Case Study: How Chris found the confidence to turn down a $100,000 deal
June 23rd, 2011 - 13 Comments
Could you turn down a $100,000 deal because it didn’t fit your long-term goals?
Many people’s biggest challenge is finding someone to pay them at all.
But not everyone.
For more advanced IWT students, they don’t simply want more customers — they want the right ones. The challenge is to say “no” to low-paying, low-value work, and instead focus on high-value work. That’s how you can earn more while working less — and doing what you love.
Today, Chris’s story about turning down $100,000.
What would you do in Chris’s situation?
“I want more…I want independence”
Chris almost had it all.
A wife and five kids. A nice house in a growing area of the country. A dependable, six figure job in field he loved — software engineering. He was only missing one thing…
“I have a good income, a stable situation, but I want more. I want independence,” Chris noted. “I want things it’s unreasonable for any employee to ask for, like taking a day off in the middle of the week.” Chris knew he could be perfectly happy living off his current salary if he could just find a way to do it on his own.
Self-employment wasn’t a new dream for Chris. A little over a decade ago, he had started his own consulting business. Doing quality work wasn’t a problem since Chris and his partners were experienced software engineers. But they weren’t salesmen, and without enough customers coming in the door, they closed the business down after a few years.
Chris went back to being an employee, but he never lost the dream of working for himself.
“I learned that soft skills are as important as hard skills”
Chris found this blog and immediately liked what he read.
“When you come out with a title like I Will Teach You To Be Rich, it’s risky. It sounds like a scam, but it’s so direct. There’s no beating around the bush,” Chris said. “Certain people might be turned off by that, but I appreciate directness. It’s exactly what I needed.”
When the opportunity to enroll in Earn1K arose, Chris signed up. Instead of finding “more of the same” recommendations to keep clients happy, he devoured a 24-minute video on tactics for resolving the five most common customer complaints. Instead of randomly throwing things against the wall to “see what sticks,” he built a sales funnel that systematically generated leads. Chris knew that the material would help him find customers, and not make the same mistakes he did in his previous business.
He also learned that earning more isn’t just about developing more technical skills. Early in his career as a programmer, Chris found that simply learning a new programming language was enough to advance his career. But there were only so many programming languages he could learn, and none of them would help him start his own business.
Chris realized from Earn1K that his soft skills were just as important as his hard skills. It didn’t matter how good he was at C++ if he couldn’t pick up the phone and call a potential client. To keep growing his career, he needed to learn about marketing and sales funnels. About getting into his clients’ heads and filling their needs.
“As an engineer, the concept of a sales funnel was a revelation to me. I had done direct contact in the past, but that meant I talked to three people and if no one was interested, well, I guess it won’t work. Learning the process and about conversation rates was huge.”
First step: Earn $1,000 on the side
Even though he already made six figures in his day job, Chris’ first Earn1K goal was just bringing in $1,000 on the side. “If I can succeed at this, I can set another goal. I can keep building it up until I can start working for myself full-time.” He never lost sight of that independence he was working toward.
Chris followed the course closely. He watched each video twice, read each PDF twice. He completed all of the homework assignments. “I absolutely sucked the marrow out of that course. I was going to get my money’s worth.”
By the time he had finished the course, he had already earned his first $1,000 on the side.
Chris started by networking with people he already knew. Some friends, some business contacts. It was through these initial conversations that Chris landed his first two clients, one of which he’s still working with today.
“I landed my third client by using Ramit’s suggestions for searching Craigslist. In fact, I was able to subcontract someone to do that work for me while I helped other clients and continued looking for more work.”
$100,000? No thanks.
One of Chris’ first strategies was to contact design firms and offer his technical services as a compliment to their artistic services. He didn’t have to widen his sales funnel very far before he struck gold. A design company was looking for someone exactly like him for a six month project. Chris knew this could be his chance to work for himself again.
To prepare for the meeting, Chris reviewed the Earn1K material on negotiation. He knew the best way to go into a negotiation was knowing you didn’t need the deal. “If you go in and need to close the deal, it’s like walking up to a girl and being desperate. You’re dead in the water.”
Chris hadn’t reached those lessons yet back when he was conducting negotiations with his first clients. “I was lucky I didn’t kill my first two deals. I broke lots of negotiating rules. I introduced my rates apologetically. Luckily, they really needed me. I was the only guy the client could find. He actually comforted me about my rates.”
Chris knew he had to do better this time. He needed to go in like he didn’t need the deal. After thinking about it, he realized it really was true. He already made six figures. He lived in a great area. His kids weren’t starving, and he wasn’t struggling to put a roof over his head. His life was already full of blessings. When it came time for negotiations, Chris was ready.
The client laid out the terms. It was a six month project worth $100,000. The catch: it was full-time.
Chris thought about it. And declined the offer.
“I realized I was just trading one job for another. That’s not what I wanted,” Chris admitted. “It was hard to turn that down, but I’m convinced it was the right decision. Now I can stay focused on my real goal: earning money on the side so I can work for myself.”
It’s not easy to turn down $100,000, but Chris realized that being rich and making more money weren’t the same thing. Being rich is about finding what you want.
If that’s making a living doing what you love, you can use Earn1K to learn how to build a career around your strengths, skills and interests.
If that’s enjoying more free time, you can use it to learn how to raise your rates so you can work less.
If that’s becoming independent, you can use it to learn how to build a system that allows you to work for yourself.
When it comes to being rich, it’s not simply about making more at all costs. It’s about mastering techniques and psychological insights that allow you be SELECTIVE about who you work with.
Chris did it. I hope I can show you how, too.
If you’re interested in previewing some of the material that Chris used to earn thousands, click here.
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