MDH 80 | Business Growth Models

MDH 80 | Business Growth Models


Most people dreamt of turning your passion into a very profitable business. After all, what is better than having fun while making money? In this episode, Victoria Wieck teases out a chapter from her upcoming book, Million Dollar Passion, called Optimize to Maximize. One way to make a profitable business is by learning how to maximize your business idea, using your time efficiently, so you’re working the least number of hours and, at the same time, making the most amount of profits. Victoria spills the four business models you can employ to achieve explosive, sustainable growth! You don’t want to miss out on this conversation!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here


Optimize To Maximize: The Four Business Models For Explosive And Sustainable Growth

We’re in the middle of a series. If you’ve been tuning into the last few episodes, we were talking about how you turn your passion and purpose into a profitable business and build yourself a nice little empire that you can sustain. In this episode, we’re going to talk about optimizing your business idea. In my book called Million Dollar Passion that’s coming up, there’s a chapter called Optimize to Maximize. It is about maximizing your business idea in terms of how you use your time efficiently so that you’re working the least number of hours and making the most amount of profits.

Four Business Models For Explosive, Sustainable Growth

Let’s get right down to the various ways you can achieve your desired profits and experience explosive growth that’s sustainable. I love the word sustainable in this phrase because it’s important that you achieve fast and explosive but controllable growth. It’s the growth that you can control. If you’re growing out of control, there is a phenomenon called The Growing Broke as opposed to going broke.

When I was at HSN, I saw many entrepreneurs, and I’m talking probably a couple of hundred people, that achieved beyond their dreams. They were doing somewhere between $2 million to $10 million a year and they grew broke. I’ll do an episode on how people grow broke, but right now, let’s focus on growing controlled growth.

These are just the basics. A lot of you may have some portions of this already in your business or some idea of how you achieve the various different business models. I’m going to get right down to business here. There are four major business models. People use different terminologies for this, but there are four different ways you can achieve explosive but sustainable growth.

Number one is business-to-consumer. You are selling mostly to individual consumers. If you’re a hairdresser and you’re cutting hair and your clients are mostly women in your neighborhood coming to get their haircut, that would be considered business-to-consumer. A restaurant, for example, would be a business-to-consumer.

Business-to-business, if you’re a manufacturer and you’re selling to retailers, that would be considered business-to-business. You’re a manufacturer only to wholesalers or somebody who goes to one business. Maybe you don’t even manufacture the stuff yourself, but you have expertise in exporting and you understand the laws of different countries, freight rates, custom duties, and all that stuff.

You are helping a bunch of business people pick their products overseas. It could be to Europe, Asia, South America or wherever. That would be considered business-to-business. If you’re a hairdresser and want to create your own shampoo line and you want to sell it to a department store, that would be considered business-to-business.

There’s a combination business where you can sell business-to-consumer or a portion of it. The hairdresser was an example. She’s selling her haircutting services to consumers, but also selling her shampoo products to other hairdressers, a department store, on TV or whatever. That could be business-to-business.

The fourth model is becoming an affiliate for someone or having affiliates under your umbrella. That is a new phenomenon that happened. It has always been around, but it exploded in the 1990s with the dot-com bubble. That’s one of the things that came out of that and stayed with us, and it’s benefiting a lot of businesses.

Business-to-business is tougher in the beginning, but you can grow faster.

Understand Who Your Ideal Target Market Is

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of doing business with each business model. Before I even get there, I want to explain to you the most important thing before you even talk about any business model you have. It is to understand who your ideal target market is. Who’s going to use your products? What does that person want? How do they shop? What do they shop for? What time of the year do they shop? What time of the day do they shop? Where do they congregate in very large numbers?

For example, you are selling fitness classes. You’re running a business as a yoga studio and you find out that they want a Zen-type of environment. They also want somebody who’s on time. They don’t want to pay more than $15 per class. They don’t want to have any more than twenty people per class. There are all these requirements people want to have ideally.

You understand that and then you want to come up with yoga clothing, for example. You understand who they are, what they want to pay for, and how often they use yoga products. Let’s say you find that in your neighborhood, a lot of them live in a certain area of town. That gives you a lot of information to work with. Understand who your target market is.


For my jewelry business, I have combinations of several of these businesses. Number one, I do business-to-consumer. In my one-of-a-kind business, we do concierge service for somebody who wants above and beyond. She wants something very unique for herself and she’s willing to pay a lot of money for this. It’s something highly unusual.

I have that business on the site. If you go there, you’ll see what we’re talking about there. Our average price point there is about $10,000. We don’t do volumes of them, but we do enough business where that’s very profitable. The average price of $10,000 means some things are $5,000 and some things are $50,000.

Business-to-consumer is the easiest because you just have to convince a few people. If you’re a hairdresser, you got to convince ten people and do ten people’s hair. They then talk to ten other people or they go to the golf club or a restaurant and they say, “You got such a cute hairdo. Where did you get that haircut?” It’s very easy. That’s how most people start their businesses.

In business-to-consumer, you know a few people who need your services or you think you can sell enough to sustain yourself with a few people without having to go through a lot of expense. The drawback is you grow very slowly because you run out of people. The example that I gave of the first ten people who then tell ten more people, and then they all tell ten more people, even if you do all that, it’s slow growth. You’re not growing at 20%, 30% or 40% per month. You might grow a little bit, but you’re not going to build an empire in that model.

Having said that, I know people who have built their empires this way. That’s a different type of business. They’re very internet savvy. Maybe you came up with a tote bag for photographers and found a bunch of photographers that needed a tote bag that organizes. It’s lightweight and keeps their professional camera equipment very safe so they can check it into the airline, that kind of stuff. You can easily find photographers at conferences, associations, where they congregate or even on the internet. You can go and market to them. I know people who have done that as well.

For most people, the growth is very slow. Even in that example of a photographer, you have to learn how to do the internet. You got to come up with great sales funnels. You have to understand how many times you can touch them. There’s a whole other art to talking to consumers because when you’re doing business-to-consumer, more than the need, you’re talking about emotional connection. You need to connect with each person emotionally because they need to fall in love with you, trust you, and understand that they’re getting something special. That’s tough.

MDH 80 | Business Growth Models

Business Growth Models: When you’re doing business-to-consumer, you need to connect with each person emotionally because they need to fall in love with you, trust you, and understand that they’re getting something special.



Business-to-business is tougher in the beginning, but you can grow faster. In the example of the shampoo and a hairdresser cutting hair, I don’t know what haircuts cost in your area, but where I live in California, they go anywhere from $80 to $300 to $400 a haircut. In the best-case scenario, let’s say you’re charging $200 a haircut. Since you’re cutting your hair yourself, you might be able to do 8 to 10 people a day. It still limits you to how much money you can make. You got to pay rent, the shampoo person, and all that stuff.

Most people don’t do ten customers a day, seven days a week. Let’s say you’re averaging 5 or 6 a day and you’re charging $100, and you’re working 5 to 6 days a week, Tuesday through Sunday or Monday through Saturday. You’re paying rent and doing all that stuff. You can make a profit, but you can’t grow that fast. If you are coming up with your own unique shampoo product and it sells well, and you are selling to beauty salons, you might sell 1,000 or 10,000 bottles at a time. If you’re on TV, you might sell 30,000 bottles at a time.

When you do that, you can grow very fast, even if you’re making a lot less money. Let’s say you’re making $4 a bottle of shampoo and you’re selling 10,000 of them. That’s $40,000. That’s a lot of money. You can grow very fast by attracting businesses so that they can make money. Businesses don’t care what you sell. If you give them a plan where they can make more money with your products and other people that they’re carrying, they’ll try you out.

That’s tougher to attract in the beginning, but you can get economies of scale, meaning you can also buy your ingredients. If you want to buy a single shampoo bottle, you can go to Ulta or a bottle supplier. They’ll sell you a plastic bottle for $2, $3 or $4 a bottle. If you’re doing 30,000 bottles at a time, you get them for $0.25 a bottle. That’s how economies of scale work. If you can buy things at a cheaper price, you can grow up faster.

A Manufacturer To Wholesalers

You can do a combination of both. I gave you the example of the hairdresser. I do jewelry, so I do one of a kind. Sometimes I’ll make it easier to manufacture by the thousands of them. When I sell to TV stations, our runs are usually somewhere between $1,000 to 10,000 pieces. I’ve occasionally had pieces that were sold over a million pieces of that same item. In my one-of-a-kind business, because I’m looking for a truly one-of-a-kind unique stone, I don’t get to buy them in large quantities because of the nature of that business. We can charge the most amount of money for that one item that nobody can have except you.

If you do the business model where blue Topaz-Amethyst is very plentiful, I can get 5,000 to 10,000 pieces at a time. Even if you only make $10 a piece, that’s a lot of money to make. You can do a combination of both, but not with the exact same product. That’s important because, let’s say, you sell to somebody for $10 a bottle, so they sell it for $25 a bottle, but then you sell it to your consumer at $18 a bottle. You’re undercutting yourself. Most of your customers aren’t going to like it.

If they know that you’re going directly to the consumers for anything less than what they’re selling it for at any time, they won’t carry you. They want to see that they were selling it lower than what you were selling to your consumer. When you are selling on your website for $25, make sure that the business people that you’re selling to can meet their margins.

Let’s say they want to double the money, in most cases, they want to make more than double the money. They want to get a 70% margin. For $18, you would have to give it to them for $6.50 or $7 max. You can see how the margins are a lot smaller, but if your actual cost is $5, it’s still making sense to do at least both or do the business-to-business model.

Let’s back up a little bit. If you’re going to do business-to-business, it’s tough. A lot of times you’re going to end up with sales reps that specialize in that part of the business because you’re running your business. You’re manufacturing and doing all this stuff. You’re making sure that people show up to work and things are shipped out on time.

The affiliate model is so easy to do that it would be a shame if you don’t incorporate some portion of that in your business.

You can’t be traveling all the time looking for businesses. Typically speaking, you hire somebody who has expertise. A lot of times, these are executives that used to work at Nordstrom or VP of some division at a huge major store that’s networking with other department stores that they’re now consulting. You can hire them for a percentage of the cut.

Business-to-business is tougher because of the added layer of personnel and the type of personnel that you have to attract to get that business. With the combination of the two, the challenge is that most of your business partners or business customers like Nordstrom’s or a TV station want to see if you carry it elsewhere. They want to be the cheapest because right now, consumers can Google all day long.

In jewelry, it’s very easy to do because even though it’s the same brand name, styles can be very different. I can design a completely separate collection of jewelry for Saks that I don’t do for Neiman’s. Many of you don’t have that option. If you have shampoo, you can’t say, “I’m selling my shampoo with a purple bottle here and a yellow bottle somewhere else.” That becomes a little challenging. In some cases, depending on how big that retail customer is, they may limit who else you sell to. It becomes a little tougher game. I’ll get into that a little bit more when we talk about scaling our businesses.

Becoming An Affiliate

With affiliates, I would say you could do a combination of all three. You could get an affiliate or a bunch of affiliates to you. An example I’m going to give you is if you’re selling some weight loss program, cryotherapy, or you have your own way of losing weight. You’re also recommending that they do some exercise but you’re not a fitness instructor and you don’t want to open a fitness store. You don’t want to be responsible for that because there’s a whole liability that comes with that.

Let’s say you own a cryotherapy/weight-loss center and you see four blocks down the street, there is a bunch of yoga or Pilates places, or there could be cardio or a gym. You could easily recommend them and you could even sell them as a package and get a cut from that studio. The studio also might do it the other way around where they can sell a package and give you a cut.

If you are selling facials or laser treatments, which are exploding. A lot of people want to take care of themselves and their bodies. Out here in California, that’s a huge thing. I have a friend who does this. She’s an aesthetician. She’s not a nurse or anything. A lot of these medical spas need a doctor. She would rent a space inside a doctor’s office. What she found out was that a lot of times, a plastic surgeon or somebody who does gastro surgery will package in a bunch of lasers/facials and smoothing type of treatment. They then get a cut. These are all what they call affiliates.

You can easily recommend it. If you’re a hairdresser, you end up recommending a bunch of hair products that you don’t sell. You don’t have to inventory them, buy them and take a risk, but you could give them a company recommendation. You might even have some of the samples at your place where they can then order it and you get a cut from that. The model is so easy to do that it would be a shame if you don’t incorporate some portion of that in your business. There are very few drawbacks to the affiliate model.

Here’s the other thing, a lot of times you get customers that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Let’s say you’re doing cryotherapy and you get somebody from fitness centers. You’ll get a bunch of people who would have never gotten before because until they got to you, they thought all they got to do is exercise, but now they’re doing all of the above. That’s a source of a new customer for you and them. That’s a true win-win situation where the end-user wins because she’ll get the results that she needs by incorporating weight loss and exercise. You win a little and get extra money, and then they get all the extra money that they wouldn’t have gotten.


Think about what business model you want to have. The thing that I want to talk about a little bit is to give it a lot of thought. If you do business-to-consumer and you want to incorporate the business-to-business what’s going to happen is that you’ll be able to buy even all the things that you are buying and buy it cheaper because people see the potential that they can do a lot more business with you.

MDH 80 | Business Growth Models

Business Growth Models: Businesses don’t care what you sell. If you give them a plan where they can make more money with your products and other people that they’re carrying, they’ll try you out.


That’s a huge benefit but at the same time, it does come with little strings. You have added expense of hiring somebody who’s an expert in that area. The standards are higher when you’re doing business-to-business. If you’re a jewelry designer like I was, when I went to HSN standards, I had to deal with QA departments that were horrendously difficult to deal with. I understand why they did that because if you’re doing business one-on-one and I’m making a piece of jewelry that falls apart, I made a mistake on the one piece. If you do 10,000 pieces and you made a mistake, the mistake is repeated 10,000 times so the cost is high.

All the standards and expenses go up high, but it’s something that you might want to consider when you have a certain base of customers. I wanted to expose you a little bit to all the different business models. If any of you have any questions about this, go ahead and write to me. It’s or you can sign up for any of my classes on my website.

I go through all this pretty extensively because I’ve had personal experience with all four of the models. I started as a business-to-consumer then I went to business-to-consumer/business-to-business. I then went to business-to-consumer, plus business-to-business, plus the affiliates. I’m still in all of the above. It’s worked out pretty well.

Sign up for any of my classes on my website, which is You’ll see a monthly webinar there. It’s all free, or you can visit It’s all about turning your passion into profits, sustaining it, and working fewer hours as a result of working more efficiently and effectively. Thank you so much for reading.

If you haven’t already, please go ahead and leave me a review. If you can give me a five-star review, that would be great. Please share this episode with at least one person that you know could benefit from this because that’s how we multiply our voice and how we can serve our community better. Until the next episode, please have a great safe and happy week. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. Thank you.


Important Links

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project


How can you maintain a thriving business? Sometimes, you can’t just stick to what you’ve been doing when it’s not working anymore. You have to recognize that it needs fundamental changes. For more than 20 years, Rocky Buckley has been helping publishing companies in creating and selling products through books, courses, training by working with authors and experts. After that, he realized that he could do more by creating The Power Persona Project, which aims to reinvent organizations’ brands, strategies, and business models to achieve better results. Tune in to learn how he created the new business where he’s the public figure for the first time.

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

Reinventing Your Brand, Strategy, And Business Model Through The Power Persona Project With Rocky Buckley

In every episode, I try to come up with problems that a lot of us, small businesses, owners face and bring in experts that can help us guide us through that. The problem here that I want to address is that many small business owners don’t even realize that you do need to build a personal brand. People have to like and trust you before they will buy anything. Building a personal brand is the fastest way to gain some traction, growing your business and positioning your brand as the next thing.

How do we do that as small business people? We all are tasked with many things to do and there are many competing needs for our funds. I thought I would invite an expert in this area. His name is Rocky Buckley. We are going to have him go right into this and tell us a little bit about how he came about becoming the expert in this field of building The Power Persona Project. He is the creator of it. He is also the creator of a program called Gold Platinum by reinventing its brand strategy and business model. Welcome to the show, Rocky.

Thanks for having me.

You have helped thousands of companies build their brands and create their premium branding in the minds of the consumer or clients. You are trying to help the smaller businesses or newer entrepreneurs to go on the same path without their hundreds of millions of dollars. Tell us a little bit about how you came about being this expert on how you help people.

I wouldn’t say I have helped thousands of companies. I started in the business years ago. I worked with some of the biggest publishing companies in the world. I helped them to create a lot of products. Over that time, I was working with authors, experts and people like that. I was helping them to extract their expertise and put that into products whether that was books, courses, curriculum or training. I did that for a long time.

I helped those companies to bring these products into the market. I helped these experts and authors to stand out and sell their knowledge. I did that for a long time. I got to know that process inside and out from being an author myself to developing all sorts of different training online and offline in thousands of products for that year.

During that time, I was completely behind the scenes. I was somebody who was primarily operating as a consultant. I was like a secret weapon for a lot of these companies. I would be brought in and help them to get done what they wanted to achieve. Over that time, I had never been in front of a camera. I had never been somebody who was that public. I had a very small social following, which was mainly family, friends and people like that because my business was completely behind the scenes.

As I started getting around that twenty-year mark in business and getting to a certain age, I started realizing that there’s a lot more that I want to do. I realized that I was sitting on a lot of untapped potential within myself and the expertise that I had. I started to go through this journey of reinvention. I decided at a certain point, “I’m going to transition out of this business that I have built for twenty-something years and been successful at. I’m going to create a different business where I would become a public figure for the first time. I would bring myself out in front of the camera.”

I had to go through a journey of exploration. What did that mean? How did I stand out? How did I differentiate myself? How did I position myself properly? Also, how did I extract my expertise and turn that into products, programs and training? That was the path that I went on. It was more about, at some level, dissatisfaction with the kind of business that I had built. I realized that there was a lot more potential for me to do something more fulfilling that tapped into what I was passionate about, my gifts and talents. The question became, “How do I put all that together and build that into something?”

You can grow up without any real frame of reference in business and still pursue establishing one.

Interestingly, you say that because a lot of people go the other way with their products and expertise. They have done things such as creating their social proof and yet they don’t have a book. Some people do it the other way. They’ll find out that when they write the book and the book gets traction, then you can come full circle too. I come from a retail background where when you are on TV and you have six seconds at a time to try to convince people that you are an expert, why they need the product and why they need that product, it comes down to helping the customer understand who you are, that you are authentic and there’s a person behind the brand.

There was the power of the persona. Years ago, when you started, it wasn’t always so that people bought because they understood who the founder was, the genesis of the product or a program. Nowadays, that’s a must. Look at the Millennials. You are probably a Millennial yourself even though you say you are twenty years old. Millennials are going out of their way to buy things from a smaller company. They almost take pride in, “There’s this cute little company that does watches or protein bars,” whatever it is. They find reasons why they can connect with you.

Even though they don’t have money, they’ll pay more money to buy from somebody that they connect with, that they believe is good for society, good for you and looking out for you. Your timing is perfect. I understand that this was a long-year journey in terms of gaining knowledge, talents and putting them all together. You have helped bring out a few 100 or 1,000 people bring their ideas and products to life, see the birth and growth of that. You almost had like a petri dish for all these ideas, incubated and watching them from the sidelines.

Someone like yourself who has seen diverse categories, expertise and then different stages of businesses, whatever you have to say here would be very valuable to someone who hasn’t gone through that journey. When a small entrepreneurial starts a business, typically, they are busy trying to make profits, more sales versus expenses or they have some profit and they are busy doing that. They forget that without building a brand, without having your product stand for something and having that person who’s founded this company to be the person behind the product and the reason behind why you should connect with them, that’s a tough road.

That’s what we all do. First of all, I will refer back to something that Michael Gerber talks about in his book, The E Myth. Most people start their businesses as a technician. That’s somebody good at what they did. They wanted to be their boss. At some point, they decided to hang out a shingle and start working. That’s exactly what happened to me too. I grew up without any real frame of reference in business. Nobody in my family was in business. When I first started, my drivers were to be my own boss, make more money and do things like work from home. I wanted to be a very hands-on dad with my kids. Those were the motivators.

I never thought about business from the standpoint of playing the long game. It was much more about like, “How do I get the business?” If you are good at what you do, which I was, I got busy right away. I stayed busy. I never got a chance to think all that strategically about my business and especially about me, “How do I differentiate?” I was learning all this stuff because I was doing things for clients. I was creating books, programs, curriculum but also online websites and their marketing campaigns. I would find that as I was working with clients, they often didn’t know how to articulate who they were and what they were doing.

If somebody hired me to do web development for them, design their whole web package and so on, I would have to get things like images from them or write copy for them. To go through that process, I had to extract out of them the things like, “What do you believe in? What are your values? Why do you do what you do?” They often didn’t know. When you are trying to do things like design work, a logo, look or style, they can’t articulate it. What led me into marketing was that I had to help my clients figure themselves out. It’s such a tremendous need for small business owners who get busy and learn a lot of things online from gurus.

The gurus are teaching them tactics, silver bullet-like, “Do this.” They get tactical right away and start taking a lot of action. At some point, they start realizing, “This isn’t connecting or resonating. I’m doing Facebook Lives. I’m putting out all these posts. I’m dancing on TikTok. Nothing’s hitting the mark.” That’s where I come in and try to help people figure themselves out. That’s the foundation of all the tactics. If you figure yourself out well, that’s when the strategies and tactics work out but it often has to be done from the inside out.

You brought up a good point that there are so many mastermind classes. Some gurus teach you how to do what they know how to do. A guru might be a digital marketing specialist and your business might be a brick-and-mortar store that could use online as an add-on. I had this conversation with somebody else that, “The only way you can build your persona is when you understand what it takes to do that.” Whether you are at the beginning stages of a journey, maybe you are starting a side hustle and thinking like, “This could be a permanent job,” or you have been in business for seven years and you’re doing six figures but you are stuck there.

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: There comes a point in your life that you realize there’s a lot more that you want to do.


The only way you make more money is by working more hours. Many of you are reading at different stages. Some of you might be overwhelmed with what you are reading. Some of you might be saying, “I’m already doing that but I’m not getting traction.” Rocky has created a Facebook platform that is completely free. You can go You’ll see all these people at different stages doing their different things. You can connect with people so you can get some support. I always say, “Don’t try to go on a road by yourself without ever seeing any landmines. Talk to people who have seen it before.”

Even if those people failed along the way, they could still teach you something that will still save your time. That Facebook that he has is something I would start to connect with right away. I am a strong believer that if you don’t build up a personal brand, it’s hard in 2022. There are some things about COVID that are going to stay with us forever. We are prioritizing our lives and looking at what we do value. People value meaning, purpose and passion-driven CEOs, even if they are small. They are hungry for this. They are seeking out. The faster you get to position your brand as something that you stand for and that you align with, the faster your business is going to grow more solidly. You have a foundation that connects with you.

More deeply as well. The secret is that you are connecting with people at a very different level and on a values level when you can build a personal brand.

I’m going to put you in the hot seat here. What are the top three things that will help us build that personal brand?

The first thing is taking a step back and doing a bunch of inner work. That’s getting clear on first, your life vision. If a lot of people do get strategic about their business, they can think about the business at the 30,000-foot level but they don’t go to the highest level, which is the life vision. I believe that for someone to create a personal brand that’s highly charismatic, magnetic, resonates with people and taps in on a values level, a person needs to understand who they want to be in life in the big picture? “Who is it that I want to be in the world? What are the things that I care about?” Get very connected to those things.

Allow that to shape the business vision. I view business as a subset of your life vision. When you can step back and go, “What am I all about here? Who do I want to become? Who am I?” When you are getting started on these big picture questions, they have a direct and very actionable impact on the way that you see your business and the way that you run your business because when you can get clear at that level, it shapes everything else below that. It’s the strategy.

I’m going to unpack each step that Rocky is giving. With the first step, I agree with you because I can’t tell you how many times I’m interviewing somebody for my segment or on a different show and normally I am not like this but I’m like, “Stop right there. Who are you?” If you have completed two different personas, “I’m a business person. When I’m in business, I’m wearing my suit and I would talk like this but when I’m at home, I’m a different person.” I’m like, “First of all, those two need to be aligned.”

Aside from what you said embedded in that is also a lot of times people think, “If I show my real self, tell them what I think or give a real opinion about what I believe, I’m going to lose half the audience. They may like me, not like I or I may not resonate with them.” Take a chance because if you are so preoccupied with what other people think, you are not going to ever convince 100% of people. You are better off attracting the people that are aligned with you from day one. It’s easy to work with them. What goes along with that is your vulnerabilities, the things that you fear and you are not perfect about. It’s okay to share them and be honest with people.

A lot of times, when I get interviewed and somebody asks me a question, I would say, “I’m working on that myself personally because that’s one area of my life that I still struggle with.” It’s okay because nobody’s perfect all the time. I am not perfect at any time. It’s okay to be vulnerable at times because that’s what makes you real. Your life vision, meaning all the things that you align with things that you care about, how you want to spend time with, that’s how you are going to be relatable to your target audience but also that’s how you can ultimately help them because you understand that you have to also add value to them and how you can add value.

Marketing helps my clients figure themselves out.

I built my business without ever compromising the things I want in my life. I started my company so I can spend more time with my kids. As my business grew, like people from Dubai, Turkey and Japan were calling me, I wasn’t on a plane going there all the time. I sent them a fax saying, “I have got kids. I have got to get to a soccer game. I can’t do this.” It turns out that I ended up losing some potential clients but the ones I had valued if they were okay with that. I agree with your step number one, which is to figure out what you want out of life and there is a value in who you are to add value to other people’s lives and that you want to help.

Especially from a vision standpoint like, “How do you envision your future? What do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? How do you chart a course to become and embody that? What does that mean for your business?” Your business model will change when you get clear on your life and what you want your life to look like. In your case, your family was front and center and was a very high value for you. That excluded a lot of business models. You couldn’t do certain things and you wouldn’t. Your values and life vision informed your business vision. It put your business vision in a box. It started to shape what kind of business you would have, what you would be selling and what kind of things you’d be offering.

Within that, that’s where your brand starts to emerge. It’s like, “I want to serve these kinds of people in this way. Who do I need to be to resonate with those people?” That begins step two. It’s about becoming self-aware about yourself. What are aspects about your identity, personality, life story or history that you can go conscious and become aware of your background and history? Start extracting these things out of yourself so that you can shape and craft them into that very targeted public persona that resonates with those people you’re looking to connect with.

I’m glad that you transitioned into step two in that way because they work together. Many of you who follow me on this show came to me from my TV shows. You’ll know when I first went on TV in 1998, they had all these movie stars that were on the same network talking about, “When I was on this or that show.” I hang around with all the pretty people in Beverly Hills on yachts and these mansions. I’m a little mom with two kids. Nobody knew who I was.

I go on TV and say, “I do a lot of work in the studios. I work with a lot of clients to pay me good money to do their pieces but I’m here to share the struggles I have, which is I don’t have help at home. I take my kids to school. I’m an active mom. I go to their PTA meetings and soccer games. When I’m in those places, I still want to look good and feel feminine. I want to have something neural sparkly. I don’t want to have to spend a fortune paying for jewelry that could go to my kid’s tuition. Here’s an affordable line of jewelry that’s done with the same care and artistic talent as the stars are using because I was doing a lot of work in the studios. You can buy them for $99. It could be an heirloom piece because it is done with high quality.”

What happens when you do that is you come up with versatile things. You don’t come up with things that you can only wear on the red carpet, those shoulder dusters or big hoops. You are going to come up with a line that’s very elegant that you could wear from day to evening. That messaging is a part of you. It’s not online that you have to script and memorize. You are going to develop products, courses and everything else that aligns with that. That’s natural to attract people who would be inspired by your story and you.

If people reading are interested in the subject of crafting yourself first but then targeting this raving fan group of people who connect with you, I would refer them to an article that I learned about from Tim Ferriss, which is by a man named Kevin Kelly and it’s called 1,000 True Fans. That concept was very influential on my thinking about this. It’s bringing out those aspects of yourself, even if they are peripheral to your business. They don’t necessarily have to be directly related.

It might be the music that you like, sports teams or whatever but you are bringing some of those flavor points into your brand. People are connecting with you on those things and that’s when they become enthusiastic about being in your world. To refer people to that as a reference point, that’s an article that’s a must-read, in my view, in the personal branding space

Tim Ferriss’ books have a lot of golden nuggets. I do agree with you that raving fans are better than 10,000 followers on Instagram that don’t know you. They’ll just hit the like button or something like that. I would rather have that 1,000 raving fans because they are more likely to tell 10 people. That’s how my business grew and I can testify to that. What’s step three?

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: For someone to create a personal brand that’s highly charismatic with people and taps in on a values level, a person really needs to understand who they want to be in life and in the big picture.


First of all, you got to be clear on your life vision. You have begun to do that inner work going conscious about all these things that you bring to the table, all these aspects of your beliefs, identity, personality, history, life story and point of view. Get clear on all that stuff so that you’re conscious about it and then you can design that public persona. Once you start stepping into that public persona, you can become very strategic. It’s about understanding your market. It’s about doing work in the areas of market research, positioning, strategy and figuring out those aspects of what makes you unique. Ideally, what makes you the first one and the only one like you?

Get clear on what those points are because that’s what you are going to lean into as you create your brand. All the other stuff that follows from 0.3 is all about strategy, tactics, productizing your knowledge, developing a portfolio of products and offers, eventually elevating your price to a premium brand. There are ways to do that. That third step is all about that positioning, strategy and differentiation part because you’ve got to be clear on that to have effective messaging.

You can be very talented in front of a camera but people can’t follow what you are saying, they don’t know what you are talking about or what are you selling. You are great on camera but your messaging isn’t clear. It all has to come together. The personality, charisma and all of that need to marry itself with the message and go forward from there. It’s about articulating this into a real-world thing that you can act upon. You can start putting out content and so on because your messaging is sharp at this point.

Embedded in what Rocky and I are talking about here is the assumption that you do have amazing knowledge, product and expertise that you can share. BS factors don’t work. All the things that we are talking about, if your product sucks then it dies. Experienced entrepreneurs who give their heart and soul, know their product inside out, are experts, can tell you every screw, little line and their copy but haven’t crafted personal branding persona, that’s where this expertise comes in.

If you don’t know what you want then you are not going to ever get clear on your product, messaging or can anybody refer to the product itself even if it’s an online course? You don’t have anything to add and value. The first thing I would say is to try to figure out what value you are adding to your potential audience. Are you saving them money, time or future disaster? There are all these different ways you could position yourself as to why you are needed in their life.

Thanks to social media, we’re in an age of influencers. We are in a time where people on the power of their personality, what they’re interested in, what they do and how they spend their days. They don’t have any true value or expertise but they can get clear on the persona that they are presenting to the public. They can be outrageous, fun or whatever that kind of archetype or that style that they are. They build a following around that. There’s a lot of business to be done there because, from the face of other programs, they can recommend other people’s stuff. There is an opportunity that may or may not have been in the past. Be like a personality. If you can be strategic about it, you can build a nice business off of YouTube, Instagram and TikTok but getting clear on yourself, even if you want to be an influencer is still the essential key that unlocks everything else.

Even influencers that I know are pretty successful. Years ago, they stumbled onto something but once they become that and they want to be successful at it, they then still have to understand the product that they are influencing with. There’s a lot more work than most people think it is. Let’s switch gears a little bit about those people that have the expertise and have gotten some traction. You talk about how then they productize their knowledge. Specifically speaking, the one thing I’m very passionate about is the idea of generating passive income. Online classes or high ticket training courses, how do you go about converting from an expert or somebody with a product to then creating high ticket online training courses?

The first real step from that is looking at it from a business model standpoint. Most people who are experts find themselves trapped in this one-to-one business model, where they are getting paid for their time. When you are trading time for money, you are trapped. You get stuck in this situation or even if you’re doing well, you have got a nice six-figure business, there’s a ceiling because you have no more time. If you’re not confident about your pricing and you’re thinking about competing based on price, you got a double bind. There’s no way out of that. You find yourself trapped.

Everybody needs to turn their business into their soul.

At a business model level, that’s where experts need to start rethinking what they are doing and say, “Is there a different way for me to deliver my expertise in ways that could scale and become passive, also in ways that down the road, I could structure my business to sell to somebody else or license my intellectual property?” Many of us that are experts who are trading time for money built ourselves a nice job.

I like to think of it like a sandcastle that at the end of the day, after many years of working hard, you have built a sandcastle that gets washed away. When you stop working, there’s nothing left. How do you take what you already know and tweak or shift it in different ways? You don’t need to learn anything else or add any more expertise. You just need to change the way you’re doing it.

I find with a lot of experts reconfiguring the way they’re doing things, put themselves in a completely different business model where they can charge a lot more and have a lot more time and lifestyle, freedom and passive income from selling things like courses. As well as having a business that you can sell at the end of the day, which is a huge factor that very few people even think about. That’s a big consideration when you go into when you have this kind of a business. All those structural elements would be that next step. “How do I take what I already know? I’m sitting on all this untapped potential that if it were configured differently, could rocket me in a different area and take me to another level.” That’s what a lot of experts are sitting on.

I have a couple of doctors in my family and a brother and a sister who are lawyers. My brother was a real top-notch lawyer. He’ll charge $1,200 an hour. He’s charged that for the last years and he’s very proud of it but I always say, “You still have only 24 hours a day. Whether you were charging $1,200 or $400 in 1 hour, those are cap, unless you want to not sleep for another 6 hours. You are still trading high dollars for one hour,” whereas somebody who’s trading stocks.

Let’s say hypothetically I bought the right stock and in 3 minutes, I could make $10,000 if I was right on that. I try to tell him to create an online course that he can sell because he’s got some amazing expertise but he’s doesn’t have time to create an online course because he is too busy trying to make money doing the other stuff. They are trapped.

Not everybody needs to turn their business into their soul way that they’re making an income. My sister is a very high-powered attorney in Manhattan, partnered in a big law firm who makes probably similar money but she’s able to take that income. If you can divert that into other passive income-generating properties, that’s great. You don’t need to turn your business into a thing. If you want your business to mirror up with your lifestyle and this is who you want to be, your business is your passion and everything comes together in your business then you want to build your business in a way that can become a passive income property.

If you are high dollar and making money by the hour, you can take that money and put it into something passive like real estate, stocks or crypto. It’s cool but I don’t think everybody necessarily has to go that direction. It makes sense if your business is all about your expertise. If this is what you love and where you are getting your fulfillment from then why not do this business in a way that gives you all of those factors at the same time? You can make a lot of money, fulfill your lifestyle, talents, gifts and leave a legacy. All of that comes together in your business. Not everybody has to do that. If you own a string of laundromats, that’s great. You don’t have to feel passionate about it but for a lot of us, we do.

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: We’re in a time where people are just on the power of their personality, what they’re interested in, what they do. They’re able to get clear on the persona that they’re presenting to the public.


In his case, he tells me every time there was a major crisis he is dealing with, usually, he does like a middle-sized company. It is about $15 million to $50 million businesses. They are pretty good. Unfortunately, the only times he gets involved because of who he is and what he does is when they’re in major trouble. He says, “if somebody needs to be out there telling people how to prevent some of the problems, lawyers should be hired as a precaution at some point but people don’t do that because they’re expensive.” People don’t call a DUI lawyer until they get something or they don’t call somebody until they get sued. There’s a huge market for that.

It is difficult to sell prevention. My dad has successful long-term corporate security. He works at high levels with very big corporations and deals with the risks that they have. Selling them prevention in advance like, “You have these vulnerabilities. Your physical building is vulnerable to attack,” it’s very difficult to sell prevention. Selling the cure to a high-value problem is one of those secrets to selling it at high price points and going premium with your pricing. It’s figuring out, “How could I take what I already know but apply it to an area where there’s the urgency?” Somebody has a bleeding neck problem where I can take what I already know and focus in that area.” All of a sudden, you can jack your price way up. The cure is the secret where you can elevate your pricing significantly.

Is there a secret to selling high-ticket online programs?

There are many secrets but one of the ones that I like to focus on specifically is framing your solution as a well-designed system because when you can package your expertise as a system, it demonstrates that you have mastery over that problem. You solved it enough times that you have can package it together as a 3 or 5-step system. That gives you tremendous leverage from a marketing standpoint because it allows you to articulate your message concisely and clearly in a way that makes it feel like the solution is fast, simple and easy as much as possible.

I’m sure with all of your work over the years, there have been so many products that have to do with weight loss or something like that. When you can package, let’s say, a weight loss solution, “It’s an easy three-step system. It’s something that you can do without having to give up all the foods you love.” It’s in that packaging, taking what you know and shaping it into a systematic formula.

It almost sounds like a plugin system. Other people have done that before and it’s easy. It’s all done for you.

It’s a brilliant way. First of all, formulate your intellectual property in a way that you can sell to somebody else. That’s what we talked about in terms of legacy. You take your IP and turn it into something that you can sell. Also, from a marketing standpoint, when you can articulate, “What I got here is a proven system and it’s consists of this,” people are buying into not only the solution that you’re selling. It might be, “Burn 30 pounds of fat in 90 days. I’m going to help teach you how to do that in these steps. I can teach you that the process is going to be fast, simple and easy as much as I can.” When you can put those things together, it makes it much more marketable and palatable.

It seems almost like a magic bullet solution. People are willing to pay a lot more because they know what the promise is. It’s very clear, “In 90 days, I’m going to get this result.” When you sell your time one-on-one, it feels like an open-ended process. “We’ll work together. We don’t know when we’re going to get there. You pay me by the hour.” When you can sell a system, it changes the game for you. I always recommend every expert learn how to do that.

The second piece of that is in terms of you creating the system, how do you convince them that they need to buy it?

Formulate your own intellectual property in a way that you can sell to somebody else.

The solution that you solve should be a high-value problem that people are already looking for. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and say, “I’m the first one who’s ever solving the problem of weight loss.” It might be that within weight loss, there is a specific problem or let’s say, for people who need to lose 50 pounds or more. It’s not the person that just wants to lose 10 pounds. It’s a person that has a more serious problem. They want urgency. They need this thing fixed. Those people don’t need convincing that they need a solution but when you can get those hot areas where people are already looking for solutions or already spending a lot of money, they are serious and want to get that fixed, that’s where you can step in. When you can articulate a ready-made solution that feels very doable for them, you can almost charge what you want.

You are right on track on that because I have a $5,000, $25,000 and $75,000-course. It’s interesting because after I give a compelling speech like I do a lot of keynote speeches, 30 people will come after me. They want to connect with you and talk to you. It’s easier for me to sell the $75,000 course 10 times a day, than the $5,000 one because these are people who are doing 7 or 8 figures already. With the 7 or 8 figures for a small business, that’s funding everything on their own. In every action, the stakes are so high.

They are one moment away from going bankrupt or setting themselves back in a financial situation. That’s interesting. The $5,000 one to me is the hardest one to sell because that one has less value. You got some beginning entrepreneurs that don’t understand that it’s hard, even though that’s probably the best value. Aside from that, this was a very productive and informative conversation about all the different things you could do whether you are selling products, an author or expert who is trading time for money even if you’re high paid like a CPA or if you aspire to create a side income. With my brother, I say to him, “If you can come up with even a $200 course, when you talk to people come up in the NDA form, that’s not offensive so that they are keeping their intellectual property,” and little things like that.

I agree with you that trying to sell prevention at $10,000 is tough. There are a lot of different ways you could impact a small business person. In this conversation, we covered a lot of ground on how to build your brand persona. At the end of the day, all of you who are reading know that I say this all the time, “If people don’t like, trust or respect you, they are not going to buy anything from you.” That’s the beginning of this. To get the first 1,000 raving fans who are going to talk about you, elevate your message and amplify your voice, Rocky, you came in and shared a lot of wisdom, knowledge and nuggets. How do people find and connect with you and find out more about your community?

The easiest way to enter into my world is through the Facebook community, The Power Persona Project. The easiest way to go there is through the URL at You can hop into this free group. I’m in there. It’s a highly engaged, interactive group. I have interviewed people there like Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, Stu McLaren, Bob Burg and a lot of luminaries in our industry. There’s a lot of great content, conversation, connections and networking inside of that community. Hop in there. Get to know me from that point.

Thank you so much for coming in.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you.

For those of you who are reading, thank you so much. Until next time. Please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices.

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About Rocky Buckley

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona ProjectRocky helps experts, thought leaders, and influencers to “Go Platinum” by reinventing their brand, strategy and business model. He helps transform what experts, influencers, and thought leaders already know into high-priced training programs, so they can generate 5-figure clients and create lucrative lifestyle businesses they can run in a few hours a week.