opportunity to interview numerous high-level executives in sports, hosted 100’s of webinars teaching aspiring sport business students how to land their dream job in sports and together we built the largest networking group for sports professionals on Linkedln with over 160,000 members.
Speaking to current and aspiring Canadian Olympic athletes
This experience allowed me to build out my own speaking business under the brand “Legacy After The Game” where I support student/amateur athletes, coaches & executives in preparing for life after sport”.
In doing so, I’ve had the privilege of being a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for numerous events hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee.
To say it’s been a thrilling ride would be a massive understatement!
During that time, Lewis (along with a business partner) launched a very impactful Linkedin training program under the LinkedInfluence.com brand which saw 18,000 job seekers and marketers join the program.
And, in 2014, it came full circle when I stepped in as the lead trainer for LinkedInfluence.com.
Over the next 2 years, we had an additional 6000 people sign up for LinkedInfluence and launched a new training program (30 Day Sales Machine) in 2015 with the goal of empowering entrepreneurs and business leaders with LinkedIn lead generation & sales strategies.
We had over 1000 people join that program over 2 years and have 100’s of member testimonials that speak to the impact we created with this training…some with multi-millions in sales generated!.
Over that time, I got used to people calling me “The Linkedin Guy”… I didn’t love the name… but it sure didn’t hurt business either… 🙂
Working out with Lewis Howes & friends
My Biggest Shift
Again, on the surface…my business over the past 4 years has been very successful.
…but I felt there was more I could give to support our clients to get even better results.
Our training was the best on the market… yet, no matter how good the training was…we couldn’t force people to watch it or…to do the work!
As a result…despite the massive success that many of our members experienced… the majority of people that joined our online training programs did 1 of 3 things:
- They purchased the training but never even logged in
- They watch the first new modules, had some wins and then forgot about it as they got busy with other things in their business
- They dove head first into the training, got overwhelmed by the technology and realized they didn’t have time to do all the outreach required to get results, so they left it behind
Perhaps you can relate to one of these scenarios? Lo and behold, I was finally in a cash flow positive zone after creating multiple successful courses and programs on Linkedin.
But something was still missing.
See, even though I was fortunate enough to eventually serve over 24,000 paid clients, only a handful actually applied their newly gained knowledge.
The “information”, (the success strategies I was sharing), wasn’t being fully used after it was purchased…
Without real accountability, patience, and support from a living, breathing mentor… most entrepreneurs don’t have the self belief, patience, or focus to go through everything properly.
Seriously, what good is having even the BEST plan in the world, if you never actually IMPLEMENT it?
In early 2018 I attended a mastermind event in San Diego that would completely flip my business on its head.
After 8 years selling information, 24,000+ paid members and over $3M in revenue… I made the decision that I would no longer sell information”. (Watch the Facebook Live where I made this announcement here)
…rather, I would focus on creating “transformation” for the entrepreneurs and business leaders that we serve.
With that in mind, our mentoring program was born… The Expert Selling Machine.
LEARN MORE ABOUT
“How Fear and Heartache Gave Trevor Turnbull the Resilience to Build a Successful Mentoring Community for ‘SOLOpreneurs’”
in my feature article on Entrepreneur.com
We don’t just mentor on this topic, we are also students of constant growth in personal and professional development. After all, how could I ask our students to do “the work” if I’m not willing to do it myself!
In order to grow, you need to step into the uncomfortable moments and become a better version of yourself on the other side.
My team and I put blood, sweat, tears (and above all, TIME) into the success of each person who enrolls… ensuring that every expert solopreneur consultant, coach or speaker comes out as the MVP (Most Valued Person) to their prospects, clients and family.
Powerfully attracting leads and closing sales with ease… Banishing once and for all the stresses, the limiting beliefs, the roller coaster ride of ups and downs that may have littered most of their life (just like it had mine).
The journey I’ve shared with you to get to this place has made me a stronger leader, a better husband, and a wiser entrepreneur.
I’m living proof that there’s a better way out, and I’m here, standing for you to keep growing and transforming with me.
“One of the things I most appreciate
about Trevor and the coaches he
assembled is they’re all continuing
to learn. They’re all also on their
entrepreneurial journeys. I get the
benefit of their learning and the
community is super valuable too.”
Product Manager Trainer & Podcast Host