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Oz Konar:
Hey, everyone. Oz Konar here with Business Lending Blueprint. I have another guest interview. Today, I have JJ who is part of my community. JJ was just telling me that she started with the Blueprint, you said late February, right?
JJ van Oss:
Yes.
Oz Konar:
Awesome. How is it going so far?
JJ van Oss:
Really good. Really good. It’s given me access to some lenders that have helped me with some start-ups that has been really productive and I think I’ll continue to see growth from that.
Oz Konar:
Yeah, let’s talk about that product, JJ. It’s not really known in the industry. Not just alternative lending, but in general, like the concept of start-up funding. What kind of feedback are you getting from people that you are talking to when it comes to that product?
JJ van Oss:
Well, it gives them the ability to start a business that they’re bank turned them down. SBA was also not an option. The dollar amounts were too low and I did direct them to try and find community resources. There’s two gentlemen specifically that I’m working with right now that are going through the start-up process, and they don’t need a whole lot. One needed 20K, the other one is working on his credit now, he needs 40K and that isn’t a fit for a lot of programs out there. And so I move them over to … and well, the one I did and we’ve since closed on him, so he’s getting ready to launch his business this month, so it’s pretty exciting. And then the other gentleman, he’ll be ready probably next month too. I’ll take him over …
Oz Konar:
Great. Yeah. That’s super exciting. Like you said, a lot of these people do not need half a million or a million to two million, right? Sometime they need 10 grand, to 40 to 50 grand to launch their business which is a big problem in the lending industry. So, if you go to a bank and ask for that amount, the collateral and the time required sometimes not even worth it, knowing that you’re probably not going to get approved. So what’s your background, JJ, if you don’t mind sharing?
JJ van Oss:
Well, I’ve had a couple of businesses. I’m also a licensed realtor here in the state of Arizona, and I’ve been in the corporate world as well doing marketing and communications. That’s been a while now, about 10 years that I left that life, and have had a few businesses since then. I picked this, the small business to mid-sized business lending because I’m comfortable talking to those types of clients and I think there’s a huge opportunity to help people, and I won’t turn anyone away. I don’t care how small the deal is, I want to just help those folks get the funding that they need. And those small deals eventually lead to bigger ones. They lead to referrals, so one deal that’s very small could end up netting a lot more down the road, so I keep my options open for everyone.
Oz Konar:
And well, that’s your experience speaking as an entrepreneur, for sure. Right? Some people just focus on what they can get today, but the real secrets to the gold mine is helping that person with his or her $20,000 and that person starts. Well, guess what? They’re going to need more funding from you. Because you own multiple businesses, I own multiple businesses, funding is always something top of mind, right? And so they need that. And in this day and age, and it’s not easy to find a trusted advisor they can reach out and who’s going to do the right thing by them. A lot of people are just after the points they can charge the client and whatnot. So yeah, that’s why I love the concept of no deal is too small because at the end of the day, you’re helping someone start a business and that business will need funding. So I think to me, it just makes perfect sense on great strategy actually build your Rolodex of clients for sure.
Oz Konar:
So you’ve got multiple things and you got rid of your corporate jobs, just like I have done in the past. We both climbed the corporate ladder, so we can definitely relate to each other’s story. What made you choose this industry? Although I’m sure you had a lot of other opportunities and options to choose from. So you mentioned small business, obviously there’s a big opportunity. Why do you think this is currently a great fit for many people out there?
JJ van Oss:
Well, I think there are a couple of different factors and some of this is based on just my experience with other businesses and with real estate. Real estate has become a nightmare to generate leads. This opens up a whole world of different ways to generate leads. You can knock on doors, which I do sometimes, or a paid lead programs. We don’t have to do that, but I’m working right now on my LinkedIn to start using the process that you’ve described. I think that’ll help generate some opportunity down the road. It may take awhile, but that’s all right. I’m in it for the long haul.
JJ van Oss:
The other thing that’s really interesting about this, again, just compared to what real estate and a couple other businesses I’ve owned, you have to be in that city to do it. Well, I have ties to Minnesota and I want to go spend time there as well as stay in Arizona, so I can do this from anywhere. Well, I’ll build up my network here in Arizona. I can also build up a network back in Minnesota and nationwide. So that’s, to me, very appealing. And because we can work nationwide, I mean, the opportunities are limitless. I think if you just treat people right, keep working your program, it’s almost impossible not to be successful. And we have so many great lenders too, I mean.
Oz Konar:
Yeah. That’s important too. But the one thing that you said that many people might not really notice is that we’re getting a lot of people from real estate industry and the mortgage industry because of what you just said, right? It was already difficult. It is even more difficult right now. And then you’re stuck to a location. I mean the usual mantra, real estate, grow your roots and displays and make contacts and network and know everyone. That’s awesome. But I mean, how far are you going to take it, right? And you don’t have the location freedom. You build a business knowing that you’re stuck in that area. And I know my real estate, my realtor, for example, responsible from taking care of my properties.
Oz Konar:
One thing that the guy barely can take a week off and even if he turns off his phone, people are calling him and want to meet him in person and all that stuff. So if that’s your calling, obviously go do it. But if you already chose to be an entrepreneur, why not follow that same endeavor at a better position and do it anywhere you want pretty much? And we truly do mean that. And I think you can attest to it. You can help clients in any state and no one is asking you to meet them in person. You’re not taking them out to lunch meetings, or you’re not showing homes. And I’m not trying to compare real estate. It is obviously totally different things and both of them can provide great lifestyles.
Oz Konar:
It’s just, which one do you want to do? And I think it’s important for people to see the difference before they make a decision if they’re in the real estate right now, for someone to give them the wake up call that, “Hey, you might end up making a lot of money doing real estate.” But at some point, you’re going to question whether you want to live in that same space for a long, long time. Does that make sense?
JJ van Oss:
That’s correct. Yes.
Oz Konar:
All right. Well, shortly after you joined, you seen some success obviously. I got two emails in regards to your success. Let’s talk about like what products you funded and how did you help out clients.
JJ van Oss:
Well, that goes to this group and helping a startup. I’ve closed one deal since February, it was small on the 20K one, but hey, it’s a start. That’s all. I just want to see progress. And I have a couple of others in the pipeline as well, so it’s all good.
Oz Konar:
Perfect. What’s one thing that you’re really enjoying about the blueprint, and I want to get some customer feedback too. Some things that you enjoy, some things that you think that can be improved. So if we can talk about both of them, if any, that would be great.
JJ van Oss:
Sure. Well, I think that the most important thing for me is the interactivity of the whole program. I can go out and do the training on my own at my own pace. And I’ve skipped some of the sessions despite your urging us not to. I did do a competitor’s program and found it lacking in the areas where going back and being able to repeat things over and over again, and providing that lower end solution for the people that aren’t as high dollar volume. The use of Facebook, I mean, come on, use the technology, this other group. They’re just not using the technology that … I mean, to be able to go out and post a question on Facebook or just search through questions that’s previously, I’ve done that a number of times to try and get answers to things. Having the coaching program as well, where I can actually access someone who understands the business, work with them on questions that I have, improving my process.
JJ van Oss:
The gaps, right now, I don’t really have any feedback on that because I’m really super happy with the program. I mean, I guess the only thing I would say is I don’t quite understand how I know no step has been published on the platform, that might be helpful. And I don’t know how you’d indicate that if that’s an email. You don’t want to bombard people with stuff, but that might be helpful.
Oz Konar:
You hardly do a lot of emails for our members and that’s on purpose because we don’t want to keep badgering people with stuff. Whenever there’s something new, we do an email blast. And it’s also posted in the Facebook. Yeah. Are there more things we can do? Sure. But then there’s like a borderline, do you want to do that or do you not want to do that? Because we don’t want to bother the experience that people go through. But yeah, usually if a new training comes up, we do an email blast. So you want to make sure that our emails end up in your inbox instead of the promotions tab. And usually that’s … if someone tells me I didn’t get the email, that’s usually what’s happening. Because these are automatic emails that are done through a blast fashion. So it might end up someplace else. But other than that, we don’t have constant reminders or anything like that.
Oz Konar:
For example, one thing that the company we’re using for our content portal, they keep pushing me, “Hey, why don’t you set up some notifications? If this student misses this training, they get notifications.” I’m like, “No, these are not kids. We’re going to come after them for not watching one lesson?” So they can figure it out on their own. So yeah, to your point, there’s a lot that could be done. I think we want to keep it as minimal as possible, but yeah, I welcome that feedback. I appreciate you bringing it up.
JJ van Oss:
Yeah. And I agree. I don’t want to be bombarded either. I don’t subscribe to that methodology for some businesses that are constantly hounding me. I mean, I have some, as you probably do too, I get three emails a day. I don’t need three emails a day. So anyway, I think the experience overall has been great. The use of the technology, the e-learning platform works really well. And then having those attachments that you can download on the side as well. That’s fantastic. And then again, the use of the social media and all the … I mean, you just go through the whole range from soup to nuts building the business.
JJ van Oss:
And that’s another thing that I didn’t really get on the other side, the other group that I trained with while they gave me a great … I mean, I don’t mean to disparage them at all. It’s just I have a great list of lenders, but it’s just that beyond the initial training, what then? Because that was face-to-face training. Okay. So I have some PowerPoint sites, but I don’t really … I had to reach out to people to try and interact with them beyond the class and that’s not always successful. So again, that Facebook platform and tying everything together, having those Thursday meetings that you have as well, where people can come and ask questions and you sometimes cover new lenders, all of it, all good.
Oz Konar:
That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s usually, I think we have three other members who came through in other group like you mentioned. One thing is that I think that became the common theme on the feedback is that human retention, we lose a lot. We can’t retain everything we learn, right? Especially if you try to pack everything in like a seven day thing, especially on a new business. So no doubt on the credibility of the information, I’m sure that’s great. But the problem is, and I studied psychology and human behavior as you already know my background is a science and I’ve been through five years of college, which I truly did not enjoy because of that methodology where I’m trying to push information to somebody’s mind while the person is not … well they can’t take it anymore and then whatever they don’t take in is lost over time, right?
Oz Konar:
And so when we’re designing the LMS for the blueprint, one thing I want to say, all right, so we’re going to have people with different learning modalities. Some people are super analytical. They’re going want to consume everything like everything in there five times. And from testimonials, sometimes you hear that. All right? Someone says, “Oh, I’ve been through the blueprint like six times.” Right? We have others who are quite distracted. So they watch a video and halfway through they get distracted. I said, “Well, we can’t just ignore them. So we got to have the PDFs.” And besides the PDFs, we have the Facebook group for those who are socially engaged, that they want to be a part of the social community. And I did not know that Facebook would turn into like our Google, honestly. People like you are using it that way, searching for stuff within the search bar, right?
Oz Konar:
My intention was like, “All right. Let’s just put it in there so people can socialize and they can get to know each other and help each other.” I didn’t know that we’re going to have a knowledge base of that [inaudible 00:14:42] people using it. All that was created because of that reasoning and hopefully we did a decent enough job that is helping people. But yeah, I really truly do appreciate your feedback. This is really, really important, because I don’t always get a chance to talk to each person one on one and find out what they think about the program. Anything else that you want to say to someone who’s going to be watching this and maybe they’re considering this business or even the blueprint, what would you tell them?
JJ van Oss:
Well, I think that you have to trust Oz and his process. If you go through and follow the steps, it does work and you hear it throughout the training from other folks. You do have to work it. It’s not going to come without some effort, but it’s definitely something that you can run your own business from home. And there truly is an opportunity to grow and build your business. And the other thing I find really appealing about it is that down the road, I can always sell this business. This is worth something. You’re building a future position, an equity position in your business by building a book of business. I did that with … when I was doing real estate, I wanted that recurring revenue. So I started doing property management, and it’s a lot of work, but guess what? Every month, whether I closed on a home or not, I had income coming in and this is the same kind of opportunity. Anyway, though, I eventually sold that to move into this business, because it had value. So this is the same type-
Oz Konar:
Yeah. Because once you build, that assets have value, right? So you build an asset, sure it was a lot of work, but you built it. It has a dollar figure attached to it. It’s valuable to somebody. They want to have that recurring income stream and you can sell it. And in this industry, I’ve seen people selling the entire business. I’ve seen them sell the bits and pieces of it. They built an amazing LinkedIn profile with quality contacts, that’s an asset. Some person builds a YouTube channel, that’s an asset. You build a website with a lot of traffic on it, that’s an asset. You build your customer base … So there is just a lot that we don’t really talk about because that’s just in this industry, not really talked a lot about. I’ve done it myself too. But thank you for seeing that opportunity as an entrepreneur and a boss lady about that’s a massive opportunity, right?
Oz Konar:
So you built something, give your time. Don’t think of this as, “Oh, how do I get rich in 60 days?” But think of this as a journey, of course make money along the way. But again, at some point, if you want to exit out, at least invest your time in a business that gives you that option. Most businesses, unfortunately do not give you that option. You’re building yourself your own jail pretty much, but you can’t really get out. It might give you the lifestyle time being, but at the end, I mean, I don’t know what the plan is. Right? So it’s always shaky, but yeah. So I don’t want to keep you too long, JJ. Anything I can do for you? Any questions for me?
JJ van Oss:
Not at this point, Oz. I’m just really enjoying the program and I do thank you. I’m so glad that I … and actually, it was someone else who went through the same program I went through. He recommended you guys to me, so.
Oz Konar:
Oh, that’s awesome. Well, [crosstalk 00:18:03]
JJ van Oss:
That word gets out.
Oz Konar:
Yeah. We’re grateful for that person and your open-mindedness to see this through. Great to have you in the community. I guess I’ll talk to you on Thursday’s call.
JJ van Oss:
Yeah. Thanks, Oz. I do appreciate it.
Oz Konar:
Take care.
JJ van Oss:
Bye now.
Oz Konar:
Bye-bye.

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