How A Kidnapped McDonald’s Employee Became The #1 Authority In Every Industry By Age 29 with Rohan Sheth | #06
Up until the time he was eleven, Rohan Sheth had enjoyed a life of affluence that allowed him to travel to 22 countries and enjoyed a life of luxury with an arsenal of maids and drivers at his fingertips. His life took a 180-flip when they migrated to Canada and lived in an inner city suburb where both of his parents had to work. Looking back at his old lifestyle, he was teased into getting back the wealth and the choices that money brought when they had it back in the day.
That became his driving force in building eight different businesses by age 29 and currently running a successful digital marketing agency. Rohan walks us through his maze of entrepreneurial growth and transition from wealth to working class, from McDonald’s to high-ticket software. Learn how you can become the number one authority in every industry using self-confidence, instinct, tenacity, and an open mind. Rohan says he’s always going to be in the digital world making a difference by helping entrepreneurs understand traffic and sales.
How A Kidnapped McDonald’s Employee Became The #1 Authority In Every Industry By Age 29 with Rohan Sheth
You are going to love this episode. We have the interview with Rohan Sheth. We talked about his journey and his opportunity seeking for how he went from essentially building eight different businesses by the time he was 29 years old. I don’t know what the exact title is for this episode, but it is essentially how somebody went from being kidnapped to doing door-to-door sales, working for McDonald’s, going through the ranks of possibly becoming a corporate McDonald’s employee, to selling roadster bikes to the tune of $175,000 worth of product to his classmates when he was just fifteen years old, to being on top of the world in every job and every career that he’s ever had. This is such a fascinating interview. You’re going to love this episode with Rohan and understanding what it takes to seek opportunity, to pivot, learning when to pivot and then ultimately seizing that opportunity.
Welcome, Rohan. How are you doing?
I’m doing well, Joel. Thank you for having me.
I am so excited about diving deep into this interview and I know my audience is going to love this conversation. Give us a background about who you are and what are you doing today.
My name is Rohan from Vancouver, Canada. I’m running a digital marketing media buying company. In today’s day and age, we consider it an agency. However, most people, when they think of agency, they think of Facebook. However, we do media buying across all paid networks and we’ve been in this industry between me and my business partner for a combined eighteen years.
Combined eighteen years, you’ve been doing digital media buying and having tons and tons of success. I like to dive deep into opportunities, how you discover different opportunities. You’re super successful. I want to take a step back and I want to rewind. You have an interesting story. You currently live in Vancouver but you came from India. Is that correct or were you born in Vancouver?
I was born in Bombay, which is known as Mumbai today and then grew up in Mumbai majority of my life.
You came from an entrepreneurial family. Take us back to the very first desire of how you became an entrepreneur and the first opportunity that you created in starting your own business. I know you were very young when it happened.
I came from a very entrepreneurial family background. I was living in India and my family owned a very successful travel agency out there. At one point, my dad and uncle owned an airline, which eventually got acquired. My parents gave all of that up after that whole thing of the acquisition, then we came to Canada and saw 180-flip in my life. I went from having maids, drivers, traveling the world every long weekend. I remember being in Dubai literally every long weekend.
By the age of eleven, I’ve already seen 22 countries. In Canada, I grew up in inner city suburb and my mom go back to work, which was a very tough thing for me as an eleven-year-old because I grew up the first eleven years of my life seeing her every day being there, and then she had to come here and go back to work, which put me into a situation where mentally I didn’t know what was going on. I was like, “This is what happens when you move to new country.”
Fast forward a few years later while I was in high school, I realized that mom and dad are working but I don’t have the lifestyle that I want. I was teased with that, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I was always teased with that lifestyle. I want to have the wealth and the fund, the choices that money brought when we had that back in the day. I started selling little things inside of school and eventually stumbled upon the original drop shipping where I was buying containers of pocket bikes. They’re little tiny motor bike that are silly fast. I was buying them for about $50 to $100 a piece and turning around and selling them for about $300 to $500 a piece. This was at the age of fifteen.
Where did you come up with the idea of drop shipping? How did you hear about it? For those who don’t know what drop shipping is, give them a quick explanation of what that is and how you discovered that opportunity.
Drop shipping is pretty much you find something that’s been made by somebody else and you’re the middle person selling it to an audience that wants to buy. I didn’t even know what drop shipping was. I just thought of it like you’re buying stuff in bulk and selling it to the audience here, but there’s an actual term around, I’m going to use the term. I stumbled upon that opportunity while I was working at McDonald’s at the same time. I saved a bunch of cash and it was summer and as a young kid, I wanted some fun and random silly toy.
For some reason, I think it was a video I watched on the internet or whatever, I saw these pocket bikes. I started on Craigslist back then searching who was selling pocket bikes and there was this one guy that had a few and I reached out to him. When I picked one up from him, as I was there, just digging a little bit to find out why is he selling them. He only brought in ten and he’d already sold out when I reached out to him. In my eyes, I saw that as an opportunity. I’ve had a bunch of money saved, borrowed a bunch of money from my family, and I was diving deep into this and I’m going to figure out how to sell these things. My first order were 60 pocket bikes. It was insane for a fifteen-year-old to have invested in that kind of money.
How much was the money?
60 pocket bikes that I bought. I can’t remember the exact amount that we invested, but it was way more than the guy that I had bought my first one. I cleaned up my personal bank account at fifteen years old, which is not a lot, then I borrowed money from my family. It was a fun experience.
You’re selling pocket bikes to your classmates at school while working at McDonald’s and ordering these bikes and shipping them in from China. How did you even get approval to do this? As a fifteen-year old, I can’t even imagine that it’s easy to place that order.
I’ll have to go through my mom’s name, so that’s part of the reason why I had to borrow money from my parents anyway. I think I’ve pretty much got caught in profits if I remember correctly, but it was fun anyways. I put it under my mom’s name. My first order was 50. My next order was 150 bikes. My third order, which was an interesting story, was 350 bikes. That was a fun one because that one got stopped at the shipyard because of a trucking strike.
Here I am, I’m in school and my buddy comes up to me and he’s like, “You want to buy a pocket bike?” Were you only selling this to students, to classmates, or did you find another market need for these pocket bikes?
It was literally just my age. It started off with my school. In marketing, they say the one that has the most attention always wins. Initially, I sold 50 or 60 of them through word of mouth and talking to friends and friends coming over, but then it came to a point where I had 150 in a day. I need to do something to sell them. I was always a little bit of a rebel in high school. What I did was during school lunch, I live pretty close to the school, so I went home, grabbed my pocket bike and I started ripping around the parking lot with it. I got in trouble for doing it, but it got the attention of way more students than I probably should have wanted to, which eventually sold out at 150 in about a week and a half after that. That’s forced me to get a bigger order, which eventually got sold to other schools for just the word of mouth.
You sell out of all of your pocket bikes, you’re fifteen years old, you’re selling let’s say 500 pocket bikes. How much did you sell them for?
There were a couple different models that range with the average is $350.
You made $175,000 when you’re fifteen years old. You must have caught the bug or you’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit, but this was your first major success. You’ve made almost $200,000 when you’re fifteen years old in school and you’re working at McDonald’s. When did you leave your job at McDonald’s?
I stayed at McDonald’s this entire time. I worked my way all the way until I was about twenty. I got in McDonald’s when I was fourteen and worked right through until twenty and I did random stuff on the side. It came to a point where at one point, I was managing the McDonald’s. I was running a store too and doing all this crazy stuff.
You’re making way more money selling these pocket bikes and you still work at McDonald’s for almost six years. There’s your first success. How long did you keep selling those pocket bikes? Why did you stop selling them?
What ended up happening was the last order, the third order, I didn’t stop selling when I look back on it in hindsight, but it was one of those situations where I had a big order and already pre-sold a bunch. It came to a point where people pissed off at me. The first round of dealing with fire, as we like to call it in our world and customer service, we’re upset about it. I had zero option on what I could do. It was one of the things where it was controlled by the government. The truckers went on strike against the government, the shipping docks and I couldn’t get the containers out of there. It came to a point where it got a bit hostile. My mom wasn’t the biggest fan of it and she’s like, “After you get this one, you’re done.” I was like, “I had my fun selling them.”
Your mom put the kibosh on it because you started to get the attention of the government, for lack of better word, and so she forced you to go back to work at McDonald’s and just stay there. That’s why you were stuck there for about six years.
Even at McDonald’s, that’s when I started the next entrepreneurial journey for a decent chunk of time. It was while I was in McDonald’s, I also went to school to be an airline pilot and realized, “No, I can’t do this for the rest of my life.”
Tell me about that. What sparked the idea of being a pilot?
Growing up as a kid in a travelled family and family that owned an airline at one point, I’m pretty sure my mom still has a ticket somewhere. My very first plane ride, I was two weeks old after being born. I’d been in and off the planes my entire life and it’s one of the things I told my parents when I was younger, when at the age of two when they asked me what I wanted to be, I always said, “I want to be pilot.” It was a lifelong dream on one end, but then it was also on the other end of like, “What the hell am I going to do after I’m done?”
You go to school, get good grades, go to college and get good grades. The only opportunity I had was I took four or five months off after I graduated high school and I jumped right into this while being in McDonald’s this time and expedited the two-and-a-half-year course into about a year and three months. I was just over nine months into the program and I realized that I did not want to do this as a long-term career. I loved it more as a passion than I did as a long-term purpose driven thing for me.
Was there anything in the back of your mind like knowing what you’ve already had success with selling your pocket bikes and then going to school to become a pilot? Did that play into the reality of you stopping your pursuit of the airline pilot?
I was going through school. It’s funny because I was working in the mornings at McDonald’s then I had to be at the airport at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM and from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Then I’d go back and work for my 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM. It shuts off like that. I was eighteen years old. It came to a point where I realized after fast forwarding all that stuff, I got offered a job as a commercial pilot once I finished the last bit of my course and I had to move into northern part of Canada, which should be equally driven country because it’s so cold.
I was going to get paid less per hour to fly planes in a very dangerous environment than I was making at McDonald’s at the time. That put altogether was overwhelming in a situation where I was like, “I’ve got to give up McDonald’s to go and do this and making decent money doing that. I got to fly but I’m not going to enjoy it because I’m going to be living in this cold, dingy part of Canada.”
Then I looked into researching like how long it would be until I’ve got to a point where I would make a decent six-figure salary. Flying is not one of those things where you make seven figures ever, but you make high six-figures. How long until I did it? What didn’t work in my favor at that point in time is there were a lot of pilots because of the Baby Boomer generation and everything else.
The need for pilots wasn’t that big to get into the commercial space and flying airlines and everything else. By my calculation, I would be about 30 to 35 in that range being able to do $250,000 a year flying for big airline or something like that. That did not sit well with me and I was like, “I’m out of this.” I didn’t tell my parents and I just dropped out. Three days later they’re like, “Why aren’t you in school?” I’m like, “I left. Sorry I didn’t tell you I dropped out.”
Did you have a plan? What was going through your mind?
I didn’t have a plan. The only plan I had was I was at McDonald’s at the time. My backup plan at that point was if nothing else works out, I’ll just stick through with McDonald’s because they had already offered me to get to the point where if I stepped through there, they’re going to push me into corporate. I already finished a lot of their business courses and everything else in Hamburger University.
You go through different levels as you graduate through their ranks. You have to do different business courses and they want to push me into the corporate world of working for them. That would have been my last resorts backup. I knew subconsciously like, “I’ll figure it out eventually.” Between leaving school and the next venture of door-to-door sales, it was about three months again in the middle because I came back to the summer of following year.
I turned nineteen. In Canada, when you’re nineteen, you started partying and drinking. I was like, “I want to enjoy this the next little bit, what can I do?” I started bartending for about three months, had some fun and it came to about August of that stint and I realized that I loved bartending, had some fun, partied as a young kid, I had a good time, but I needed to get back on my feet and make some decent coins again and started to research at 3:00 AM after coming home from bartending. I was like, “What else can I do that I could make decent money?” I did a Google search and one of the random blogs I wished I literally screenshot that because it’s perfect to put in the webinar slide to show exactly what I saw.
It was top three things to make money and the one thing was being a hooker, which I’m never going to do. Second thing was drug dealing, which definitely I was never going to do. The third thing was sales. That was when the doors opened and I was like, “Sales, I’ve done this before. Let’s go.” Next day I woke up and applied on every single sales job available on Craigslist at that point in time and just waited for someone to call me back. That’s what ended up getting me into my next phase of my entrepreneur journey.
You mentioned something during that piece of your story, which super important. You said you dropped out of airlines school. You might be able to make $200,000 to $250,000 a year, but not for ten to fifteen years. You knew that wasn’t going to work. You drop out of school even though you’re on an accelerated path with no backup plan, but just the belief that, “I’ll figure it out.” That’s so important for entrepreneurs and experts is that having that confidence in being able to know that, “I’ll just figure it out,” so many of us have that belief and that’s the ultimate security blanket.
You said your security blanket was McDonald’s and they were going to push you through corporate, which is awesome. Just knowing as an entrepreneur, we have this weird innate ability to be able to “figure it out,” and that’s awesome. I do believe that that is the ultimate security blanket, so I love it. Why didn’t you pursue corporate in McDonald’s? What did that career path look like for you? You had done the research for the airline pilot. Did you research as well with McDonald’s?
I did a little bit of research. When I finally quit, it was like a bidding war for me to come back. It got to point where I was running the stores and had been transferred to three different stores in my city and helping them increase sales and everything else. I got good at doing that. I’m the kind of person where if I don’t see a long-term vision, I can’t stick to it because my internal clock or whatever you want to call it, is like, “You’re not going to survive here. You may as well leave now before you piss people off down the road.” It was an awesome journey.
There was so much stuff that I’ve learned, the business knowledge that I gained from going through that entire tenure was amazing. However, it got to a point where I was like, “I need to do this for me.” I literally quit, but at that point in time, I’d gotten to door-to-door sales, which was another whole realm in itself. When I quit, my boss’ boss, who was the one that was putting me on the journey to get into corporate, literally found out because he was on vacation when I did it. I was like, “There’s only one way out of this and that’s when he’s not here.”
I did it when he was on vacation, he came back and found out that I wasn’t there anymore and it started a bidding war. He’s like, “Anything you want, whatever you want, come back. We’ll get you to the corporate world.” I was making $60,000 or $70,000 a year salary. As soon as I got into corporate, it would have been an instant six figures. They pay for car and your cell phone and everything, so pretty much all you have to really pay for was your mortgage or your rent where you live because we McDonald’s pay for everything else.
They incentivize it so well that was so hard to say no, but I just knew internally that if I’d said yes, I would have been stuck there for a long time trying to get out. I just have to stick to my guns and say, “I appreciate the offer. I know down the road if it never ends up not working out for me, I could come back here, but I know it won’t be as glamorous as it looks like right now, but I just got to do what my gut tells me.”
Craigslist, you apply to all sorts of different sales roles because you realize sales is the ultimate way to make a good living. This is where door-to-door sales comes in. Tell me a little bit about this. Door-to-door sales seems old fashioned. I can’t even believe that it’s still around but tell me a little bit about that.
After the whole bartending situation, one night I came home, I’m like, “I need to figure something out because I wasn’t going to bartend into the winter. What am I going to do?” I literally Google searched it, came out on the sales idea and went on Craigslist and applied for every single sales job. I knew the one thing that was going to go against me was they didn’t have any tangible proof, not like the corporate and sales there. I was nineteen and it was never going to get anywhere with that.
I literally applied for every single sales channel that was available. I finally got a phone call about a week later from a company. They’re like, “We want you to come in for an interview. It was a sales job you applied for.” I’m like, “Sounds good.” When I got in the interview, they were like, “We would like to come back tomorrow for a second interview.” Little did I know, this is a TRV-type of the entire process of their funnel to get you to be a part of the company.
I came back, and I was excited. I’m like, “I’ve got the opportunity to a sales gig.” At this point they hadn’t even told you what you were doing. I went back the next day and they’re like, “You’re going to be working with Tyler,” who was the guy they partnered me with. “You’re going to be working with Tyler and he’s going to show you what you’re going to do.” I was like, “Sounds good.” I hang on with Tyler for a bit and he’s like, “Let’s go.” We leave and get into a car.
I’m like, “What is going on?” We started driving and it’s not even in the city. It’s like an hour and ten or twenty minutes outside of Vancouver, which is the boonies. In my head, I’m thinking, “Am I going to get shot? Is something going to happen?” I’m like, “You’ve already committed to stay committed. Hold your ground and go.” I went out there and then eventually like, “What’s going on here?” They’re like, “It’s door-to-door sales.” That’s when they dropped it on you.
They don’t say anything to you until you’re pretty much halfway out there. You start questioning inside of your head like, “You’re in door-to-door sales. What did I just get myself into?” I was in a situation where I couldn’t even say, “I don’t want to do this,” because it was so far out. There’s no public transit, nothing, so they’re my ride the entire day. I’m like, “Let’s just give it a shot and have fun with it.” I went out with Tyler and saw the opportunity.
They were selling natural gas that’s deregulated in Canada at that point in time or in this province I lived in at that point in time. That was the opportunity. I watched the entire thing, stuff that you probably wouldn’t be able to get away with on the internet today, but he showed me some of his paychecks and everything else of what he was making per week. I’m like, “Go get this opportunity. Let me see what I could do.”
I went out with Tyler over three days in a row. He’s like, “You’re not going to stick through it because you never saw me get a sale.” I’m like, “I’m going to give this thing a shot.” I agreed to give this thing a shot. My parents thought I was just the dumbest person in the world to agree to door-to-door sales. What ended up happening was, because door-to-door sales is such a tough environment to grow up in, number one, you don’t have any traffic from the marketing perspective. You’re creating your traffic, you’re then pitching it, and then you also have to close it all the same time and you literally have three to five seconds to make a difference when someone opens a door to why they should listen to you.
Fast forward three weeks of being in that company, I never made a dollar. I was about four days or five days away from being fired if I remember correctly. My boss sits me down and he’s like, “We like you. You fill up your energy and the fact that you kept coming back, but you’ve got to make a sale. If not, I can’t keep you. I can’t have you come back on Monday.” I was like, “Here we go.” It lit a fire under my butt and that day, I got up my first sale. It’s one of those things that you’re forced against a wall or you have a gun to your head. When you do it, you can make it happen and got the first sale that day and also the next day. Fast forward three months, I was the number one salesperson in the entire company across Canada-wide. Then just built an entire organization from there.
You make lemons from lemonade. This whole process of how they even acquired you to be a sales rep seems completely illegal. You say you have no other option. You must listen to our product and our pitch and then you must go sell it. How long were you with this company? How long were you doing door-to-door sales?
With that specific company, I was with them for just under two years. Then I tried another company for a bit.
Doing door-to-door sales again or similar types of sales?
You’re in sales for how many years? Two years at the first company and then how many at this other?
The other company was about a year and a half and then after that, I transitioned out of that realm from door-to-door world because I don’t want to do door-to-door in a different realm. I then went into high ticket in home selling from there.
Let’s talk about that, high ticket in home selling. When you’re doing door-to-door sales, how much is the average sale value?
The first part they sold deregulation gas, it changed every month because it was all based on the company and what they wanted to sell the price point at. They were selling it on a lifetime value because there’s a publicly traded company, so they’re interested in selling it on an entire value. I think the client was worth about $500 to them over three years. The lifetime value is worth about $500. I eventually got into selling, which would be like telecom, TV and internet. If you’re selling a phone line, it was like $30 a month. If you’re selling TV and internet, it was the most expensive place to be selling it for and it was like $150 to $200 a month.
$500, average sale value. Then you’re going into monthly stuff but it’s all still low ticket. You transitioned to high ticket sales. How did you even see that wasn’t option? How did you even discover that?
I realized that I got fed up selling stuff that didn’t have a comma in the middle of it. That’s what it was and I’ve always been the kind of person that wants to challenge myself. What’s the next best thing that I can get better at? It came to a point where I was looking at the point of the high ticket selling off the software company. I was looking at becoming a salesman for a car dealership and I was toying between both of the ideas, but the car dealerships just seemed mundane. The other one seemed like this is going to be a challenge, so let’s go down that route. I chose to go down the high-ticket software road.
Tell me a little bit about high ticket software. The price point for the software was $7,000.
$7,000 paid up front. If it hit on payment, it was $14,500 to finance it or some thousand dollars paid up front.
It was over double the cost if they financed it.
It was ruthless. The finance company was absolutely ruthless.
What was the software?
The software was an educational software made for kids between the age of kindergarten and grade twelve. If you’re familiar with Kumon learning or Sylvan learning, it’s very similar program to them, but rather than taking your kids to whether it’s a store or wherever Sylvan or Kumon was, you were learning from your home and you have the opportunity to teach some of the learning with them and it had the entire curriculum from K to 12 for the kids.
What was the close rate from going door-to-door doing low ticket stuff than going door-to-door doing high ticket? What was the difference there?
The process of door-to-door is you knock on 100, 120 doors a day. You talk to about 30 to 40 people, ten to fifteen of which are going to be people that are qualified listing to you. From there, you’re going to have three to five opportunities to sell. On the odd day, you’d sell one, on the odd day you’ll sell three. Somewhat randomly you sell five, so that was the process of door-to-door. It’s law of averages. It’s pretty much all you would work in your favor for door-to-door. That is 100%. When I was closing the door-to-door sales at my peak, I was closing literally three a day and that was bad day for me.
When you go from that point on to the in-home selling, the process of in home selling was completely different because we didn’t have to create any of our traffic. We have shown up for the appointment already booked. However, the traffic came from the perspective of our call center team calling the families for months on end bugging them to have our integration consultants come in and do a free evaluation of the kids, which was of solid value. The evaluation that we did for the kids was amazing from my standpoint. However, a family obviously knew something’s going to be sold, the call center would call three months of venture families, you just agree to say yes. When they do agree to say yes, we’d show up, but mom and dad are already pissed off in the door when you show up, so you’re literally walking into a situation with walls already up from both sides.
You have to take that wall, break that down, sit them down in their house and then command respect from them to listen because you’re there to teach them about their kids and see what the kids are learning and where they are at and then eventually transition that entire sales process into buying the product. We do two a night and I would close about 50% every single day that I would go. I can get one sale a day minimum. I remember I broke a record in the company. We do from a Friday to a Monday. I did eight sales over the weekend and that was insane. Every lead I went into closed. It was the thing where they say that you could touch it and turn to gold situation.
You’re crushing it in sales. You’re absolutely crushing it from finding your first gig on Craigslist. That led to the door-to-door sales and the gas industry. Then transitioning into telecom. Then you’re like, “I know there’s more money out there. If I can sell this stuff, I can sell higher tickets.” Now you’re selling $7,000 to $14,000 education systems, different types of traffic. With every opportunity, you’re always looking for more. Usually you’re trying to pivot. What was causing you to pivot from what you’re doing now? You’re making great money, it sounds like.
I was making serious as a 22-year -old. It was $250,000 a year.
You’re making over $250,000 a year as a 22-year-old. You made another transition into affiliate marketing and digital marketing. What was causing you to be like, “$250,000 at 22. I’m tired of it?” What’s going through your mind right now?
I looked at the entire sales world and the culture of sales environment and I like what it teaches you. If you know how to write copy and market or you know how to sell, you’ll never have a problem putting food on the table. I knew I already mastered the art of sales, so I wouldn’t worry about where I’m going to get my next dollar from. However, I got to the point where I mastered the art of one-to-one selling and I was learning it to understanding how to sell one to many. One to many is marketing. Once again doing Google research, I realized that digital marketing was this up and coming trend. It was already a big trend for a lot of people and stumbled upon the affiliate world and understanding traffic and buying traffic and doing CPA offers and everything else.
I started doing that passively while I was still doing the door-to-door sales and then got to a point where at the end of 2012 or 2013, the company that I was with started to make a big transition. It literally wasn’t where I was going to see myself for a long-term. Early 2013, I decided to jump in and buy into a mastermind in LA, which was $5,000. I had no idea who these people were, saw the opportunities, saw it was a mastermind for two days in LA, paid for it, and jump on a plane. I came back, understood the entire realm of traffic so well I was like, “I’m going to go home and do this.” I gave my 60-day notice to the company and I left the company in 2013. I’d already been an affiliate in 2012. January of 2013, I did the mastermind and I was out of there March 30th.
You’ve mastered the art of sales, you understand marketing and the core gap that you were missing was traffic. Affiliate marketing is all about traffic. People are converting offers, you just need to get traffic and send them to them. You knew if you had traffic, if you could get the people, if you get your message out to the people, you already knew how to convert them. This was gold. Did you enjoy affiliate marketing?
It was fun for a little bit because this was a whole new world. I remember Facebook was just becoming one of the new platforms at that point in time. It was fun to learn that whole thing, doing Google being TV marketing and getting good at it and they start really going to traffic. It came to a point where I was already helping family friends and small business do a bit of consulting like, “How do I do this in social media? How do I do that?” Especially in the family.
When your family finds out you’re doing something new, they want to do it for free. I was like, “I’ll do this to help you out.” It got to a point where I realized the amount of people that are asking me for help online with everything that I’m doing is a bigger niche for me to help and I love the high-ticket course. I knew I could charge for this pretty easily. I’m going to transition into consulting. I still did affiliate marketing and then in 2013 to 2014, I transitioned into consulting just because I saw a blatant gap there. I started to fill it. The first client I took on was $500 and then the next time was $1,000, and the next was $2,500.
Is that per month or was that a flat fee?
You had this opportunity now with digital marketing and helping people get gobs and gobs of traffic, so affiliate marketing, digital marketing, and consulting all spun off into each other. That’s how you grew a large agency. How big did this get? How big does your agency get?
I had gotten to a point where I was managing myself and a few team members and managers with MBA. Into the latter part of 2015, we had fifteen clients I was managing by myself ranging anywhere from a thousand a month upwards of $2,500 plus 10% of ads spent.
That took you to 2015. Where did you pivot after that?
I had the opportunity to speak in Australia in December, 2015. I took that opportunity on. I was in a transition phase of having to bring somebody on as a traffic buyer. It was good because I knew my skill set wasn’t in buying traffic but in getting clients and selling. I’m learning transitioning, but when you start a new business, you do everything and then you start bringing on help.
I knew the biggest piece of that pie wouldn’t have been for me to bring on a traffic buyer and I started searching. One of my business partner today, him and I used to back my door-to-door videos. We’re going back prior to all of the craziness in the middle, back when door-to-door days, him and I used to trade options and stocks together. This was circa 2008, 2009 when the crash happened.
Once that happened, he ended up leaving Vancouver, moved back in Toronto, and living life. We didn’t connect for years. He saw one of the articles I posted on LinkedIn for a client that we took from losing money to making $1.6 million in 90 days or so. He’s like, “What are you doing in the digital marketable world?” He reached out to me on Skype one day.
Little did I know, this guy is like an undergrad traffic king and jumped on a call. I was like, “You can message me any better over time because I’m in the transition of finding someone to take over the back end. I’d rather just give you 50% of my company and you agree to saying, “We’ll run the entire backend and all the traffic,” and let me focus on the front end of it.” He’s like, “Let’s do it.” I literally didn’t ask for a dollar, just handed him 50% of the company just because I knew him and I trusted him from back in the day. Since then, we’ve had instant growth.
That was on the agency side or is that after the agency?
That is agency.
That’s when you took it up and it kicked it up a notch. Are you still doing the agency today?
I’m still doing the agency today. It’s my bread and butter and I love it and yes, I do have a few other things that I’m in now. I love the agency and it always challenges me to push that barrier of sales.
We’re up to present day of what you’re doing. In reflecting on where you got started, which was drop shipping and what you’re doing today, which is the agency and going through the milestones and the different journeys of what got you here, is there anything that you would change about that journey?
I don’t think I’d ever change anything in the journey because everything that I ever did in the journey brought me one step closer to where I want to be. The one thing that I always wished was I saw the online world a lot sooner. If I’d seen the online world a lot sooner, I wouldn’t have had any of the crazy stories that I have from the door-to-door world and the in-home selling world. Everybody’s journey is completely different and it’s like you’ve got to just take it and make the best of it today.
Where do you think you’re going next? Us, as entrepreneurs and experts, like monetizing your experience. You’re learning these things on the fly and then you’re teaching other people. That’s the beauty of the expert world. It’s like you learn a skill and then learn how to monetize it and you have to be one or two steps ahead of your customer. Knowing as an entrepreneur, where do you think you’re going next?
My next big vision is I want to sell the agency in the next two years. That’s my goal. Acquisition on that end. Right now, we’re acquiring companies. We’re looking at acquiring companies to increase value and then turn around and sell it. The probably the big transition in the middle right now, what we’re doing is we’re doing a lot of coaching and events and speaking. I’ve got a bunch of speaking gigs coming up, so it’s getting me down that realm, which is fun. It’s more of an egocentric journey, but I love it because I do get to make a big difference in a lot of the people that I speak and coach with. However, the next big space that I see myself getting into, and probably Matt as well together, is just going down the SAS world.
We’ve been brought on board for a couple app companies and CMOs and been given a pretty decent chunk of the company because of some of the prior success stories that we’ve had. It’s going down that route and consulting in the SAS/app world because of the crazy stuff we’ve done there. That’s where I see us in about two to three years becoming more of a bread and butter than the agency being a bread and butter, but I’m always going to be in the digital world making a difference helping entrepreneurs understanding traffic, understanding sales, understanding what it takes.
A lot of times, we have these conversations and sometimes we go through the hero’s journey story with the ups and the downs and the struggles. Hearing your story, it didn’t ever get like terribly bad. You didn’t go bankrupt, you didn’t lose everything, but you always had this drive and desire. You’ve always had your mind open to new opportunities, new possibilities, and that’s what I love about this show.
That’s the whole goal of the show is keep your mind open to what’s around. If it wasn’t for you staying up late at 3:00 AM and finding out that sales is one of the most important elements to having a fruitful life you wouldn’t have applied to x number of ads and that wouldn’t lead to you getting kidnapped and hijacked into the boondocks of Vancouver and then becoming the number one salesperson in these companies. Your journey is amazing. Your journey is incredible, and your store was incredible. I had a blast and I appreciate you sharing it.
Thanks a lot. You hear the highs, the lows of the story, but there were definitely a lot of lows where you can walk away from a quarter-million-dollar gig to nothing and hoping to make it all. That’s a whole different world and the amount of credit and everything else, but it’s definitely been fun sharing the story because I don’t get like a lot of podcasts and stuff. We don’t get a chance to go down the story realm.
Where can people find you? Where can people connect with you?
The quickest, easiest way to find me is going to be Instagram, @Rohan_Sheth. Add me on Facebook. One thing we’re taking very seriously, you’ll see a lot of my crazy journey is through YouTube. We’re doing a lot of vlogging. We hired a videographer and everything else there too. We’re going down that route and reach out and see if there’s anything that we can do or anything that I can do to help. I would love to.
I appreciate you taking time. You were on a roll and you were talking about some amazing things. For everyone, thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, go connect with Rohan and let him know that you’ve heard his story on Experts Unleashed. I will see you in the next episode. Take care.
About Rohan Sheth
Rohan Seth Consulting is a full-service digital marketing agency. We create and maintain professional digital advertising campaigns for your company and your brand.
With weekly and monthly reporting procedures, allow us to SHOW you the difference in the exposure an experienced marketing team can bring to your business. Let us be the ones to welcome you into the Digital Age, and take your company to the next level.