How to Be a Monster of Business and Still Keep Your Heart -- the Business and Life Lessons I Learned from Miguel Hernández
By Ester Ciurana
When I first came to Canada and emailed Miguel Hernández (Grumo Media founder and CEO) after being a student in one of his online courses (guaranteed LOL in each video, I swear!), I couldn’t imagine how that would change my life. He don’t just answered but agreed to meet, became a mentor, giving me lots of ideas and answering all my questions. And if that’s not more than enough, he recommended me to participate in GiveGetWin. But, most of all, he became a friend, making me feel home in the other side of the world. That’s what Give means to me. ¡Gracias Miguel!
What I’ve learnt, in 10+1 points:
- Find an idea. There are several ways to do it but he uses the Idea Extraction Technique. Instead of spending months hided from world building a business, ask people what they need to build it so you already have at least a client before you start. He puts the example of Dan Maxwell, a guy working in the real estate business: he knew a lot of people, asked what was the main problem and found how to fix it. He built a tool that allowed him to find the best real estate agents to hire. He’s very well connected inside the business so he knew it would work. Within a year he had a multimillionaire business just by asking people.
- Put a number to everything and validate your ideas by the most important criteria for you. One of the things that surprised me the most was his unique style using spreadsheets, he measures EVERYTHING and know already if something can potentially work before he starts.
- Build a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). You cannot assume people is gonna like your product, you need to test your ideas. It’s critical to find validation before you start. You build a MVP, track whether people are buying or not and then adjust accordingly. You can make a living in less than a year if you validate your ideas in the least amount of time with the least amount of money.
- Figure out your business model: Who are your customers, how are you gonna help them, who will be your partner, what kind of people do you need… He's giving a webinar on this as GiveGetWin deal.
- Be strategic. If you already validated how to make money in an industry, you just need to generate traffic, which can take weeks if you’re strategic. Inbound marketing is probably the best way of generating traffic for free. If you just engage an influencer person, you have a business. That’s how he started. He made a really good video (for Hipmunk) and shared it with an influencer person who cared about it. Find the company that resonates more with you, not just nice people but very well connected. And also create very sharable free content in a blog, indexed in Google which drives visits who eventually asks for a video.
- Document all the processes, until the last detail, and know your numbers. This is how you come from that idea to do something that scales so you don’t have to do everything. If you find a way to make money once, ask yourself: how can I grow this in something bigger that can provide me a business? How can other people can do what I’m doing? Create all the process and then hire people to delegate and automate. That’s what he did, ask himself: how many exactly steps takes to go from someone asking for a video to deliver it? In his case were exactly 56 steps, he divided them by difficulty, who does each one, ordered them by stages... And then he have been writing methodically The Grumo Bible, where he collected all the answers to the questions they receive.
- Systematize and delegate (as much as you can). Focus on what just you can do and outsource the rest. He developed a system to recruit with four criteria to be able to trust his people and hired a small team of 5-10 people after his success with Hipmunk video. Don’t try to do everything yourself, it’s very hard to delegate and trust other people and let them run your business but it’s critical to trust they’re going to care about your company and do it well. Finding the best talent, motivating it and firing is very hard but crucial. And finally make the company a family, don’t undervalue belonging.
- Reach out to a lot of people, get rejected and make a funnel to be sure you succeed in anything in life, even relationships (check out his course on online dating). Reach out to the people you admire, the people you want in your life. You never know, at least try it. He encouraged me to send a presentation that I did in class about Arianna Huffington to her and she answered! There is a percentage of people who always will buy from you no matter what and there is a percentage of people who’s gonna ask for a refund or reject you or treat you like crap. Don’t take is as personal, they’re judging a very small part of you, they don’t know you so stop caring about what others think. Keep doing what you do until you succeed and accept you can’t succeed 100%, would be overwhelming don’t you think? I was working as a server in a coffee shop and used to finish exhausted every day after some people treatment, he taught me to get over that realizing that it’s a small part present in every business. Focus on the best customers and forget the rest, don’t loose time arguing with people who wants their money back.
- Develop the company that’s going to bring you the lifestyle you want to have. You just need to generate $75K/year to be happier, beyond that there’s not a lot of difference. There’s many ways you can build that lifestyle but he has a unique detailed approach to get an online business that can generate that in less than a year. All he have been documenting since the very beginning of his company, from the spreadsheets to the hiring techniques. If you just want a lifestyle business you need very little tools to run it, then you can choose what ’s your way, which one are the right for you. But it’s very important to collect emails and testimonials. Every time they make a video in Grumo, they ask when they can post it in their portfolio and if they can give a testimonial.
- There are things more important in life than money, get the lifestyle. He knows his business could scale into a multimillionaire one but why? For me, this is one of his best insights. It’s the opposite of everybody will tell you. But he’s right, why? Don’t be another gurú. Produce 80% of the time and sell 20%. You may won’t be the richest but that’s how you change the world.
And, as a plus: always be human. Integrate your personality in your business and create emotional connection. You can do this documenting your story (like Balsamiq), having your personal blog, which makes you very human. Most of companies are faceless, monsters (like Grumo!). Don’t be like everyone else, you don’t need to loose your heart in the process.
I wrote this up after Miguel decided to come share on GiveGetWin. He is doing a small group class with all the proceeds to charity on September 24th 2015, you can find more about that here.