This is for all of you out there who had a childhood full of crazy dreams and ambitions.
This is for all the people who’ve been told: “Get your head out of the clouds and grow up.”
Because the ones with big dreams and their heads in the clouds are the only ones who are going to rise above.
Our newest Kajabi Hero, Leo Melendez, knows what it’s like to have his head in the clouds, figuratively and literally. Ever since he was young, he wanted to be a fighter pilot despite the odds against him. So he pursued that vision and became a real, American Hero.
Not only that, he followed his dreams all the way to Kajabi Hero status, as well. Through a series of what seemed like completely unrelated ventures; working non-profit to help other businesses, publishing books for people, helping his own wife become a Kajabi Hero, and so much more, all of these random pieces came together for Leo in his own business.
Leo's Journey is amazing! By the end of this post, you'll be inspired to follow your dreams, pursue your vision, and take flight even if you aren't exactly sure where it's going to go.
I hope that Leo's story proves that having your head in the clouds can build a successful business.
How Leo Became an American Hero and a Kajabi Hero by Never Letting Go of His Dreams
Leo was born in Puerto Rico; he had big dreams of becoming a fighter pilot and always had an entrepreneurial spirit about him.
Even as a kid, he was hustling and trying to find ways to help his family out financially. He did it all; lawn care, helping people with their homework, he even dreamt of his own newspaper route empire.
I know if you're like me, you are no stranger to these types of crazy, wild dreams at a young age. But if you’re like a lot of people, you think these dreams are something you need to grow out of or set aside so you can “grow up.”
But Leo never let go of his dreams, no matter how unlikely they were.
He wanted to become a Marine Corps fighter pilot, but there were quite a few obstacles in his way. He couldn't speak English, and he didn't have the money to go to college. But he didn’t let that stop him. He reached out for help from organizations and good Samaritans until finally, he was able to join the Marines as a mechanic.
It took eight years for him to work his way up to pilot status. Even when he did start training to fly an airplane, he had to work his way up step by step to become a fighter pilot. Through patient persistence, he finally achieved his dream of becoming a Marine, fighter pilot.
From Achieving One Dream To Chasing The Next
End of story right? I know what you’re thinking:
He did it! He achieved his dream! So how does Kajabi fit into all of this?
Even though Leo accomplished his childhood dream, after a period of time, he felt like it was time to move on. He felt something inside of him that I wanted that next level of fulfillment even though he had no clue what that thing was. So using the curiosity that stuck with him since childhood, he got out there and started exploring the possibilities.
He got into a Toastmasters club and attended events for entrepreneurs. Something about getting on stage and speaking captivated him. So he started diving in and exploring that.
During his last deployment, Leo was reading through a copy of Success magazine, and it just so happened that a leaflet from Brendon Burchard fell in his lap.
(Is it just me, or does it seem like this guy has some kind of magic about randomly changing people’s lives? This sounds kind of like another Kajabi Hero who found a Brendon Burchard book at a thrift store for $.25 that changed his life too.)
That random pamphlet started an exciting new journey for Leo.
He checked out Brendon's website, watched his videos that were all built on Kajabi and absorbed all the information he could.
He started going through each layer of his dreams to discover the core and purpose of his business. He asked himself questions like:
How do I generate value?
How do I build a business on that?
And how do I help people with my knowledge?
Leo started out working for free.
He didn't have a website or any kind of online presence, but he didn't let that stop him. He went door-to-door at client based businesses; bookkeepers, insurance companies, and even fitness centers, to see if they needed help with the online aspect of their businesses.
From there, he branched out to consumer based businesses like pet stores and retail establishments. He even started speaking.
He loved what he did, but there was still something missing.
To have a viable business, he actually needed to make money right? So he started charging people for his services.
A lot of people will tell you to pick one thing or niche and go with that. Leo took a different approach. He really was a jack of all trades.
Helped people publish books, create podcasts, he still did speaking engagements, coaching, and even helped people create their own online courses. All of his projects seemed disconnected and unrelated, but the truth is, they were just layers of a whole business.
At the core, he was passionate about helping people set up automated systems to grow their businesses.
Where Kajabi Comes In
When he discovered Kajabi he still poured himself into others. He tested out Kajabi with his wife’s business (who is also a Kajabi Hero! How cool is that? Keep an eye on the blog for her story soon.)
After that, Leo decided it was finally time to do his own thing, and see how far he could push Kajabi to grow his business. But the interesting thing is...
He didn't start out building courses.
His first step was to book another speaking engagement and offer his course at the end of his time. This gave him accountability and a deadline to finish his course.
So he created his own website and prepared for his speaking engagement.
He tried Wordpress at first, but he found it too hard to customize. With Kajabi, he was able to make a beautiful site that did what he wanted to do and look the way he wanted it to look with ease.
When he booked the speaking engagement he didn't even know what his course would be about, so he asked some questions:
What does my audience/want need? What is my audience’s pain point?
He settled on teaching Facebook ads. So he built his course, spoke on his topic at this event, and sold his course at the end.
He didn't have a fancy opt-in or landing page to direct people to either. His wife passed out a simple printed form that they could fill out if they were interested in buying his course.
Out of a room of 30 to 50 people, 15 people bought his course. That may not sound like a lot to you, but for a crowd of that size that is an excellent conversion!
After the speaking engagement, he put everyone's forms into QuickBooks and got them on Kajabi to take the course. The rest is history.
Leo is still pursuing his vision of expanding his business even more. He actually has his own event scheduled for November in Miami and wants to help people create a virtual salesforce.
Build Your Business With Patient Persistence
As much as I want to say you’ll be a huge success overnight, the truth is; success doesn't happen that way.
Building a business takes time. Even Leo's story spanned from his childhood. He had a vision for where he wanted his life to go. So he patiently put the building blocks in place to make that happen, even when he wasn't sure exactly what the outcome was.
And his vision was constantly changing.
Yes, he had the core of what he wanted to accomplish, but the means to do that was as different as night and day. From childhood dreams of a newspaper empire, to becoming a Marine fighter pilot, eventually speaking at events and helping people learn Facebook ads; you can see how unrelated and random these things appear. But each element was one brick in the life he was building for himself.
He pursued his vision and his passion no matter how random or unrelated it may have been. And all of these pieces from his past and present fit together to create the business he has now.
His journey isn’t over, either.
If you're sitting there with dreams of what you want your life to be like; are you going to do something with those dreams?
Even if you don't know exactly how you're going to make things happen, are you open to following your vision no matter where it takes you?
Everything in your past, everything your present, and everything that's ahead of you is all working together for your benefit. Even hard times in your past have a lesson that can provide something beneficial to your vision.
Whenever Leo went into the Marines, he didn't know that eventually he would be speaking about Facebook ads and selling a course he built himself. But everything in his past played a role in where he is now.
If you have a dream or vision, are you willing to be persistent and patient enough to follow it? Even if you don't know exactly where it's going to lead?
It feels nice to have everything figured out before you get started with something. But when it comes to starting your own business, even the most detailed and thorough plan doesn't mean that you have it all figured out. You don't really know what's going to happen.
If you pursue your dreams and your persistent despite setbacks or obstacles in your way, you can make your vision a reality.
What Happened to Your Vision?
Chances are, when you were a kid, you had some pretty huge dreams for how you wanted life to turn out for you.
Sometimes as we grow up, we realize the things that we wanted to become weren’t really what we wanted. But other times, we let our dreams go because we think they're too hard or too impossible for us to achieve.
Have you let go of your childhood dreams? Have you erased that insatiable curiosity to imagine the possibilities?
What happened to your dreams? What happened to your vision?
It's not too late to pursue your passions. I love how Leo put it in the interview:
“Where your heart is, is where you'll find your treasure. And you will find your treasure if you keep digging.”
Chances are, you have something to contribute that can be a source of income for you. A lot of it comes down to your mindset and how you position yourself to the market. Even if you have to learn more along the way, you have something valuable inside of you right now that could be a winning business idea.
- Past experience or knowledge. Everything in your past has the power to contribute to your present and your future. Personal and professional experiences and knowledge can become a winning business idea.
- Current hobbies or passions. Now more than ever, the things that you love to do in your spare time can be monetized into a profitable business. At Kajabi, we have seen it all. From flying drones to knitting, it's all in how you leverage your hobbies and passions. If you have an interest in something, most likely there are people out there who have an interest in that too.
- Things you already do at your current job. You're already getting paid to do what you do working for someone else, why not leverage that into a business that you can run on your own terms? If you're a supervisor, you can teach other people how to manage a team. If you’re a bookkeeper, you can teach people how to do their own accounting. Even if you're just a cashier at a retail store, maybe you’ve found a way to talk to customers that brighten their day and builds a connection. You can teach people how to be excellent conversationalists.
Even if the things that you can leverage into a business right now aren't what you want to be doing long-term, you can still pursue that as a stepping stone to where he want to end up. Remember Kajabi Hero, James Wedmore? He started out with a physical bartending course, and now he has his own online empire.
Leo's journey to Kajabi Hero may seem random and unrelated, but each element of his story was just a stepping stone to the next thing. He wouldn't be where he is now if he didn't take that first step.
Let Your Vision for Your Business Take Flight
You don’t have to get your head out of the clouds.
When Leo was a fighter pilot, the hardest part of getting the airplane off the ground was the initial resistance when trying to take off. You start the plane, move forward, and fight gravity itself to get this massive piece of machinery into the air.
Starting your own business is a lot like that.
You look up at your dreams and know where you want to go, but you're still on the ground wondering:
How in the world am I going to make it up there?
Maybe you've tried to chase your vision before, but the resistance and everything pulling you down were too much.
I want to invite you to take off again.
Run toward your dreams with everything in you.
There will be resistance, there will be fear, and there may be other people who are trying to keep you on the ground. But if you can break through that initial resistance...
You will take off and be that much closer to your dreams.
Your passion and purpose are the fuel. Maybe all you need is the right equipment.
Just like Leo couldn’t get off the ground without his plane, the right “aircraft” may be the one thing you need to get your business up off the ground. Even if you have your own website, maybe it's time for you to make an upgrade.
You have the passion and the drive and the ability to make all this happen for you. Maybe all you’re missing is the right tools for your business to take flight.
With Kajabi you'll be equipped with everything that you need to build a profitable business from your passions and your dreams.
Try out all of these tools for yourself, free for 14-days.
You may find that with Kajabi, overcoming the initial resistance of starting your own business is a lot easier with the right tools and equipment, (without a huge learning curve to actually use them.)
Who knows, maybe I'll be writing your story next.
And if you want to learn more about Leo and his event coming up in November check out his website: LeoMelendez.com
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