“First, I made my flight to freedom… now I help other entrepreneurs make the same journey”
Hi, I’m Tim Conley, creator of the popular business podcasts “The Foolish Adventure Show” and “Marketing for Founders.”
1.6 million and counting. That’s how many listeners from around the globe have downloaded these shows and soaked up the invaluable lessons on using business and marketing to gain financial freedom and a more fulfilling life.
But… here’s the deal:
Even though “Foolish” and “Founders” were a joy to produce and they continue to bring me “Internet fame” as more people discover them, I’ve moved on.
It’s true. I’ve been sharpening my focus on what I do best — coaching, advising and mentoring business owners. And there could be something in it for you, too… More on that in a moment.
Why the hell would I leave two successful podcasts in the dust?
I’ll explain by letting you in on something…
Once upon a time, I was in a position similar to many of the people who seek my help now (and in many ways, I was much worse)…
… a wannabe entrepreneur struggling to provide for my young family, pinning my hopes on an idea for a dotcom travel business I without-a-doubt knew was going to make me rich. So I scraped together the cash and worked night and day to get things off the ground.
But as months ticked by, optimism turned to frustration, anger and finally humiliation when the profits didn’t roll in… or even trickle in.
I could build a website, but a business? That was a different story. I couldn’t make it work, couldn’t attract the customers… no matter how many bleary-eyed hours I spent hunched at my computer.
And without money to cover the bills, I watched… on the verge of tears… as my family paid a heavy price.
It was gut-churning when my wife and I and our baby girl were forced to uproot from our house in Portland, Oregon, where we’d planned to raise our family. Instead, we drove a U-Haul truck loaded with our things to a dreary neighborhood in the next town and crammed ourselves into a tiny low-rent apartment that couldn’t even fit our couch..
What made it worse — even though my wife and our friends and family never said it out loud, never pointed fingers, it was no secret that I was the only one to blame for what was happening to us.
The business failed, but ….
The experience remained… seared into my soul
I vowed to make things right again… devoting myself to mastering how to launch and manage a company and — more importantly — how to persuade prospects to eagerly hand over money… and have them come back and do it over and over.
The “education” that followed turned out to be more valuable than any college degree….
While at night I devoured every book I could get my hands on about running and managing businesses, during the day I took sales jobs just to go through the training programs…. then I’d move on, testing at other jobs what I’d learned about persuasion… and putting my own twist on it.
I immersed myself in direct response marketing, and found mentors along the way. It would have been 10X as difficult without their coaching.
The work paid off… sort of.
When I eventually launched my marketing agency, I had the knowhow to find prospects (usually they came to me), qualify them and persuade the best ones to sign on. What I did for myself, I did for my clients, too. High-quality prospects were never in short supply for me and the people I worked with.
But… while I didn’t know it then…
I had more to learn… And the lesson came the hard way
Fast forward a few years — the swimming pool company I’d built from scratch after our move to sunny Arizona was turning a good profit, and my marketing agency was humming along, too.
I had reached “success.”
Or so I told myself.
But something wasn’t right…
At first, it was just a nagging feeling. Then it grew stronger. Finally, it was unbearable.
It was the feeling I’d lost control of my life.
Yes, I had a beautiful home, luxury cars and all the things that announce to the world “I’ve made it!” But I was putting in long, hard hours just to hold the ground I’d gained, and there was no time for friends and family… or simply to enjoy life.
The price of success, right? Well, the relentless pressure-packed weeks tore into me… drained life from me… That’s the way it felt, anyway. Relationships with relatives and friends frayed, too.
It didn’t make sense…
I was pulling down loads of cash and I had a bunch of employees, but I couldn’t take more than a few days off here and there without business sliding backward.
Often in the dark in the middle of the night, listening to the soft breathing of my wife sleeping next to me, a gawd-awful dread would come over me… a dread down to my core that I’d have to get up in a few hours to slog back to work. Sometimes, it felt like that’s all I had in my life — work and this bed, where I tossed and turned with my thoughts.
At first, my solution was this:
Spend more… on expensive dinners out, on luxury “toys” that I knew I’d never have time to enjoy and would have to work even harder to pay for. Then came weekend getaways, a chance to burn through more money and feel “happy” for a day or two… like a drug addict getting his fix.
Still, the dark pangs of unhappiness came flooding back when I returned, sometimes even before I made it back… Often they came back stronger than when I’d left..
It was clear: I didn’t own a business. It owned me.
When it came to my next move, there was really no choice…
Out of desperation, I started searching for ways to take a step back… extricate myself from the minute by minute, hour by hour, even day by day operation of my businesses.
I designed, built and tested organizational and marketing systems and processes where the heavy-lifting was either automated or done by someone else. I kept what worked, discarded the rest. This was the start of what I call the T.I.M. philosophy — Time, Income, Mobility — that’s been the backbone of my coaching and consulting services…
Boy, that was a turning point in my life
I was freed from the shackles of my own businesses.
But it’s not like I sat around after that, picking lint from my navel… although I could’ve if I wanted to…
No, this put loads of time back on the clock for me… to hang out with family and friends when I wanted… to take extra long vacations and extend them if I wanted… to work on big-picture ideas and direction of my companies…
That’s right. Because I wasn’t dealing with the tedious bullshit that sucks the fun out of running a business, I actually started loving it again… and that, in turn, showed up on the income line of the businesses… The “easier” running a business became, the higher the revenue climbed.
There’s a big difference between working hard because you have to and work hard because you want to.
Soon friends who owned businesses wanted me to show them how I’d done it… how I seemed to have all the time in the world, how I was able to run my businesses from anywhere in the world… and all while still seeing increasing revenues.
I told them how.
But T.I.M. isn’t some simple “life hack” you find on reddit…. It was clear that in order for someone else to put it to proper use, it’d be best if I monitored their progress, worked with them to adjust plans and systems over time, put new processes in place and followed up regularly.
So that’s what I did for many business owners… and still do now….
The successes have piled up.
At last count, I’ve worked with more than 400 founders, helping them to add a zero or two to the back end of their monthly revenue while finding them loads of more time, giving them a shot of energy and rekindling a love for what they’re doing…
Then there are the hundreds of Foolish Adventure University students I’ve led down the path to starting their own online businesses. In other words, gaining independence. Some went from $0 to $20,000 a month in under a year, and many more replaced the income from their job by following my training and advice.
It may be hard to believe, but even after all these years, I still feel that flutter of exhilaration when someone I’m working with has a “breakthrough” that will forever change his or her life…
It reminds me of my own journey… And that’s why I’ve adjusted my focus and left “Foolish” and “Founders” behind.
So here’s what I’m up to now…
… and pay close attention because there might be something that can help you on your journey…
— For the high-performance entrepreneur, there’s Ignite (group coaching) and one-on-one consulting service, Executive Entrepreneur Consulting. It’s not for everybody. In fact, I’m very selective about who I work with because I devote a lot of time one on one, and I don’t want it to go to waste. My goal is to take the entrepreneur who may be struggling to manage their growing business and arm them with CEO-level skills to get things under control and gain freedom and fulfillment for themselves.
So if you’d like to grow your business or if you’re looking for freedom and fulfillment, I can help. Contact me at tim [at] timconley.co, reach out to me on Twitter @TimConley, or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
The rest of the story
By the way, here’s an episode of Foolish Adventure where I talk in-depth about my life’s journey, my own struggles and triumphs. Click here.