Brett Fellows: Mr. Matt Hudgins, thank you and welcome to The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast.
Matt Hudgins: Brett, I’m excited to be here, buddy. Very excited.
Brett Fellows: Thank you. And I am very excited to have you. Because I think our last few episodes have all been really around coaching business owners. We had Stacey Brown Randall, and she’s just a coach who does marketing opportunities from existing clients. And then we had Jordan Elderton, who’s a coach. She’s actually a CPA who does holistic CFO work, but she really works one-on-one for profitability coaching.
Brett Fellows: And where I like you is you are principal of 10x Profit Blueprint. You can in essence tie those two together. I like how you can incorporate both the profit and the revenue sources that we tend to miss with your 80-20 method and all the things that you work with business owners on. So I think our listeners would really appreciate your knowledge and journey.
Matt Hudgins: That’s good. I’m excited, I really am. That sounds like it’ll be a good fit.
Brett Fellows: Now this is, I should say full disclosure, you do a couple of other things. You started 10x Profit Blueprint in 2016. But in 2007, you started your own investment advisory firm, Mosaic Wealth Management, which you do work. And you are also co-founder of the profitability MD podcast. So you got your hands full there.
Matt Hudgins: Yes, exactly right. I got to keep myself occupied.
Brett Fellows: So I’d love to hear the story, really what brought you up to start into 10x profit blueprint? Obviously, you were in your own wealth advisory business. What made you kind of shift gears a little bit into working with business owners?
Matt Hudgins: Yes, that’s a great point. That was really kind of a self-discovery. And I’ve been in coaching programs along the way, you and I have done strategic coach, I’m still in it with Dan Sullivan. I’ve done some other coaching programs grow big, and of course I’m a Tony Robbins fan, all that kind of stuff.
Matt Hudgins: So it was interesting when I was working with strategic coach or I still am, and so I’ve always worked with business owners in my investment advisory business, and I am a business owner, and I’ve had three successful six-figure businesses, right? So I’ve had three business. So what was interesting is my conversations with my clients were more about their business and their bottlenecks and their growth opportunities, and less about the investments.
Matt Hudgins: And so one of my guys was saying every time I talk to you, your eyes light up when we talk about business. When I talk to my other advisors, their eyes just roll in the back of their heads; they have no idea what we’re talking about. So Dan Sullivan was saying what do you do? How are you unique? How are you different than others? And basically, what I do is not just on the best advisor side, I was actually ends up I was coaching these guys how to grow their business I always like to say make more, take more time off and pay less in taxes, right?
Matt Hudgins: So apparently, I was already doing that, and so they suggested why don’t you start charging for that. And literally the next week I got a prospect that came along, and he was like I don’t know what you’re doing for Danny over here, but I love what you’re doing for him, can you do that for me? I don’t have a million dollars to invest with you, but I’ll pay you a coaching fee to help me do that.
Matt Hudgins: And so that’s literally how it came about. And this was a guy that I love, this is my favorite example, so I was like the guy making good money but not having a lot in savings, and not really enjoying the money. And it turns out so he’s like I’m making a lot of money, but I don’t really seem to have any money, turns out he’s putting all the money back into the business, and so in a about a three-year period, we basically six hundred thousand, 2.2 million dollars so whatever that is, three or four times. Working less, he takes the month of July off and a couple other weeks during the year.
Matt Hudgins: So make more? Yes. Take more time off? Yes, and then pay less tax plans and stuff. So I kind of trip to it and it turns out I was already doing it, I was already coaching it, I’ve already had my own businesses, and then I started to charge for it as a separate entity, because I really love helping business owners create wealth really.
[06:51] Matt Hudgins describes his process for 10x Profit Blueprint.
Brett Fellows: Right. And did you have to come up with a full new process? Or what does it look like let’s say if a business owner starts up with you? What process do you put them through?
Matt Hudgins: Yes. So I’m a very process-oriented type person, right? So really what I’ve done is put together a system that all the above, how do we work less? And that’s the 80-20 rule. We’ve talked about that in past, and 80% of your profits comes from 20% of your activities. So there’s a little time management in there, that we all have 24 hours in the day. If there’s somebody who’s doing the same business as you are, more profitable.
Matt Hudgins: They’re probably more focused on those 20% of activities. So we do activity inventory to say where you’re spending your time, let’s spend by getting rid of the other stuff, if we spend it on that 20% that creates 80% results, you magnify your results. That’s the making more, that’s the taking more time off. So then again if you’re concentrated and focused, now you have the concept Dan Sullivan unique ability, some other people call it, I call it a plus activities. This is really neat.
Matt Hudgins: You’re only good at two or three things, so we go to school and you got to be good at math and science and English, right? But in the real world, you don’t. You’re a good salesperson, you’re a good technician, you’re a good dentist, you’re a good lawyer, you’re a good salesperson.
Matt Hudgins: You don’t have to be the CFO and the HR department and the head sales, right? Just concentrate on the one or two things you do good and delegate the rest. So I’m jumping ahead, but that’s kind of how it evolves. There’s a whole process we go through.
Brett Fellows: Love it. Have you found over the last five years that you work best with a certain type of client, or business owner client, whether that be an industry or a revenue? How does that look to you?
Matt Hudgins: Yes, definitely. You’ve got to be making money, so typically my guys are making 125 to 150,000 a year in income. I know a lot about startups, but that’s not where we have the biggest impact. We have the biggest impact when you already have a business that’s up and going.
Matt Hudgins: So let’s say you’re three years old or older, you’re making 125, 150,000 or more. I like working with one, two, three-man owners, I don’t like a big corporate structure. So like I’ll work with lawyers that are two lawyers, or lawyers that are a small law firm five. I work with dental practices that’s usually one owner, sometimes it’s three owners, industrial engineering.
Matt Hudgins: So it’s really service professionals, let’s call it service professionals 40 years and above that are typically making a hundred and twenty five hundred fifty thousand or more, been in business for three or more years. Again, that means you’re of going entity.
Brett Fellows: Right. Well, it’s interesting you said the service professionals, well, actually one of the questions I had. But before I even get there, so when you start to work with them, what are some of the hidden in plain site profit opportunities that you’ve noticed? Is it similar to for most business owners or is every situation different?
Matt Hudgins: Yes, it’s funny it’s all the same. They don’t believe it, but it’s all the same. So there’s some key fundamentals, so the three fundamentals are who’s your target market, what’s your million dollar message, and what’s your irresistible offer. So no matter what business you’re in, you’re in landscaping, who’s your target market? What’s your million dollars? How are you different? Why would they work with you?
Matt Hudgins: That’s your million-dollar message. What’s your irresistible offer? How are you getting them in the door? You’re a dentist, you’re a chiropractor, that is fundamental, right? And then there’s this guy Jay Abraham and there’s only five ways to grow a business. So I got to get in front of more people, that’s called leads. I got to convert the people that I get in front of, that’s called conversions. I got to do more business with my existing clients, that’s transactions.
Matt Hudgins: I got a higher pricing, right? I don’t want to really be a commodity, I want to be a premier pricing, and then there’s profitability, which goes back to again kind of sounds like you’re talking about was, how profitable are you, it’s not about the next dollar. You don’t want a goal of a million-dollar business, you want a goal of I make a million dollars, right? Because I’ve seen a million-dollar dental practice that makes a hundred thousand dollars.
Matt Hudgins: I’ve seen a million-dollar dental practice that makes five hundred thousand dollars, which one do you want to own? Well, I want to own the one that makes five hundred thousand dollars. So those are the fundamentals that we talked about. The target market, million-dollar message, irresistible offer, no matter what business you’re in, and there’s only five ways to grow any business whether it’s a dental or a law firm or an investment advisory practice or engineering firm. So those are the fundamentals.
Brett Fellows: Yes. And that’s ultimately where I was going with our service providers that we mostly work with, what strategies there are? How do you get them when talking about time? Your time management, I mean time is such a limited commodity. Is it difficult to get them to focus on those strategies? Is that the biggest hurdle for you?
Matt Hudgins: Well, no, it’s actually more comical, right? So the very first exercise we do is this activity inventory, so you guys can do this yourselves. Take a week, and just write down everything you do for a week for your business. Every time you answer the phone, answer the email, put together a report have a client meeting, whatever it is you do for the business for a week, write it down.
Matt Hudgins: Because the comedy of it is you say you’re too busy, and then when you go back and look at this activity inventory, oh by the way they qualify that as a, b and c activities. So an a activity only you can do it and this is how you make money. A-C activity is yes, I could probably get somebody to do that for me, a $10, $20 an hour assistant. And then the B activities are the ones in the middle. You’ll go through there and there’s the 80-20 rule in action.
Matt Hudgins: You’re probably only spending 20% of your time on those A-plus activities, the ones that only you can do. And you’re spending a lot of time, %80 of your time on those B and C activities. So that’s literally, you got to get them to do that to realize it’s almost like they don’t believe you, oh I’m so busy. I know you’re busy, we’re all busy.
Matt Hudgins: But just do this for a week and you’ll see with your own eyes how much A activities you’re really doing versus how much C activity you’re doing. Okay, so that’s literally the first step we do and once they realize that they come back and go oh my god, you’re right, I really only am spending whatever, 20% of my time on A plus activities. I’ve never seen anybody spend more than 30 percent of their time on a plus, we’re all getting bogged down with the minutia.
Brett Fellows: Yes. And what does this look like from an operational standpoint? I mean, imagine the time for you and the business owner client, and the onboarding process, it’s got to be very heavy upfront. I would think for you to understand their financials, for you to understand even their client base and their marketing and what they’re doing, what they’re not doing. So how frequently do, if you engage with this business owner, how frequently do you meet with them? What does that relationship look like?
Matt Hudgins: Yes. So it’s a little heavy on the front end like you talked about, kind of an initial interview and kind of an initial, let’s call it a couple hours intake, let’s understand the business. Then it turns into about every two weeks, it’s an every two week kind of thing for an hour call.
Matt Hudgins: Again, I’m not a consultant, I’m not doing the work for you, you’ve got to do the work. I’m here as your coach and your guide and your mentor to get you to take action. I’m your accountability, and where are the items for focus.
Matt Hudgins: So there’s a little more on the front end, and then it turns into about every two weeks, it’s a two-week zoom call, phone call. And really, now I’m moving more into the group coaching model, because one it’s more efficient for me, right? But it’s also, having the same conversations I just told you, who’s your target market, your million-dollar message, irresistible offer? Well, instead of having that conversation five different times, I can have it with all of you at one time, so that’s more efficient.
Matt Hudgins: But then there’s also, so the knowledge, but then there’s also the knowledge of the group, right? So for instance, I’m starting a new group with seven dentists. They’re all dentists, they’re all are friends, they don’t compete with each other. They’re in the same state, but they’re not neighbors, and they’re all similar practices. And again, these guys all know each other. So it’s more efficient for me to have a group conversation about what’s your million-dollar message?
Matt Hudgins: But it’s also more efficient for them because one of them might have a great marketing message, might have a great offer that they can share with. So there’s the ability of a group, is the knowledge of itself the material, but also the knowledge of the group. There’s a saying you’re the average of the five people you hang out with. So if you’re doing a group coaching with five smart business owners, you’re going to be the sixth smart business owner. So that actually makes it more fun dynamic.
[15:34] The four pillars of wealth Matt Hudgins believes are necessary for business owners to ultimately have the business and lifestyle they want.
Brett Fellows: And is the overarching theme obviously as 10x profit blueprint is simply to increase their profit, work less and ultimately, what happens then? Do you go even further, like what types of profit centers do they have? How do they diversify? Because I know a lot of, I was fortunate enough to be a guest on your profit MD podcast with David Mulvaney. You guys all talk about the four pillars of wealth, and how do you tie those two together, I guess I’m interested.
Matt Hudgins: No, that’s a great question. So I believe every business owner should be able to have the business and the lifestyle they want. It’s really easy to do if you know what you’re doing, most of us don’t know what we’re doing. So I want to use your business as a wealth-building tool, right? Most business owners view their business as that, it’s just a job and that’s all it does. But we talked about the four pillars, you should use your business in order to fund your lifestyle.
Matt Hudgins: But the four pillars that you mentioned is well, you should also have your business generate enough cash flow that you can start a retirement plan. So now that’s got excess cash flow that gives your lifestyle, excess cash flow for your retirement plan, that’s a second pillar. Real estate, so I believe in revenue-producing real estate, the most obvious is your own office building. So if you’re a law firm, by the office condo you’re in. If you’re a dentist, buy the office condo you’re in. If you’re a engineering firm, buy the warehouse, right? And it’s your own, you can buy other real estate too.
Matt Hudgins: But the way to start is with your own revenue, producing real estate you’re working. And the fourth is wealth accumulation. That’s literally where you’re trying to get the money out of the business, and put it in an investment account, a wealth accumulation account that you’re going to grow over time. And this is basically after-tax money. The idea being with that’s diversification. And the mistake people make is I got my business and I put all my money back into my business.
Matt Hudgins: Well, your business will suck up as much cash and as much time as you’ll let it, so you’ve got to practice diversification. The real estate guys, they put all their money in the next deal. No, you need to take half that money and put it in stocks and bonds, take half that money and put in a retirement plan. Take half that money and put it in an investment account, because eventually, real estate moves in cycles and it collapses.
Matt Hudgins: So the idea is you’re diversifying away from your business, then if your business has trouble, you still have the other three pillars that you can either live off of or borrow from to keep the business going. Vice versa, if something happens to the real estate market, you still have your business and your investments in your retirement account.
Matt Hudgins: So the idea is your business is a wealth-building tool, but nobody’s going to come along and offer you 10 million bucks. But you can accumulate 10 million bucks over the next 10 years or 20 years, by siphoning that wealth, using your business to build your wealth. So I’m passionate about that.
Brett Fellows: Yes. Well, you can tell your eyes just lit up, obviously, you can’t see you. And when you start working with business owners, do you find that they’re more in that fixed mindset of just it’s putting it back into the business, putting back into the business. And do you try to help that pull them out and have a longer-term view of what this profit could actually do for you?
Matt Hudgins: Yes, you’re exactly right. Most of them are overwhelmed with whatever their business is right now. So most of them are either, I hear this a lot, I’m making good money but I got nothing to show for it, or I’m making good money but I’m overwhelmed, right? Or I know I could be doing so much better if I just had more time or just had more resources, right? So those are the indicators that I hear.
Matt Hudgins: So the indicator is they’re probably the 80-20 rule, probably not do some things for their times. There’s probably some profitability inside the business itself, and once we kind of get the immediate need, so one of my pitches is I can find any business owner fifty thousand, seventy-five, a hundred thousand dollars, not spending a dollar more on advertising and marketing, right? So if you’re a business owner who needs cash, that’s an appealing irresistible offer.
Matt Hudgins: Find fifty thousand, seventy five hundred thousand dollars. That’s going to appeal to you, but once I get in there I’m kind of given what they want first, you want to find fifty thousand, a hundred thousand dollars in your business. And then the need would be yes, now what are we going to do with that, right? I’m going to help you generate that money, but then we’re going to try to pay less tax on that, and use that to start building your wealth and your business.
Matt Hudgins: So you give them what they want, but then you’re going to teach them what they need to know, which is use the business as a wealth-building tool.
[20:08] How to generate more cash in any business without spending more money.
Brett Fellows: Yes. So I want some free advice then, how do you find fifty, seventy five, hundred thousand dollars in any business without spending more money?
Matt Hudgins: Yes, you’re exactly right. So as I talked to you about there’s, so 10x profit blueprint backslash simulator, okay, so you can go and do it yourself. And basically, this is a neat thing where it’s 12 different strategies of how you can find money in your own business. If you go a little further, it’s actually dive deeper, there’s a little click on there to go to the next level, there are 40 different strategies for you to find hidden profits in your own business.
Matt Hudgins: Such as cutting cost, compelling offer, increasing your prices, bundling, down selling, upselling, drip campaigns, offering additional services, joint ventures, generating more leads, digital marketing. So I got like 40 different strategies, right? They’re underneath those five categories. How do we get more leads? Is your problem more leads or is your problem more conversions?
Matt Hudgins: Most of the time, the quickest way to generate money is more transactions from your existing clients, okay. So the examples I can use would be for investment advisors, right? Investment advisors that would be more wallet share. So you have some of this person’s money, but they’ve got a 401k and they might have money at other advisory shops. The best thing you can do is try to gather the rest of their money, right? More transactions would be a referral from an existing client.
Matt Hudgins: So now you’re a landscape, so you’re landscape and you work on my cul-de-sac. An untapped market would be trying to get referrals from me for the rest of my cul-de-sac, marketing to my cul-de-sac. Hey, while I’m in the neighborhood, let’s create an irresistible offer. So you have little niches inside your business that you probably don’t recognize, again, landscaping would be the neighborhood, the physical locality, while I’m in the neighborhood.
Matt Hudgins: A roofing company, while I’m in the neighborhood. Dental practices are what we call diagnosed but not treated. So there are people that got diagnosed with a cavity, and for some reason just got busy and they never had it filled. So a dental office is filled with diagnosed, we got a cavity but not treated. And the likelihood is they didn’t go get it somewhere else, they probably just forgot or got busy.
Matt Hudgins: So those are just three different examples of there’s money sitting in your business that you don’t realize, and we got to get you to focus on those and then when you have a little bit of success, then it’s as if you believe me even more. Oh, he was right about that, what else is he right about? So I want to give you a quick win so you have confidence, which also gives you confidence in me that we can take it to the next level, right?
Matt Hudgins: So I want to get you money before you even walk in my door. I’d like to give it, could be tax savings, there could be some tax savings before you walk. I want to give you the quickest win so you feel confident that some of my other knowledge will be implemented. Gosh, if he was right on that, there’s got to be more.
Brett Fellows: Yes. Have you found with the pandemic, the service providers, I guess has the operations of that had to change, have you to shift, how do you give this advice? Or probably not, maybe the mechanics of it might change a little bit, but its overarching theme is still the same.
Matt Hudgins: Yes, you’re exactly right. It’s still the same, and most of these business owners have been doing great, especially in the service business. And the way we deliver it is the zoom, the zoom meetings. It’s even more efficient when I did have people that wanted me to come in person, and now it’s much more efficient for both of us to have a zoom meeting, share files. I’ve told you I’m working into this group coaching program that I’ve got now, where I can put them together in groups.
Matt Hudgins: So it’s becoming much more efficient for them and for me, for you and for me to kind of get things going, because the hardest thing, just like in it, you want to lose weight, right? It’s sticking to it, right? We all know how to lose weight, you exercise more and eat less, yet it’s a billion-dollar industry.
Matt Hudgins: So the idea is well, this goes into the other thing would be just like the diet industry, they’re going to be certain diets that work for you and certain diets that work for me. Just like golf lessons, there’s a certain golf instructor that might work well for me, or a different golf instructor work better for you.
Matt Hudgins: So there are a million business coaches out there, but there are going to be some that resonate with you or some that say it more clearly to you. Or it’s just the right place at the right time. I love using this analogy of a golf coach, so I wasn’t slicing last year, so I didn’t need any advice on how to fix my slice.
Matt Hudgins: I was hooking the ball. But this year I’m slicing the ball, so I might want a coach that can help me fix my slice. Last year, I needed somebody to help me, teach me how to hit a draw, so it’s also a matter of the right place at the right time.
[25:03] Matt Hudgins’s time management process and how he avoids burnout through time blocking.
Brett Fellows: Yes. With all this energy that you have and excitement, Matt, how do you manage your own time and your advisory business and podcast and family? How do you overcome burnout and manage all this?
Matt Hudgins: That’s a great question. I think burnout is a matter of if you’re not doing something you really enjoy. Burnout is when you’re doing energy-draining activities, so go back to those A, B, C activities when you’re doing C activities, that’s what’s draining, that’s what creates burnout. If you’re doing A plus activities, things that you like and you love and you’re good at and they make you money, that’s fun, you don’t get bored with that.
Matt Hudgins: So I try to spend more time doing A plus activities, I love business coaching and teaching business owners how to generate wealth out of their business, use their business as a tool. I love hanging out with the family. My hobby is golf; I already mentioned that, so I love to play golf, I like to do family vacations and trips.
Matt Hudgins: So I try to do as many A plus activities as I can and delegate out all my B and C and I’m constantly trying to do that. So for me, as long as I don’t do the C activities, I got a lot of energy and a lot of energy to go around. It’s the minutia that kills me, gosh, you asked me to do some compliance work, and oh my god.
Brett Fellows: How do you literally do that? Do you maybe each quarter or so look at what you’ve been doing for the activities and try to delegate 10 percent? Or we all seem to, even if we clear our plate, then we seem to put stuff on it in the next 90, 180.
Matt Hudgins: You’re exactly right. It is a continual process on a quarterly, so I view things as a quarterly basis, the next 90 days. So again, we learned this I think it was in strategic coach, but it’s time blocking or that’s kind of what somebody else. But it’s like what are their focus days, there are days that you’re really doing, you’re really busy the day before vacation, and you’re just knocking stuff out of the park, that’s a focus day, right?
Matt Hudgins: And then a buffer day is the prep work for the meetings or the follow-up from the meetings that you have. Or it’s learning a new skill, you’re learning a new software, that’s what you’re doing buffer. So you’ve got to start time blocking whether it be an entire day of focus activities or entire day of buffer activities, and then the third day, by the way, is free days where you don’t do any work, and you do that to recharge your batteries.
Matt Hudgins: So the importance is time blocking, I’m going to do a bunch of my phone calls from nine to twelve, boom, we’re going to knock them all out. And then in the afternoon, I’m going to do the buffer activities, the follow-up, whatever, people will call you back you’ll have some follow-up emails activities.
Matt Hudgins: So when you time block, you become more efficient. And then I’ll go ahead and mention the free days, so the free days are literally the days you take off. Now the old-timey way my dad would be you got to work hard so then you can earn a vacation. The new way to think about it is to turn it on its head; I need a vacation day so I can recharge my batteries so then when I have that focused day, I can hit the ground running, be super productive.
Matt Hudgins: So there’s all kinds of research that proves that a vacation and days off are recharging your batteries, and so you need those, it’s the other way around, you don’t earn those, you take those first. Vacation first, free days first, then leads to really productive focused activities, focus days and really productive buffer days.
Matt Hudgins: I go back every quarter and I do my own little activity inventory, I drink my own medicine, right? Where I’ve gotten sidetracked, things I need to delegate. I also do stuff like my own business where I kind of cut the bottom ten percent. So not of activities, but of clients. That if the clients are draining me, not participating, not taking our advice, we sever the relationship. I don’t want them to pay me if they’re not taking my advice. So I try to cull back on my client list, I try to cull back on my activities, by redoing my own activity inventory.
[29:03] Why Matt Hudgins believes all business owners need a good coach or mentor.
Brett Fellows: So you’re working a lot in your business, and I can tell you can spend a lot of time working on your business. What’s something in this whole journey that you wish you’d known when you started it? And that could be either with the 10x profit blueprint or your advisory business.
Matt Hudgins: You seem to know a lot now, but you probably didn’t know it on day one. So we need to go back to Matt Hudgens, in either of those instances. What would you tell them now?
Matt Hudgins: So I thought about that the two ways I’d say it is one, get a coach. Get a coach or a mentor or something like that, because somebody’s already done what you want to do, okay. So no great athlete; every great athlete has a coach. Tom Brady just retired, boy he had a football coach, he had a mental coach, he had an exercise coach, and he had, I think he had like a food coach, like he had four.
Matt Hudgins: Tiger Woods had all his golf coaches, right? Every professional athlete has a coach. Why on earth do business owners think they don’t need a coach or a mentor? It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. So one would be get a coach or a mentor as soon as you can. Somebody who’s built their own business, their own practice, something you want to do or to emulate, that’s number one.
Matt Hudgins: Number two, would be exactly we talked about before, which was a plus activities. When I started out, I thought I had to do everything, I thought I had to be the jack of all trades, right? You don’t have to be. Again, there are some a plus activities, things I like that I enjoy that I’m really good at and that make me money. Those are not, I don’t get paid to answer the phone, I don’t get paid to set appointments, I don’t get paid to read my email.
Matt Hudgins: I get paid to meet with clients, meet with prospects and meet with centers of influence. And centers of influence are people that can send me clients or whose clients I can help. That’s my A plus activities. So if you’re a really good dentist, you want to be working on as many teeth as you can. The more time you spend in the office in HR and hiring and firing people, that’s not your money-making activities. If you’re a lawyer and I have personal injury lawyers, trying a case, settling a case, getting in front of a prospect, like a new a new case. That’s what makes you money.
Matt Hudgins: Hiring, making sure the case is moving along, that’s not, we got juniors for that. Junior lawyers, junior associates, paralegals for that. So again, it goes back to what are you good at, and you only got to be good at one or two or three things. Another example. I got a great guy who’s a great salesperson, and so he and his wife are running the business. It’s $500,000 they get up to, it’s a 20-million-dollar business, and they’re they were still running it. The wife, who was an English major was the controller.
Matt Hudgins: I was like whoa, we need to hire a real CPA, right? Like that’s great when you and your wife are running a $500,000 business, but a 5-million-dollar business, this was a 20-million-dollar business, now we need professionals. So I think we all start out as what they call the rugged individualist, I can do it all myself. And the truth is no, you don’t. And especially with technology today, oh my gosh. It’s so much easier to start a business today than 15 years ago.
Matt Hudgins: You used to have to have a server, well now they have, AWS or Google, so everything’s in the cloud. So we don’t have to have a server anymore. You used to have to have all these tech computer laptops, 500 bucks, they used to be two or three thousand dollars. Everything is so much cheaper and easier to start your own business now, and that’s really good, because you’re farming it out, right?
Matt Hudgins: That’s a delegation in and of itself. You don’t want to be your own i.t department. I had to be my own i.t department when I started one of my real estate businesses 15 years ago, and now it’s like oh, I use Google business or whatever it’s like, oh, there’s a problem with my email, fix it. So that’s what I would say, get a coach and just focus on what you’re good at.
Brett Fellows: All right, great. And how about the flip side of that, Matt? So if it’s looking forward, you’ve got the advisory business, you’ve got 10x profit blueprint. What’s the next five, ten years look like for you? What are some of your goals and visions for the future?
Matt Hudgins: Yes. It’s more of the same for me, right? So I love what I’m doing. So the more A-plus activities I could do, the more coaching I can do, the better. I want to, again, like everybody else, I want to make more and work less, so the more efficient I can be, I’m trying to do only group coaching now instead of one-on-one. Both because it’s good for me time-wise, but it’s good for them for like I said the value of the peers.
Matt Hudgins: So for me, it’s an evolution of continuing to do more of what I do. Do I want other coaches underneath me? Maybe possibly, that’s an idea for growth. Do I want, I don’t really want any more businesses, right? I’ve already got two of them, I don’t want three or four. So it’s really going to be doing more of the same, becoming more and more efficient at what I do, and just taking it to the to the next level, higher and higher.
Matt Hudgins: And the more efficient I can be, the more fun I have. We were talking, I don’t know if you and I were talking about that or not, but it’s almost like when I look at it, what are you doing, how do I say that? What are you not doing today that you’d like to be doing next year, right? So one year from now if you could have your way, what would you be doing? Well, I’d be playing more golf, I’d lose 10 pounds and I’d take more family vacations. So that’s literally like my top three goals.
Matt Hudgins: So the way I look at it is, well, why not start now, why would I wait till next year, let’s start having a goal for 2022, what activities am I going to do to lose 10 pounds? What activities am I going to do to have more vacation and family time? Some cool fun trips, let’s get that stuff on the books. So I continually, what am I not doing that I wish I was doing, and then okay, let’s get started on it, make it happen.
Brett Fellows: Yes. I think it’d probably go without saying your four pillars of wealth that you are using these businesses to fund your own retirement, is that fair statement?
Matt Hudgins: Yes.
Brett Fellows: What’s your vision for that? How do you eventually unwind these? Will you just shut them down? Do you think you’d like to sell them internally or externally? Tell me about that.
Matt Hudgins: Yes, that’s a great question. So, you’re exactly right. I’m using my own businesses to fund the four pillars. So I got my business, generates cash, my lifestyle, I got an excellent retirement plan, I’m saving a bunch of money there. I’ve got some real estate and continue to do some more of that, and I’ve got a wealth accumulation, especially an investment account where I put my leftover monies, right?
Matt Hudgins: So I’m continuing to build that. Where does it go from here? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m continually, again, I like to do more of what I’m doing, succession planning I have two daughters that are in college, I would love for them to come join me in one of those two businesses, I think that would be great. Maybe it’s like I’m the head coach and they’re the junior coaches.
Matt Hudgins: Maybe they’re the marketing people and I’m just the filler of the coaching. So I’ve got a couple ideas about where that goes. The exit strategy for us in any of this business it’s you sell it, give it or shut it down. Sell it to somebody else, can I teach them to be an advisor or a coach, you give it away, do I give it to my daughters and let them come on?
Matt Hudgins: Or if they get married, do they have some husbands there? Or do I just shut it down, which is the good and bad in that if I’ve done my job and accumulating my wealth over my career, I have the ability to shut it down. You don’t need that, for my exit strategy, it doesn’t matter if I sell the business or not.
Brett Fellows: Right, that’s fantastic.
Matt Hudgins: So it’s still evolving, and again just do more of what I’m doing and what’s the next level? It’s probably just being more efficient what I am. I don’t think I want a billion-dollar, I don’t want to be the next Tony Robbins, but I would like to be just more on what I am and to impact more people. With me, is that with group coaching, is that with having my girls come on board, we’ll see where that ends up.
Brett Fellows: And are your coaching clients, are they mostly local to you? Or are they geographically located in different areas?
Matt Hudgins: No, they’re geographically located in different areas. So like I’m just starting this group of seven dentists, they’re all in Oregon. It’s a group of guys out in Oregon.
Matt Hudgins: But typically, it is going to be in the southeast, I’m located here in Atlanta, so it’s kind of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama maybe Virginia. So they seem to be located around me, but that’s not necessarily the case, but it’s also, you do what you’re close to, right?
Brett Fellows: Yes. What inspired you to do all of this?
Matt Hudgins: Now, that’s a good question. Well, I’ve always known I want to be an entrepreneur, I’ve always known I want to be a business owner.
Brett Fellows: How did you know that? You knew that as a child?
Matt Hudgins: I knew that as a child. My best example, this is funny and my mother hates this story. So I’m in first grade, so you’re six years old in first grade, and I got in trouble, it turns out that I had a group of girls in my reading class who were doing all my reading homework, I was making all A’s.
Brett Fellows: You were delegating?
Matt Hudgins: I was delegating. I had a group of girls in my math class that I was delegating, I was making all A’s. So in first grade, I already had this delegation system set up, where I was doing what I was really good at and farming out the rest. So I knew this at a young age that I’m only getting a couple things.
Matt Hudgins: I’m just realizing as I get older more and more Dan Sullivan that the strategic coach is really good at teaching that, or giving you permission. So it’s the chicken or the egg, I think I already knew that I was going to be an entrepreneur. I already have a trouble with authority; I don’t like people telling me what to do as a child, there’s another issue, I don’t like people telling me what to do.
Matt Hudgins: I had trouble kindergarten, I can’t color in the lines, so you give me a color, my mom thought I had a trouble maybe go see a therapist because I can’t color in the color lines, it turns out I’m hyperactive and I got to get out of the classroom and go on the playground. But literally, that’s how it is, I’m a modeler. I want to know Brett how you run your business, and what can I learn from you.
Matt Hudgins: So constantly curious is another personality that I have. I probably can’t do it exactly the way you do it, but I’m really good at simplifying, making the complex simple. And I can take what you’re doing and I can adjust it for myself, or adjust it for somebody else. So it’s hard for me to come up with something on my own, but I’m really good at copying or modeling or cutting and pasting and kind of adapting it to my own.
Matt Hudgins: So all those traits, I couldn’t color in the lines, I was good at delegating. I’m not very good with authority, people telling me what to do. End results, I’m all about results. I’m a very, what do they call it? Quantifiable person. So I started my career at a couple different places in the corporate world, really good jobs, great jobs, and I hated subjectivity. I want quantitative, concrete if you do this, this happens.
Matt Hudgins: If you do that, this is the result. And I want to control my own destiny. There’s an A-type personality that I have that a lot of entrepreneurs have. We’re a-type, we want to control our own destiny. But that can also be the detriment, because you got to control everything, no, you don’t. You got to control what you’re good at, there’s two or three things then we delegate the rest, something again. I was a rugged individual, that’s when I started.
Brett Fellows: So how old were you when you went out on your own?
Matt Hudgins: That’s great. So let’s see, that’s a great point. I think the first business I started on the side was in my mid-20s.
Brett Fellows: Okay. But you still have the corporate job.
Matt Hudgins: Yes. I still had the corporate job. And I was able to do a little side gig on the side, and wanted a lot 10, 15, 20,000 a year, turned into 50,000 a year. Then in my late 20s, yes, well, I guess I just said late twenties. It was a second business, got bigger that’s when I got into my real estate, was in the late 20s. I was doing real estate on the side.
Matt Hudgins: My wife was a real estate broker, and we were doing spec houses and rehab houses and rental property. I started doing that when I still had my corporate job. And then I started the investor advisory when I was 35, let’s call it. And the coaching like I said whenever that was 37 around 40 years old. So there’s a time, my goal was always I knew I was going to have my own business, but I was trying to learn as much as I could from other people along the way. For me, again that’s how I learn.
Matt Hudgins: But I would not have been able to start this business from day one if I didn’t do it or be around it or areas of it. So my advice to kids is I want you to own your own business. But go work for somebody and learn it. So great, I was talking to a kid, HVAC, the HVAC guys are making a ton of money right now, air conditioning guys, installers. You think that’s not a, that’s a great freaking business.
Matt Hudgins: You don’t have to have a college education for that. So I was talking to a young guy. And I said go work for an HVAC guy, you’re going to be on his truck. Well, but don’t just do your job, learn how he runs the business. He has three tracks; how does he manage three trucks? How does he do his marketing? What’s his target market? What is his million-dollar message? What’s his irresistible offer? Because one day, you might be able to own your own truck inside his business. One day you might leave and start your own HVAC business. But you can’t just go out and start your own HVAC business tomorrow because you don’t know anything.
Matt Hudgins: But you can go work for a guy and learn it and learn what he does well. Really, that’s 90% of my clients is what I call the entrepreneurial journey. I started working for a guy, and I figured out it wasn’t that tough, I could do it myself. I was working for a guy and he retired, so I just took over. Like literally, most business owners don’t know they’re going to end up where they end up. They don’t know that they’re going to own an engineering firm, an industrial lighting firm.
Matt Hudgins: I mean, the lawyers know they’re going to be lawyers. But they may not know what type of lawyer. The dentist and the doctor know they’re going to be doctors, but they may not know their specialty. But most business owners don’t know, you may not have known you were going to be an investment advisor. You didn’t know you’re going to be a podcast host 20 years ago. It evolved. So you’ve got to be what I call constantly curious.
Brett Fellows: Yes. And as we know, life is not linear by any means. What was the low point along that journey for you?
Matt Hudgins: Yes. The low point was 2008, 9 and 10, the recession, the great hundred-year flood. And in a, how do I say this? When I started my investment advisory business, I was actually very successful. But that crashed. I lost my top clients, two of my top clients, and the market crashed fifty percent.
Matt Hudgins: So my revenue crashed by fifty percent, my second year in business. First-year was great, second year in business 08, or 09 was, your revenue get cut in half. So I had gotten lazy and complacent. Oh, here I am with a successful business, I thought I knew it all. Turns out I wasn’t doing what did I call preaching to the choir. I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.
Matt Hudgins: And that’s when I redoubled my efforts, it’s like you got to learn those fundamentals. Who’s my target market? What’s my million-dollar message? What’s my irresistible offer? I had to relearn that myself, right? I’ve been learning all this stuff for 15, 20 years from other business owners I worked with, just absorbing it through osmosis.
Matt Hudgins: But then when the crash happened at eight, nine and ten and that happened to everybody in real estate, they lost their rear ends. That happened to investment advisor, insurance most businesses really had a hard time. But what I ended up focusing on was control what I can control, what are the things I need? I need a target market, a million-dollar message that here’s this will offer, are there only five ways to grow a business?
Matt Hudgins: How do I get more leads and conversions and transactions? So focusing on the fundamentals, and that’s really where I developed this coaching program was on my own, right? I had to do it for myself to rebuild my own business. And then once I did that, I started teaching others.
Brett Fellows: Yes, that’s great. Matt, this podcast is all about giving business owners advice for them to be successful. So I’m curious to know, and I like to ask this question, what is your definition of success?
Matt Hudgins: Great question. Mine is being able to do what I want when I want, wherever I want, with whom I want. So my freedoms are I want freedom of time, right? Time in the business, time off from the business, I want freedom of money, I want enough money from my business that I can go on nice family vacations, I can go play golf, again, that’s my hobby, so I want freedom of money.
Matt Hudgins: I want freedom of relationships. I told you, I fire pain in the butt clients. I only work with clients that I like and that I appreciate, I only work with suppliers that I like. So I only want to work and do business with people I know, like and trust, I don’t want any pain in the ass. Then we called by the freedom of purpose, right?
Matt Hudgins: So my purpose is to, originally my purpose was to provide for myself and my family, my wife and two daughters. My purpose has evolved into teaching other business owners how to create their own lifestyle, to use their business to create wealth. That’s how my purpose has changed. So that’s my definition of success. Doing what you want to do when you want to do it on your own terms. I quantify that in the four freedoms. That might be a Dan Sullivan thing I think. Freedom of time, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Freedom of money, I make enough money that I can do what I want.
Matt Hudgins: Freedom of relationships, I only want to deal with people I want to work with. And then freedom of purpose, and again, your purpose, my purpose has evolved over time. Again, it’s very selfish at first. Take care of me, myself and my family. And then it’s evolved into oh my gosh, I can teach others how to use their business to generate wealth, to build the wealth. So that’s my definition of success.
Brett Fellows: Yes, love it. Well, thank you for sharing that, I really appreciate it. Matt, this has been great. I appreciate your time, and thank you for being a guest on this episode of the retiring entrepreneur podcast.
[47:19] Matt Hudgins offers a free gift to listeners that can help them find more money in their business without spending any money.
Matt Hudgins: Awesome, I appreciate it. I thank you very much. Hey, my free gift to your guys.
Brett Fellows: Yes, we’ll post it in the show notes.
Matt Hudgins: Yes. So 10xprofitblueprint.com/simulator. So you can go in there and enter your own numbers from your own business. What’s your revenue, what’s your gross profit and what’s your net profit? And then you can look at those 12 different strategies and actually you can go further. Forty different strategies, how those strategies might help you find fifty thousand, seventy five, hundred thousand dollars.
Matt Hudgins: So this is a self-assessment, your profit acceleration simulator. How you can find fifty thousand, seventy five, a hundred thousand dollars on your own for free. 10xprofitblueprint.com/simulator. And then a promo for my own little podcast, Profitabilitymd.com. We got our own little podcast, we talked about, this kind of stuff.
Brett Fellows: Yes, awesome. Thank you for that. And we will absolutely have links to all of those in the show notes, so thank you.
Matt Hudgins: Good stuff man, I enjoyed it. You’re a great person, you do some great work with great people and I always enjoy our conversations.
Brett Fellows: All right, Matt, thank you. Have a great day.
Matt Hudgins: Thanks. All right, buddy.