How we got here
First ⏤ The stimulus
I (Mike Gowans) didn't want to be broke. Every job I had didn't feel right, didn't make me happy, and I wanted to do more with my life. So I dropped out of college, moved into my friend's warehouse where he operated his nutraceutical business, and this is where I started my real education in how to grow a business. From 2004 until 2007 I had many attempts at business that always ended with a crash and boom. I was always trying to come up with "great ideas" instead of figuring out what the market wanted. After learning that simple piece of advice I started looking for problems to solve. The internet was pretty fresh at that time and businesses needed customers. So I focused everything on how to get customers using the internet. That's when my marketing services business started.
Second ⏤ My "services business" hit a ceiling fast
I helped businesses in-person get customers using the internet with websites, funnels, SEO, Google Ads, Facebook and YouTube ads, and email automation. My client's business would grow, I was making more money, and for me signing up new clients became increasingly simple — the challenge I ran into was, I could only do so much and my business hit a financial ceiling fast. My time and energy was maxed out. So, I hired a few team members to handle some of the load, and we became an “digital marketing agency,” but it was hard to provide quality results, manage all the different niches, and turn a profit that kept me motivated. I found out real quick that running a services business the way I was doing it wasn't going to work.
Third ⏤ Focused mixture of online course + live virtual coaching
The "done-for-you" style services model was broken and it hit a ceiling fast but something amazing came out of the failure: A client I had from overseas said he'd pay me if I just recorded what I did and gave it to him. "Light bulb went off!" So I recorded everything I did for my clients to get them new customers and I started selling my system and showed them how they could do it themselves. I quickly found out when people are learning something new the content on it's own wasn’t enough; I had to give them live virtual coaching and support to keep them focused and help them troubleshoot different challenges. As soon as we did that they started getting abnormal results and so was my own business; I scaled my coaching business to $160,000 /month, by myself, from my laptop, getting to do what I love with incredible profit margins and time-freedom.
Fourth ⏤ Getting hyper-focused on helping martial arts business owners
Once I discovered this model I was trying to take on anyone and everyone that needed customers. We started growing, I leased a second office location and we had clients in over 50+ different niches. We started making more money than we every thought was possible. We were spending more on ads in a single day then I used to make in a couple months with my business before. The types of clients we had were some of the best in their industry. But the stress from all the different niches, learning how to work with multiple business model types was literally taking me out both mentally and physically. To everyone else I was "crushing it" or having real success. To me I was miserable, my health was suffering, things were chaotic, and our spending was increasing rapidly causing profits to suffer. So I thought: "What if I focused on a single niche, mastered that, and simplified?" The next day I was visiting my Grandpa's farm when I saw the picture of me doing the splits when I was in Karate. I said to myself, "I've never looked into the martial arts industry, I loved martial arts, and I love what it stands for!"
Fifth ⏤ MartialArtsGrowth.com was born, happiness was instant, and we discovered "more with less"
I was done stressing out over all the different niches, business models, and trying to dial in all the different systems, working many nights without sleep, and constantly telling my family "I'm just so busy right now, I won't be able to make it out this time." As I researched the martial arts industry and realized there was a serious student growth problem, noticed the biggest challenge was how to use the internet to get new paying students. That's when I started MartialArtsGrowth.com. We focused on helping martial arts schools get more students by doing less, using the internet. Life went from chaotic too simple. We taught them how to get more paying students without adding more work. We discovered what "more with less" actually meant. We quickly gained even more expertise, more results for our clients, and more profits. The martial arts schools using our training programs removed their marketing tech stress while growing their student base and getting their time back. From 2017 to 2020 we would test, analyze, research, optimize, and finally dial-in a powerful simple machine that gave martial arts business owners a predictable way to get 20+ new high-value paying students consistently each and every month. We continue to focus and strive to perfect and simplify this machine more each day. We practice what we teach, and not only are the clients having success but we are too, and everyone is happy!