Social Media Business Hour | Episode 127 featuring Matt Miller Nile Nickel & Jordan Salamone
Matt Miller spent the first 9 years of his career as an Air Force pilot, before entering the corporate world to work at both Abbott Laboratories and Valassis. While a top performer for both companies, his long term desire was to start a business and be his own boss.
A good friend one day mentioned the gum ball machines he and his young daughters owned, and that conversation began a 10 year business quest that has brought Matt’s franchise company, School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries.
Today, the School Spirit Vending franchise is helping professionals across the country develop more freedom and security, while supporting local schools at the same time.
Matt Miller enjoyed his time in the U.S. Air Force, flying fighter jets. The transition to the corporate world was it’s own challenge. As a salesman, he had to battle rejection on a regular basis. During many conversations, he experienced a variety of different objections. This made him realize that only a few people in the corporate world are actually willing take a chance. A chance to have a normal life with their family.
Mike spent a year and a half at Abbot Labs selling hospital diagnostic equipment in and out of about 30 hospitals, when the company was bought by a larger company, they made him the direct mail sales advertiser. During that time, they had around 750 salesmen across the country. What he normally did, was meet with clients, develop sales ideas and then have the design team handle the details and process.
With hard work and discipline, Mike became the number two sales person in the country during his first full year at this new company. However, his boss did not like the fact that he got accolades. What did his boss do? She increased his quota 96% the next year. This hurt him and his family financially and making things even worse, was going from being a hero to zero at work.
Mike had no option but to do others things on the side just to make ends meet.
His corporate pay will not cover all of his family’s expenses. He sold books online through Amazon, Alibris and Half.Com, he even reached the point collecting aluminum cans. Some people may find it nasty but Mike did everything that he needed to, just to keep food on his family’s table.
Reading Robert Kiasaki’s book “Rich dad, Poor Dad”, challenged him to measure everything that he was doing.
All of his actions should result in generating passive income. That’s when the idea of having a gumball business was introduced to him from a friend at church. Nobody he knew, would take that business seriously, but while really thinking it through something occurred to him. Gumballs might cost a quarter or even just a few cents, but how much money do vending machine make? Just a short while later, gumball machines became the answer to him making money “passively” while still working at his corporate job.
Today, his School Spirit Vending is in 26 states, around 2000 schools and he now has a team of 55 families who purchased franchises working with him. Now, his business is in-demand and growing.
What’s next? Adding to the gumball business, Matt’s company is now offering temporary tattoos and stickers primarily for high school and younger kids, making school events more exciting and fun.
“Measure everything that you’re doing, all of your actions must result in generating passive income for you and your family” Matt Miller
Having the ability to come into an industry without all the baggage that insiders have, is Matt’s edge.
You need to come from a completely different perspective and point of view. You have to make sure to exploit the niches and the areas that could be tweaked and changed. This will be for your benefit and others may benefit also.
“Don’t Just Accept Canned Training Use Your Own Perspective” Matt Miller
Family is always a factor for why we strive to work hard. Matt is happy because he has built a business surrounded by his family. In today’s world, aside from family, there is one thing you need to be fired up about that will keep you going: “Growth”. Don’t be afraid to grow. When Matt left the air force he lost his ability to fly aircraft.
Switching from one career to another is never easy. He always asked himself if he will the same amount of excitement on a new path. He has no vending experience, has no prior business experience but he did it anyway. He embraced what he had and grew into it with the support of his family. Now he is amazed that he was able to encourage other families to do the same business.
Matt started his company when he was 40 years old. He was such an inspiration to his friends and family.
He did not understand entrepreneurship until he was in his 30’s. Now he sees his children thinking like entrepreneurs at such an early age and he gets a real kick out of it because he knows he played a small part in their growth.
Seeing the old and new generations working together, a family working together and having fun is what keeps him getting up every day. It’s a strong force that drives him to continue to grow and build more.