Consider yourself warned. 😉
That said, if you want to skip the details below and simply cut to the chase, I’m starting a new site (forums actually) where people will be mentored by millionaires. The millionaires will share how they’ve grown their careers, invested in real estate, used dividend investing for growth and income, and on and on in great detail. They will be available to discuss specifics of what they’ve done, answer questions to provide clarity, and give feedback to members.
This site is now open for member sign ups. It’s initially available at a special price for ESI Money readers only. The offer will be open until Monday, September 21 at 5 pm Mountain time, after which the forums will close to new members.
The price offered to ESI Money readers is half the normal rate simply as my thank you for signing up. But there is a catch: it’s only good this one time. After Monday, if you delay, you will receive the current price being offered and it will be higher (I can say this offer will be the lowest price we have in the next 12 months).
Furthermore, I can’t guarantee when (or if) the forums will re-open or whether the bonuses (worth over $400) will be included in future offers.
In other words, we’re leading with our best offer.
You can find details at Millionaire Money Mentors.
If you prefer the story of how it came to be, why I’m doing it, more details on features than I could list on a short sales page, and more, then read on…
The Stars Align
Do you know how sometimes a group of seemingly different events all work together to create something new?
That’s what happened with this project. A ton of random thoughts, experiences, and ideas came together over time to get us to where we are today.
Just how many different events combined on this one?
Well, let me count the ways…
Event 1: A Podcast Long Ago
It began when I was listening to a podcast a few years ago.
The show covered blogging and they were reviewing results from a recent survey. One of the findings was that larger sites make most of their revenue from selling their own products.
And we’re not talking $5k a year. Many of these were making $100k or more a year!!
I thought, “Hmmm. When my site gets big, perhaps I should create my own product.” Then I filed that thought away to pull out at a later date.
Event 2: Finding a Great Online Community
Next I bought Rockstar Finance. As part of growing the site, we created a members only forum/program to help bloggers grow. This was by far my favorite part of owning Rockstar. We had a great group that quickly developed into an awesome community. And we saw tremendous results. I was more thrilled for the members when they achieved something great than I was when I did it for my own site.
We made some really awesome friendships too. I am still connected with most of those folks and close to several of them. It was a special group and community (full of deep conversation, solid, practical advice, and a sense of working together to help everyone be better). I loved the results and was (am) proud of what the members accomplished.
I knew that someday I’d like to recreate something similar.
Event 3: Thinking of Ideas
During my Rockstar time I resurrected the idea of creating my own product. I brainstormed a bit but didn’t have much luck finding something I liked and thought people would value. Since I wasn’t sure what to do, I asked you for suggestions. In this giveaway I said, “I need your thoughts on what you think I should create, what you’d be interested in, how much you’d be willing to pay, and so on.”
Your responses got my juices flowing, and I developed a list of possibilities. But I wasn’t ready to jump in since my plate was already pretty full.
After I sold Rockstar I had time to revisit the ideas. But nothing seemed to click, so I put it on the back burner. Plus my free time quickly evaporated once I discovered pickleball. Ha!
Event 4: Covid
Then the pandemic hit this year and I had plenty of time on my hands.
Just like everyone else, I couldn’t go anywhere, do anything, etc. We were locked down.
So I had time to think and read, which led to the next two events…
Event 5: Buying a Business
At the same time, I started considering buying a business for my daughter and son-in-law. They are moving here in a couple months and I thought I could buy something, they could run it, and we’d split the profits. So I started looking — but couldn’t find anything I really liked.
Then it hit me: Why did I need to buy a business when I could create my own from scratch? I could create a product of some sort that my daughter could help me with (she already does work on ESI Money and several other sites).
But what would it be? The most logical idea seemed to be something with millionaires (people had been asking for various millionaire products for a couple years anyway), but what?
Event 6: Reading about Passive Income
Then I read Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement which really challenged me. You could probably tell since I wrote several money-making posts in that time including these:
- Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement
- Five Categories of Passive Income and How to Evaluate Them
- 28 Ways to Create Extra, Passive Income
- Three Ways to Make Money
- Ideas for Creating Income
Note: Even though some of these posted in the summer, they were all written in the winter/early spring of this year.
At this point, I was seriously considering creating a course of some kind…and a decent idea was starting to form in my mind.
Event 7: Reader Requests
Then the requests started coming in.
I have always received emails from readers looking for help, but for some reason there was a big uptick in volume. Maybe it was because people were at home with time on their hands. The emails came with various requests. Some examples:
- “Can you give me your thoughts on this?”
- “I need help with this issue. Can you give me your take?”
- “Can I get more specifics on how you invest in real estate/dividend stocks/etc.?”
- “How can I find someone to review my financial situation? I don’t know anyone good with money. Will you do it?”
- “I need some advice. I’ll pay you if you help me.”
I would LOVE to respond in detail to everyone who asks for help, but there’s no way I could give the time needed to answer all the requests. Otherwise that’s all I’d do.
At the same time, the millionaires I interview were getting similar requests. I had always received emails asking to connect the emailer with this millionaire or that one (FYI, I NEVER give out a millionaire’s email address. Sometimes I will contact him or her and let them decide if they want to connect with someone or not.)
These sort of requests came to a head with Millionaire Interview 192. Here are just three of the comments on that post:
- Comment 1: “Hi M-192, I loved reading your story. It’s inspiring and where I would love to end up eventually with my real estate investments. Would you be willing to talk over the phone about your real estate strategy? I’m happy to pay for your time.”
- Comment 2 (from Millionaire 192): “MI160, thanks. I have been thinking a lot about the next chapter. I sorta want to follow in the footsteps of ESI. I love helping people and sharing what I have learned along the way. I’m not a great writer so the blogging component will probably be small. I’d love to also get into financial coaching for kids and young adults. IMHO, it is so important to learn these financial lessons early in life so you have the benefit of time to compound your money.”
- Comment 3: “I have read, and re-read your story and am very inspired. I wish I was friends with you so we could talk finances on a regular basis. lol.”
Previously I had considered creating a course around millionaire lessons — a course where millionaires could “mentor” someone wanting to become wealthy. But after the above I knew that wasn’t interactive enough. People needed and wanted direct access to millionaires. And millionaires wanted to help and pass on their knowledge. How could I facilitate that?
That’s where the idea of a membership forum was developed. I contacted a few of the millionaires I’ve become close with and shared the idea. They gave me the thumbs up and agreed to help. Now it was up to me to put it together.
Creating the Forums
Since I had already been considering a course, I had some of the thinking down. But I didn’t know much about membership sites. So I started educating myself — listening to podcasts, reading, and brainstorming.
I enlisted my buddy, Steve, to help think through ideas and run the tech side of things. He and I worked together at Rockstar Finance and he’s a great guy to have around for several reasons.
Once we created a site that was at least presentable, we invited a few friends to check it out, including Apex, Mike H (who’s also shared how he’s created an amazing portfolio of dividend stocks), MI 160, and MI 192. They helped by posting a bit to get us started.
Then I emailed every millionaire I’ve interviewed (plus those who are scheduled — we have all the way to Millionaire Interview 219 already set) and gave them the opportunity to join. They had the option of becoming a mentor (and gaining membership for free) or signing up simply as a member at a special price. That’s how we ended up with 40+ millionaires already in the forums waiting for members. (FYI, I think we’ll see more millionaires join over time, so this number is bound to go up.)
This group has already started the beginnings of an awesome community. Now all we need is for you to join us.
More than a Business
There’s not just one reason why I’m launching this site (as you can probably tell from above) — there are several.
Here are some of the main ones:
1. It fills a need for members and millionaires.
Members want mentors and have trouble finding them.
Millionaires are willing to help but don’t know how to find mentees.
It’s a match made in financial heaven.
2. Significant, positive change can happen.
Instead of trying to figure things out on their own, members can learn from people who have actually done what they want to do.
As such, members can save significant time and money and avoid many of the mistakes many of us made on our way to millionaire status.
Membership should dramatically decrease the time until they reach financial independence and reduce the likelihood of a bad mis-step along the way.
3. It earns a profit.
Obviously, this endeavor is not something I’m doing simply for the money. I have enough of that to last a lifetime or two. But it is part of it.
There are a couple main reasons for this.
First, I was advised (and agree with the thinking) by one of the millionaires to charge for this effort and not offer it for free. We have both seen what happens when people get stuff for free — they often don’t follow up, take it seriously, etc.
Second, I wanted to create an income to compensate me at least in part for my time and, ultimately, my daughter’s at least part-time employment (she won’t run the site, but be in a support role).
These said, I did want the membership to be a great value, something I believe we’ve accomplished. In fact, you can almost skip one latte at Starbucks a week and pay for this.
Plus the free bonuses alone more than pay for a year’s membership.
FYI, I’ll probably give much of my profits away (I’ll give appreciated index funds through my donor-advised fund and then replace them with dividend stocks bought with new money, effectively lowering my capital gains taxes while also creating an even larger source of dividend income).
4. I wanted the mental stimulation.
I love business and everything that goes with it.
This project has given me the mental challenge I enjoy (without the stress of work) which has been fun and also something I need in retirement.
And since this requires an on-going effort, it will fill this need for some time.
5. It’s something to write about and model.
If I can create a solid business from scratch it will certainly be something to write about. Even if it crashes and burns, I should get at least a few posts from it. Haha!
But if it succeeds, I can share details of what I did so that others might be able to replicate the results. Doing so should help them achieve financial independence sooner rather than later.
What the Site Offers
I had a couple things in mind as I created this site.
First of all, I wanted to build a membership site I wish I had 25 years ago. If I had access to the people my members will interact with early on in my life, I might have retired at 35! LOL!
Second, I wanted to keep it simple and yet powerful. I’m a big believer in less is more and the 80/20 principle. I wanted it focused on a few, high-impact pieces that would create positive change (additional wealth) for members.
As such, here’s what membership currently offers:
1. Access to millionaire mentors (including me).
This includes detailed educational content, feedback on members’ specific financial challenges, networking for various opportunities, etc.
I’ve been reminded lately of the value in a great network (I’ve been using my 1,900 contacts on LinkedIn to help with a non-profit project), so don’t dismiss that part of the equation. I think simply meeting the right people could make this program worth multiple times the annual cost even if there were no other benefits.
Think of it as ESI on steroids (or a premium version of ESI Money if you prefer) — more detailed content, more interaction, more hands-on efforts from more people, and more access.
Having done this before, I know that it’s not only the millionaires who will teach members — they will also learn from other members.
And along the way friendships will be developed, fun will be had, and a camaraderie will develop. It will be the place money nerds can hang out and chat with their geeky friends. From the discussion we’ve had so far just among the mentors, I can tell it’s going to be an amazing group!
It’s like the Cheers of money. It’s the place everyone will know your (screen) name. Ha!
3. Expanded Expert Ask Me Anything.
You know I’m not a big fan of “experts” since they are often heavy on talk and light on practical experience.
Besides, we have millionaires, so what better experts do we need?
That said, we will bring in “trusted” experts that I or someone else has vetted to cover specific topics of interest — think LTC insurance, estate planning, buying a business, tax preparation, and so on.
The format for doing this will be what I call an “Expanded Expert Ask Me Anything” (EEAMA).
You are probably familiar with Ask Me Anything sessions, where a person makes themself available and the audience can ask them any question they want.
We’ll take this concept and add a couple twists:
- Expanded — Not only will members be able to ask questions, but they will be able to ask follow-up questions as well as comment on answers. In other words, there will be both answers and conversation. Many AMA offerings simply allow for an initial question which the answerer may or may not completely cover, leave out details, be vague, etc. Our sessions will not have that issue as members can always follow up.
- Expert — We’ll have a host of experts on a variety of subjects that members will find interesting.
We will have a wide range of experts (CPAs, lawyers, etc.), authors, and other notables to answer questions on a wide range of issues.
Here are some who have already committed to completing an EEAMA:
- Sarah Stanley Fallaw, Ph. D. — Founder and President of DataPoints LLC, a company that provides scientifically validated, automated behavioral finance tools to the financial services industry. DataPoints created the industry’s first biodata-based, predictive assessment of individual propensity to build wealth. She’s also the daughter of Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door. She co-authored The Next Millionaire Next Door with him.
- Wes Moss — Chief Investment Strategist at Capital Investment Advisors and author of the best retirement book I read this year: You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think.
- Apex – Frequent and loved commenter on ESI Money. Real estate investment expert and subject of Millionaire Interview 200.
- Scott A. Olson, CLTC – Long-Term Care Insurance expert with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Conducted over-whelmingly positive interview on ESI Money in July.
- Mike H. – Millionaire Interview 30. Expert in dividend growth investing, career growth and development, geographic arbitrage and moving abroad as an American, and moving across business industries as part of your career.
- Brad Wayland – Online business development expert currently with Quiet Light Brokerage. Will address how to build businesses online as well as buy and sell businesses.
- Jon Elder – Built an Amazon business from scratch and grew it to sell for seven figures within five years. Now runs Black Label Advisor to help others do the same. (His story is coming up in an ESI Money post.)
And there are many more to come. I have a long list of topics I want to cover and people I think will do a great job with them.
4. Millionaire Book Club.
Read almost anything about millionaires (including my interviews) and you’ll see that millionaires are readers.
Therefore we’ll select a book each month and then discuss our thoughts on it as we all read along.
As you might imagine, I have a long list of books I think people will like and which will not only help them with their finances but in other areas of their lives as well.
But we’ll crowd source the books we select, letting the group offer ideas, then dig in for some great learning.
5. Free/discounted access/copies of upcoming ESI products.
I am currently working on two projects — one on creating multiple streams of income and the other on retirement.
Members will be offered the best-price option on whatever I create (I may even give them away free).
As I create additional products, members will get preferential pricing.
And even if my plans evaporate and I create nothing, members will still receive (for free) over $400 in bonus materials provided by some top notch sites just for signing up. (FYI, members receive the freebies after their seven-day trial period is over — no signing up and then canceling just to get the freebies.) 😉
That’s where we are for now. I have several other ideas brewing, but in the interest of “less is more” we are launching with these. I want to focus on the things I think have the biggest impact and don’t want members distracted with a thousand different options, many of which won’t make them wealthier.
We can always add things as time goes on. Some ideas we’ve considered:
1. Creating mastermind groups.
The forums themselves are one big mastermind in principle, but there is additional value in creating smaller groups (like 8-10 people) who meet regularly either online in the forums or another manner.
We’ll need to see how this could develop but my guess is that these will spring up naturally as a result of friendships being formed.
2. Offering freebies.
In case you can’t tell, I like giving stuff away.
I really considered including a monthly giveaway at launch, but I’m holding off on it for now. That said, it’s highly likely I’ll sneak in and give stuff away from time to time.
The giveaways could be something I’ve created or something from others. I think our trusted experts and other service providers might have free items they want to give to members.
3. Offering discounts.
If we can’t get things for free, I’m thinking we can use the group’s power to get discounts on goods and services members want.
Possibilities could be investment analysis tools, books, courses, and the like.
4. Private podcast.
The Millionaire Interviews can only cover the surface of what a millionaire has done to achieve financial success.
Many readers want more specifics, details, and tactics on key millionaire issues like investing in real estate, dividend investing, creating multiple streams of income and so forth.
But the millionaires already write 3-5k words per post, so we can’t ask them to do more. In addition, a post has limited opportunity for interaction.
To fill the gap I’ll consider doing a monthly members-only podcast. It would work as follows:
- I’d post in the forums what the interview would cover (whether it’s with a millionaire, a trusted expert, an author, etc.) and ask for members to submit questions for the interview.
- I’d conduct and record the interview via phone.
- The interview would be posted somewhere TBD (for those who want to listen) as well as typed out in a transcript (for those who wanted to read).
- The interviewee would be available in the forums for a few days after the interview to answer follow-up questions.
This option is fairly expensive and time-consuming, so I want to be sure members find it valuable as well as the site itself can support the expense before I commit to this one.
5. In-person event.
Anyone up for a money seminar in Colorado? I thought you might be. 😉
6. One-on-One coaching.
This could be with me, another millionaire, or an expert. Lots of possibilities here.
Again, kind of time consuming so it would really need to be something the members really wanted for me to consider it.
7. Monthly call.
I already have one EEAMA interviewee who has offered to do a call versus a write-in, so we’ll test out the concept and see what people think.
And for those who can’t attend the call, we’ll record it so they can listen at their leisure (I’ll probably do a transcript as well).
We’ll see. I have a face for radio and a voice for print, so I’m hesitant to get in front of a camera, but you never know what will happen!
In the end, we want members to get into the forums, get settled and involved, live with it a bit, and then give us their feedback on what else they might want added. We want to add things that bring value to members, so we’ll let them guide us in what other features we might offer.
Open for Business
So that’s it. The site is now open for membership and we’ll see how interested people are.
I would love to have you join us. You can get details at Millionaire Money Mentors. FWIW there’s a seven day, 100% money back guarantee, so there’s no harm in trying it out.
We will ultimately be limiting the number of people allowed in the forums. I want it to be both manageable as well as have a high millionaire-to-member ratio.
I’m not sure what that number will be, but I do know we’ll likely find out along the way. We’re willing to make adjustments as needed to make sure membership values are maximized.
As I said at the beginning, since you are a loyal reader here at ESI Money, you get first crack at it. If we fill up the forums with ESI Money readers only, then great. That would be awesome. (FYI, we will close the forums on Monday regardless of how many people we have. I have learned that with sites like this it’s best to let people join in waves, close to reach a steady state to make sure everyone is settled, and then open it up to new members from there.)
One thing I can tell you is that there will not be a better deal on this membership in the next year. I wanted to start this effort with a bang and thus we have our best pricing along with best bonuses available from the get-go for ESI Money readers. After the site closes on Monday, I can’t even guarantee there will be slots remaining for new members. But I can guarantee that you won’t see another offer this good for a very long time.
That said, if there’s room for more people after ESI Money readers get their chance, we’ll then take it to other sites and let their readers join. If that fills it up, great. That would be awesome.
If it does not, I’ll begin marketing it to the outside world.
We’d love to have you. If you’re interested, check out Millionaire Money Mentors.
A few more thoughts as I end this post:
- Where else can you spend less than a dollar a day and get the value these forums will provide? One simple tip could save or make you enough to pay for ten years’ worth of memberships.
- If this offer is not for you, no problem. It won’t be for everyone (or even most people). But if you know someone who it might like it, they can benefit from knowing you. Simply refer them to the site and they can sign up at the same price being offered to you.
- Who knows if this will fly or not? If it does, I am pretty sure it will be fantastic. But if it dies a quick death and no one shows up, at least I’ll have a private club full of millionaires where we can chat, trade secrets, and so on. So there’s not much of a downside. 😉
Again, we’d love to have you. For details check out Millionaire Money Mentors.