From Concrete to Commerce: An Accidental E-Commerce Entrepreneur’s Journey, with Matthew Stafford

How can curiosity, introspection, and a desire to help others drive entrepreneurial success?

In this episode, Matthew Stafford shares his journey from commercial concrete to e-commerce entrepreneur. After an unexpected business failure left him with major debt, Matthew stumbled into selling t-shirts through print-on-demand and generated over $15 million in sales.

He then discovered a talent for store optimization by analyzing data and tweaking the customer journey. Matthew helped several friends scale their stores from $100Ks to over $1 million in revenue by applying his framework.

This process organically led to the founding of Build Growth Scale, which offers done-for-you e-commerce services, training, and an insider community. In recent years, Matthew has focused more on personal development to become a happier, more fulfilled entrepreneur.

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Transcript

Intro  

Welcome to another edition of inspired stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.

 

Anthony (host):  

Welcome to another edition of Inspired Stories Podcast where leaders share their experiences, so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity and explore current challenges they’re facing. My name is Anthony Codispoti, and today’s guest is Matthew Stafford CEO of Build Growth Scale, an organization that has helped thousands of clients optimize their e-commerce presence. They do this through hands-on training and offer a done-for-you service where they’ve helped numerous companies scale past 8 figures. Before COVID, they hosted the largest yearly e-commerce focused event in North America. Through his own personal challenges, Matthew has come to understand the importance of a healthy mindset and puts a big emphasis on helping others achieve their goals. Before we get into the good stuff, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, AddBack Benefit Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to save over $900 per employee per year by implementing one of our proprietary programs. Another client is going to save over $1,200 per employee per year by implementing a different program, a patented construct that we offer. Results vary for each company, and some organizations may not be eligible. To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at AddBackBenefitsAgency.com. Now back to our guest today, the CEO of Build Growth Scale, Matthew. I appreciate you making the time to share your story today.

 

Matthew (guest):  

Thank you. I’m looking forward to it. 

 

Anthony (host):

So Matthew, before we talk about Build Growth Scale, or BGS as those in the know call it, why I’d like to talk a little bit about kind of how you got started on the whole e-commerce train. What did that track look like?

 

Matthew (guest):  

Yeah, so it was actually very unintentional to start with. I owned a commercial concrete business. I ran that approximately 23 years, 24 years, and about 5 years before I ended running that, I went to a Tony Robbins event, and it was my first one, and he was selling a program called Money Masters, and it was a DVD series. So it kind of dates you a little bit. And the very first one is a monthly, you’re gonna get a new lesson every month, and the very first one I got was Frank Kern talking about selling an e-book on how to train your parrot to speak, and how he had sold thousands and thousands of copies and made, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I just, it literally just like shocked me.

 

Matthew (guest):  

I used my computer every single day for blueprints and emails and FTP files, you know, sharing stuff, but had never once even thought about making money online or at least not that I can remember. And I was like, wow, that’s pretty fascinating. And from that point forward, I thought I’m gonna figure out how to make money online, because I was with the commercial concrete business, we were on the road about 200 days a year, so we were traveling all over the country. We’re doing Menards, Walmart, Home Depot’s, the big box stores, and like distribution centers, stuff like that. We were pouring the flat work. And so there was just so many variables. We had to have millions of dollars worth of equipment, 30, 40 employees, and then if we traveled to a job, and it rained for 4 or 5 days in a row, that didn’t matter like we just had to eat it, and that was part of it. And so come around 2008, 2009, and I had already been kinda going through that process of learning how to generate money online. We did a Walmart for a general contractor who we’d probably done 4 or 5 million dollars of the work for, and they had made some poor decisions when the housing market crashed, and they decided they weren’t going to be able to pay the contractors for the Walmart. And so our particular, our particular contract was around 360 grand for the work we did there. And we didn’t get paid for it, and we had a sub contractor for another couple of 100,000, which was a curbing contractor. So we were on the hook for over half a million. So that was that was really how I got into it, and my main driver behind figuring it out and doing it as quickly as possible.

 

Anthony (host):  

So Tony Robbins event exposed you to Frank Kern sort of a legendary marketer in this space, and then from there like, did you just continue to follow Frank in terms of how to like, learn and get a foundation and what to do? 

 

Matthew (guest):  

I definitely followed him and I don’t remember the order. But then in that 12 series was Jeff Walker, Brendon Bouchard, Russell Brunson. Lot of big names. Yeah, other other orgies of the, you know, getting started doing that, and showing people how to make money online. So there was just a lot of different examples. And the way my brain works is, you know, take in as much data as possible, and then try to optimize it. And so I do feel very fortunate that, you know, for the 10 years that I’ve been online, that I’ve actually, you know, probably well, not 13 years, time flies, that I’ve been able to do fairly well at it. And, and I actually really enjoy it. But yeah, that’s how it started.

 

Anthony (host):  

So let’s talk before Build Growth Scale still. Talk to us about some of those successes that you found in the E commerce space early on.

 

Matthew (guest):  

Yeah, so the very first one, I did like some SEO, and back then it was pretty easy to rank, like local businesses. And so I did that with I had to brick and mortar stores. So I did it for my own brick and mortar stores. And we were able to really grow those more than 100% year over year for the first few years, which is pretty incredible. And it kind of gave me that whole feeling of like, Man, I can’t mess up. But then then when that contractor did that, to us, I was like, oh, yeah, there, you know, there’s things that can happen that you don’t plan for. And so for me, that was my first experience of actually making money from doing something online. And during that period, a platform came out called Teespring, which is where you could essentially put designs on T shirts, and then market them with Facebook ads. And again, for some reason, why my how my brain works. I had, I had studied how to figure out how to like back then you could use the user ID and Facebook and target people with certain name. 

 

Anthony (host):  

And so you’d be able to serve up an ad to me that had Anthony in the ad, which is really going to draw my attention in. 

 

Matthew (guest):  

Yeah, And so when I figured that out, in in Facebook would serve it to you, they would say, oh, like, okay, the number of Anthony’s in the United States is 65,000. Make, okay, cool. So I came up with the shirt are called Schmidt happens, and targeted everybody with a last name Schmidt. And within 24 hours, that shirt had made me I want to say close to $15,000. And I was like, Oh, my goodness, I mean, profit 15,000 Not sales 15,000. And I was like, I think I’m onto something here. And so then I started coming up with as many different names as I could think of launching a bond and made it at the time, but I thought it was a ridiculous, the large amount of money for how easy it was. And what I realized is those campaigns would run out after a week or two, and they just felt like, man, it feels like there has to be a lot more than that many people with that name in the country, and somehow they just don’t have it. And so one night, I literally opened up a Excel sheet and put every single state on it. And then what I did was I asked is Facebook for everybody with that name in that state. And then the next day, the next day, and after about seven or eight states, I realized the number was already as big as they’d given me when I asked for the entire United States. And so it exponentially grew my market and I relaunched a bunch of them in literally, three or 4x Would I had made the original time, because now all sudden, a lot more people are seeing it.

 

Anthony (host): 

So some, for some reason, Facebook was kind of limiting the number of people that they were showing your ad to. You went in and said, “Hey, this doesn’t make sense. What happens if I split the ad groups out into individual states?” Yeah. And for whatever reason, however, the Facebook algorithm worked, it opened you up to a much bigger audience.

 

Matthew (guest):  

Yeah, literally, like gigantically. And it worked just as good. Those people just never seen the ad and didn’t have the opportunity to buy. So I was in a couple of Facebook groups at the time around that stuff. And I just shared it with everybody. I’ve always been really good at just sharing what I’m doing, I don’t care. Like I have no scarcity mindset. And everybody else started doing that. And it literally got to the point that Facebook turned that ability off to where we couldn’t target people, because so many people were getting targeted that they were afraid of Facebook, like, “Oh, they have way too much information on us,” they didn’t really understand it back then. And so then we just, you know, switched over to like hot market, like people would make phrases or celebrities or whatever we come up with, you know, fun sayings and put them on shirts, and then market it. And that’s what I did. To the I think within the first 20, well, pay closer to three years, we had done about $15 million in sales in T-shirts.

 

Anthony (host):  

and this is kind of a nice business model, from what I understand, because you don’t own the equipment, you don’t own the T shirts, you didn’t have to outlay all that capital to sort of create the foundation of inventory.

 

Matthew (guest):  

Anything, we would literally run a campaign. And we could set the timeframe. And we played with that to figure out like, what was the best timeframe, you know, because people don’t want to buy it and wait for two weeks before the campaign ends. So that would that would hurt sales, we had to figure out like, you know, when we could how long we could get away with that they would still wait. And then how long before we could relaunch it again, and people that wanted it the first time that didn’t buy it, we get it again. And I that’s the way that my mind worked, I was figuring out how to optimize all of that stuff early on, and figure out how to maximize that rather than just trying to come up with brand new ideas every single day. And by doing that, for sure, and I feel like helped me a lot to have the success that we did.

 

Anthony (host):  

So what you’ve just described is known as the print on demand space or POD. Are you still in that space that this eventually kind of taper off? Or dry up? What what was sort of the trajectory of that?

 

Matthew (guest): 

I would say I’m still in that space, from the standpoint of I help several companies that are in the print on demand. I’m closely connected to it, because we ended up starting a software company and having our own platform that then we sold and so yeah, the print on demand happens every single day. I mean, pay hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars per year. So yeah, it is and I help those people. But now they do it off on a Shopify site and kind of own a brand that their particular T-shirts are centered around.

 

Anthony (host): 

And so prior the transaction was taking place somehow on Facebook itself, and now it was taking place on that platform, and then they would pay you out when the campaign ended.

 

Matthew (guest): 

It was the first one and then we developed one called Canvas. And I went around the country and got I was the first one to get licensed to print on demand for the SEC schools. So we had Florida, Alabama, Georgia, a bunch of like all the big all the big ones. The only one that we did not get was the University of Michigan, which really bummed me out because that’s No, that’s where I was born in in Arbor and I got all the ones but the one that I really wanted the most. And so yeah, we got to print licensed merchandise, with print on demand designs, we submit the designs, get them approved, and then we were the only ones that could run those. And so once we did that we ended up selling that platform to someone else. 

 

Anthony (host): 

Excellent. So a guy who was in the commercial concrete space, somehow trips and finds himself in the e-commerce space. And then now he’s out building a platform and getting licenses from all the major colleges and universities and turns around and then sells this platform.

 

Matthew (guest): 

Yeah. And then from there, I jumped into my very first Shopify site, which was a kitchen brand.

 

Anthony (host): 

What was the name of that brand?

 

Matthew (guest): 

Kitchen? Right.

 

Anthony (host): 

Okay. Yeah, not something that you’re still involved with today? No, we saw that. Okay. And so you had some e-commerce successes along the way, we touched on a handful of them. What were some roadblocks some stumbles that you had along the way? Or was it just all rainbows and sunshine up to this point?

 

Matthew (guest): 

No, definitely wasn’t, I think, and in reality, the stumbles were probably my own personal ones. You know, looking back, it could have been wildly more successful, or I could have done better things with the money that we made. But, you know, I can’t, I can’t go back and change that. Now. What I can do is learn from the lessons. And I will say, again, part of my discovery into a lot of the reason why entrepreneurs do certain things, it doesn’t make logical sense. It has to do with our subconscious, making a lot of decisions for us, every single day, that we’re just literally, it’s on autopilot, we’re not aware of it. So yeah, I would say that what would have been better early on is to get a mentor that understood how to handle that type of success, and how to plan for, you know, eventual issues. And then the second thing that I would do is, yeah, learn how to take emotion out of, or not to take emotion out of the decision-making process when it comes to business things. Because a lot of times that emotion, obviously, fuels feelings, which create our actions. And so if you, if you’re emotional about something, it means that you’re not being objective about it. And, and so typically, your decision-making, a lot of times will be reactionary, rather than instead of a decision that you make, you know, with all the facts.

 

Anthony (host): 

Can you think of a specific example, that you went through where you had kind of this emotional, reactionary response?

 

Matthew (guest): 

Um, yeah, I was part of had, I had a business partner, and he wanted to invest money in something that a friend of his was doing. And so we did without I did without any due diligence, just literally taking his advice. And I lost a lot of a lot of money. Probably more than I care to admit. But it was because I got emotionally caught up in what the potential upside could be, instead of looking at all the factors that actually go into those type of decisions.

 

Anthony (host): 

And having gone through something like that, if you were to come across a similar situation now, how do you think you would treat it differently?

 

Matthew (guest): 

I’m, I’m pretty good about, like, realizing now that like the questions that I asked, help me focus on the right things. And so I would say, I have a list of questions that I would ask myself about that. And then questions that I would also ask of the other person. And I also have a network of people that I could reach out to now that I built really strong relationships with that would help me make a better decision. Alright.

 

Anthony (host): 

So how did you get from running your own e-commerce endeavors to now training 1000s of people to do it and for some clients, taking it over for them and doing it for them for their operations?

 

Matthew (guest): 

 

Yeah, it actually happened organically to start with. So I had started the Shopify site with a kitchen store. It did really well to take off, you know, it took off really well. In the beginning. I was really good at Facebook ads from running all the ads for the T-shirts. And I thought that meant that I could do anything on the store I wanted to, and it would just get bigger and bigger and better. And what I realized was we went from making hundreds and hundreds of sales per day to actually losing money or breaking even and only being unprofitable some days. And they didn’t really understand why. You know, we were kinda always blaming Facebook and saying, “Oh, it’s, it’s the, it’s the ad platform must be an algorithm change or whatever.” But I had invested, I saw a guy. And he’s still around. He’s a really nice, nice guy. Demetrius is good at this. He’s from Greece, he was selling, “Hey, learn how to use Google Analytics to look at your data. And I’ll give you like a call a week for six weeks for $1,000.” And so I invested in that. And after the first week, I was like, “Oh, my God, like, there’s so much data in here, that I had no clue that if I figure out how to do that, I’ll be able to make more sales and figure this out.” I did not I really didn’t understand the magnitude of that at the time. But by the end of the six weeks, I certainly did. And I’ve had, you know, Demetrius is a super nice guy, good friend. I’ve talked to him a ton of times since then. He’s like, “Yeah, nobody else latched on to Google Analytics, like you did, and you’ve taken it 10 times farther. All of our decisions are data-driven. If what I’ve learned is, like, this is all we do every single day now. And we still make lots of mistakes. And so for us to make assumptions and not use the data to continue to optimize, it would go back to and have those subconscious beliefs that like, ‘Oh, I know about it, oh, I know, I don’t need to do that.’” And I just don’t do that anymore. Because I realized every single time I do it cost me money. And or it costs my clients money. So in that process of figuring out the data and optimizing the store, we were able to take it back to hundreds and actually even scale it way past that, where it was in the beginning. And so I reached out to a couple of my friends from the t-shirt world, who had started Shopify sites and said, “Hey, I think, you know, I want to make sure I didn’t just get struck by lightning, it was successful once, I think I can help you optimize your store and make a difference.” And so there were two clients, three, actually. One was Organa phi, which is, you know, widely known, and Drew’s testimonials on the homepage of our Build Growth Scale site. In the first, their site had done 2.7 5 million the year before. And I think I got on around April, but around the beginning of April, the following year, and within 90 days, we had them at 8.7 or $8.7 million run rate. So it was basically cleaning up the shopper experience, and looking at the data and and continually tweaking it and making it better and better. And they ended up doing 16 million. So even though after 90 days is 8.2, they end up doing 16 million, so they had more than 5x their sales on the site. And they didn’t even run traffic to that they were running traffic to funnels. And that was basically where people would go that didn’t buy the funnel or would come back to reorder. And by cleaning it up. So that was all found money for them. And they’ve been known to do extremely, extremely well. Super happy for them. And then another one was two friends of mine. They were in the print on demand. They were literally coming up with sayings, putting them on shirts and doing that. And they’d done that to a specific audience. They were doing about 400 grand a month, and they thought like, they had really lit the world on fire, which in many cases, that’s phenomenal. Like I’d love to have that even now, you know, it’s a great store. But within six months, we had them at 2.7 million a month. And we could have got there a lot quicker. The issue was with print on demand, they literally kept selling more than their supplier could do. And it was causing fulfillment issues. And so once they got that worked out, they scaled it a lot higher and ended up selling it for high eight figures. So, super excited for them. Then the third one that I did, same thing they were only doing about 10 grand a month but it was more of a friend of mine, and I just said, “Hey, like, I’ll help you. And then if it gets bigger, then we’ll figure something out.” And so we did that. So literally, I was three for three plus my own. I’m like, this works. And at the time I was in a mastermind with Tanner Larsen. And he basically started teaching his group what I was doing. And then he asked me said, “Hey, you know, we should really just do this together. And everybody else is teaching Facebook ads. What you’re doing matters to everybody in it means it makes Facebook Ads work better.”

 

Anthony (host): 

And so that so what was the difference between what everybody else was doing? And what you were now doing, you would talk to Dimitri, he’d sort of shown you how to look at the data inside Google Analytics, what were you seeing back there that then you were able to apply for people that other people weren’t doing? 

 

Matthew (guest):  

Mmm, man, well, now it’s been so long, I’m trying to think of what it really was back then. It was very simple things that moved the needle, because e-commerce was so new, that it didn’t take the same level of effort as it does now. But like, it’s really funny, I see themes now being built, and they have now for the last four or five years, with our ideas built right in. So we know that our influence on the market has been really good. And it’s positive. So essentially, back in the day, the themes were built by developers or just like an online store catalog, well, it didn’t make it easy to find stuff. It wasn’t clear. People are asking for a commitment, you know, way too early, you know, all the different things that like, through years of going through that data and figuring stuff out. We just keep refining the process, and we’re still doing it and still making changes and scaling businesses that have hit like a plateau and can’t move past that.

 

Anthony (host):

So I’ve kind of sensed a bit of a common thread here. You know, Matt, is you’re just you’re sort of naturally wired to be both curious and introspective. You want to dig in, you want to learn, you want to understand how things work. And at the same time, you’re kind of humble enough to say, “Oh, hey, here’s somebody who’s really figured something out. Let me learn from them.” And then take it and sort of take it to another level by just applying your own curiosity. Are there people that even today that you sort of count as those types of teachers or mentors that help you to continue to grow?

 

Matthew (guest):

Yeah, for sure. And the funny thing is, they’re not in the e-commerce space. But the truth of the matter is, you know, we’re all human. And so understanding that human psychology has a lot more to do with helping the website convert better than the color of a button, and different things like that. And so, yeah, I do. And I would say that part of the reason why the things that we come up with are different is because we’re not following everybody else in the e-commerce space, and just trying to make it a little bit better. I’m literally trying to find things from other industries or other places that have worked really well, and figure out how to adapt them into e-commerce, in order for it to be what I call a behavior change. And those are where the big wins come, it’s not in like, it’s no longer just making the person feel comfortable, because that’s part of it, for sure. But that’s not enough. And so for us, we’re looking for ways to make that customer journey so smooth. They like when they’re done, done buying, they’re like, “Oh, I’m glad I did that, like that just felt good.” Instead of it was hard to do, or it was choppy, or whatever. And so giving them that experience, we know that we have it really well when our repeat customer rate goes up, our average order value increases, or our value per visitor goes up. So we look at a lot of different metrics than conversion rate, just because conversion rate’s good, but I can raise your conversion rate by putting your products on sale. But that’s not really the end result of what you’re looking for. As a business owner, what you’re looking for is happy customers that come back again and again and tell other people.

 

Anthony (host):  

I love this is something I enjoy doing myself dry Buying inspiration from one industry and figuring out how can I apply this over here where nobody has thought to do that before? Without giving away any secret sauce? Can you think of a specific example of where you’ve done that in the past?

 

Matthew (guest):

Yeah, and in all reality it’s pretty much what set us apart early on was I took from those oh, geez like who didn’t ever run an e-commerce store but they had funnels that were wildly successful. And so I looked through the different stages of the funnel and started building out a map of the e-commerce store like that. So, you know, your homepage is basically top of funnel. And back in the day you’d see, like, add to cart or buy now, or all these different things. I just went from the concept of, they don’t have enough information to buy yet. I just want them to like me and get to the next step, while then the next step would be the category page so that they could narrow their focus and find what they were looking for, and then the product page was used for giving them information they need to make a decision. So, understanding and another one of the ones from the money masters at Dean Jackson, and he said, “You know you need to enter the conversation that they’re having in their head at the right time, or whatever stage of this process they’re in.” And so I looked at each one of those pages like, what would they be thinking right now, or what are they thinking of buying right now, or are they? Are they in browsing, etc.? And so that’s really what we did early on in order to be able to take a store and make it convert really well, enough to run cold traffic to it and make it profitable.

 

Anthony (host):  

So for the uninitiated sort of the traditional way of doing things is you’d run a maybe a Facebook ad. And when you say a funnel, it’s basically like a very simplified web page or website, that series of pages, 4 or 5 pages that you’re just going to take them through the steps of okay. Here’s the bit that they need to know now. But there isn’t like a lot of distractions like the about us page or this kind. You know, it’s like there is a very targeted funnel that you want to send them through to get them to the purchase process. And what you guys did is you said, well, that seems to work really? Well, what if we set up the whole website to sort of function like that. So we get them here. We know that this is the starting point, and we take them here next and here, and you you sort of take them on this journey to hopefully at the end buy from you? 

 

Matthew (guest):

Yeah, 100. Exactly what we did. We still do it today and are constantly, you know, e-commerce is growing maturing. It’s always changing. So people feel like, Oh, well, I optimized my start. Yeah. Well, 6 months later, you know, there’s things happen in the code, and and you know people become more familiar with things. And and so there’s always more work to do.

 

Anthony (host):  

And so tell me about Build Growth Scale. BGS today.

 

Matthew (guest):

There’s still training going on. You’re still helping lots of clients paint a picture for yeah. So we have again, like you said. In the introduction, we have it done for you. So we help companies. Typically, they’re doing about a quarter 1 million a month or more. Before. It makes sense to hire us with that service. Because we put about 5 people on on that. Each store there’s what’s called a we call it a RO, which is a revenue optimizer. He’s kind of in charge of the data and the communication. Then they have 2 developers, a front end and a back end. They have a bug checker and a Google Analytics person. So that’s the team that is constantly going through the data and doing the updates and running the tests and figuring out how to move the store forward and grow and scale it. And then for the people that aren’t at that level, we have a membership that’s called the Ecom Insiders that you can join. Inside of there, we teach people what we’re doing and you know, live. So it’s basically what we’re doing on our partners’ stores without giving their information away. But the concepts and ideas of what we’re testing, what’s winning, things that we’ve done that didn’t work so that you don’t have to try them and waste your time. Because we have so much data, it gives us the ability to give them a much, much better chance of succeeding. So if you look at the success rate in e-commerce, I think about 3,000 new stores are opened every single day in Shopify and of that they say, like one in 140,000 will ever make a sale. Yeah. And so the success rate is very, very low, like very low even though lots of people have done well at it. The number of people that have tried and not is extremely low. In our membership, we’ve had about 1,000 members over the little over a thousand members now, over the period of the higher-level membership. And from there, we’ve had over 200 stores hit the 1 million dollar mark. And so just out of that 1,000, if you figure that’s a 20% success rate to the point of hitting a million dollars, it’s already hundreds and hundreds of times better than the average person. And we have lots of people that make (102) 030-4050 grand, you know, a month. Don’t! Don’t hit the 1 million dollar mark but for them that’s successful, and you know I would agree that that’s successful. Everybody gets to determine their own. And so yeah, II know what we do works. And it works really, really well, or we wouldn’t have the success rate. That we have.

 

Anthony (host): 

Well, what I love about the approach that you’re describing is you’re working with these larger clients. You’re getting real-world data from the different tests that you’re running. So this isn’t like theoretical. This isn’t like you’re, well, you have a theory. You have a hypothesis. You’re testing them out on these sites. And then you’re coming back. And you’re saying, “Okay, here’s what’s working. Here’s what’s working today.” And then you can take and share that information with the members, the training members that you have. Yeah. And then they can implement it and grow up. And then they become our clients, too, and that’s happened, you know, off and on for the last 8 years.

 

Anthony (host): 

That’s great. Where do you see BGS going from here?

 

Matthew (guest):

I don’t think e-commerce going anywhere. So we definitely, I definitely went through kind of a regal like you said introspective period for the last 2 years, determining, you know, really what I wanted to do, going forward. And so, and I wanted to build something that I would truly enjoy and love. And so yeah, I’ve, we’ve put a lot of revamping into what we do and a lot of care into figuring out how to make sure that, like what we deliver is something that I’ll be happy to deliver for the next 5 years. And so yeah, I’m, I’m really. I’m actually really excited to grow that membership again. And add new members in there and teach people, you know, how did? Basically, when you think about it, I don’t really look at it as I’m just teaching someone how to have a successful e-commerce store, because so many of those people have become friends of mine and I’ve seen their life radically change. You know, they’ve left their corporate job and make 5 times more, or they left their corporate job and now have a good relationship with their wife or their kids, or like the people that send me messages and thank me and tell me their stories. For me, that really does give me the energy to keep pushing to figure out more stuff. And so yeah, that’s really super fulfilling. And that’s why I’m excited to do it moving forward. So if somebody is interested either in being a client in the done-for-you service, or if they’re interested in learning more about the membership program. They would go to buildgroscale.com for both of those, either one of those. Yeah, yeah, they can look in the menu, and they can even just submit a form, and we’ll get a hold of them. Talk to them, find out what their individual needs are.

 

Anthony (host): 

So there is. Yeah. We’ve used the word introspective to describe you here a couple of times. I get the sense in hearing some of the past stories that you’re you’re sort of driven by your heart and a genuine desire to help people. I mean the first handful of clients that you had. We’re just friends that you said, “Hey, this is working for me,” and you helped them make a whole lot of money. It! Are there other ways in your life that you’re you’re sort of presenting this sort of giving, comparing, compassionate side of Matthew outside of kind of the the e-commerce like hands-on nuts and bolts way. 

 

Matthew (guest):

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think that’s a loaded question. You and I have had conversations around that. yeah, I think part of the reason why I am so happy and so fulfilled, and want to do this again is because of my own journey. I think originally when I did it. I just wanted to make money wanted to make more money because I thought that would make me feel better. and the truth of the matter was what I realized on this journey and during the last couple of years is that I was always looking for something outside of me to make me happy or not feel broken. and when I realized that I could actually go inward and find the piece that I was looking for that, the business part became a lot easier and a lot more meaningful. And so yeah, 100% II once I figured once I recognized that that was possible. I dove into that just like I dove into e-commerce 8, 9 years ago with the same passion. And what I’ve discovered over the last 2 years. I’ve been sharing that with other people, and they’re getting the same results that I have. And so I just kind of realized like that. That really is my journey is to figure stuff out and then figure out a way to articulate it in a way that people can actually use it and make the transformation that they’re looking for. And I don’t. I definitely don’t presume to know what success is for everyone else. But for me. Doing that for other people to me feels very successful. and I really enjoy it.

 

Anthony (host): 

Any particular mentors in that space that you want to call out, people have been particularly helpful for you in your journey. Or maybe they weren’t even individuals. 

 

Matthew (guest):

Maybe we were books or podcasts, that a book called Letting Go was really really good. Another one was called by Michael Singer. the Untethered Soul. And then he has another one called the Surrender Experiment. Those 2 were really really good. and then probably the one and and I and I think all of them. We’re instrumental at a certain point, and and I would probably get a lot more from them going back through from where I am now. But I read one called dark side of the light chasers by. I think Debbie Ford. and essentially the premise behind it was. and and I had experienced that like I always thought if I was nicer than the bad stuff would go away. and what I realized was I was shaming those parts of myself. and in that process of doing that. I was suppressing, instead of feeling, feeling, the feelings that I needed to feel, I was trying to avoid them. And so the moment that you learn how to love every part of yourself. Then it gives you the freedom to feel the feeling and let go of it, and everybody thinks it sounds counterintuitive like. Well, I don’t want to love the parts of me that I don’t like and the reason those parts keep showing up is because you don’t love them. It doesn’t mean that you have to condone them. It just means that you have to realize that that’s part of you, and until you acknowledge it, you can’t actually let go of the things that keep bringing that back up, and so acknowledging that feeling that it actually goes away and doesn’t continue to resurface. And so for me. Once I realized that it was alright. How how much can I optimize this process? And my brain. That’s just the way my brain works, and that’s the journey. I’m on right now, and I always will be so.

 

Anthony (host): 

If somebody is listening to your story, Matthew, and they’re like, “Wow, that kinda resonates like, II would like to take sort of first steps into that direction. You mentioned a few of the books that were helpful be along the way, but I don’t know if any one of them would be like a particularly good like starting point for somebody who’s like what he’s saying sounds interesting. 

 

Matthew (guest):

He sounds like he’s at a graduate level. I need to start at kindergarten or first grade on this. Where would be a good place for them to start? II would say, the book. The untethered soul is a really good yeah, it’s a really good book. It’s it’s basically like. So in the end, like, we all want the illusion of control. And we don’t really control that much. And I think that’s why when I looked at it from a much deeper level and started talking about the different things. And in this realm I realized that entrepreneurs in general are pretty unique in that way, because trauma is like a feeling, or the definition of it is a feeling of loss of control. And so I thought, like, Oh, wow! How in our business do we ever feel like we’re in control? We don’t. Okay. So that’s why normal people look at us and go. Heck. No, I would never want to do what you do. I want to just come in, clock in at 50’clock. Go home, and don’t think about that stuff until the next day. And and and they don’t an entrepreneur’s brain doesn’t function that way we function inside of that chaos like we get it. And and we have a coping mechanism to deal with it. And so maybe, you know, like I said early on, maybe it’s healthy. Maybe it’s not. Maybe we’re a workaholic. Maybe we drink. Maybe we do whatever no judgment. I’m just saying, like, those are the different things that we do as a coping mechanism. and so figuring that out for me has helped me unlock a lot of things for other entrepreneurs. That they can actually build a much bigger, stronger business faster, and enjoy doing that. Because it’s not this external thing that’s making them feel better. But they’ve already felt good. And now they’re I will just show that to the world in a way that and they can communicate better. And and yeah, the results are just so much better.

 

Anthony (host): 

You know I loved some of the early examples that you shared about the success that you were able to get for your Ecom clients with build, growth, scale, I think, organify, was one of the brands you mentioned, and how they fivex very quickly, without giving away any personally identifiable information. Are there similar kind of anecdotes that you can share about some folks that have you? You’ve kind of helped here on the personal side of things.

 

Matthew (guest):

Yeah, for sure. And I, the hard part for me is II don’t see myself as the one that caused the change. I see myself as the one that helped them become aware of. Maybe what they’re limiting thoughts were, or maybe the unhealthy beliefs but in the end, like I’m not the one doing the work for them. They’re the ones that have to do the work, and so I don’t. I don’t credit myself with their result. But their results have been really, really, really good, you know. Like, for sure repairing. you know. unrepairable, or what was thought of as a unrepairable marriage. I’ve had 2 separate very successful entrepreneurs, who in in their brain, had somehow convinced themselves that their family and other people would be better off without them. Who are now thriving and and deep, deep personal friends. Now, because when you go through stuff like that together, like the bond that’s created is is amazing. So yeah, for sure, financial success. But for me, just the understanding that we get to choose to be happy every day and a lot of times. Our brain has convinced us otherwise. And so once we understand how the brain functions, just like how Google analytics functions. We can use the data that we have to change the results. And and literally from what I, you know from my own example, actually feel whole and and in a place where we can help other people.

 

Anthony (host): 

That’s terrific. Matthew, thank you for sharing your truly inspired story with us today I appreciate everybody learning with us today. That’s a wrap on another episode of The Inspired Stories Podcast