Matt Miller spent the first 9 years of his career as an Air Force pilot, before entering the private sector to work in both the medical device and advertising industries.
While a top performer in the corporate world, his long-term desire was to be his own boss. A good friend one day mentioned the gumball machines he and his young daughters owned, and that conversation began a 10-year business quest that has brought Matt’s company, School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries.
Today, School Spirit Vending’s franchising program provides a proven and profitable business system for busy professionals and their families looking to develop secondary income streams with a limited time commitment.
Matt’s Key Points
- Keep your eyes wide open.
- Don’t be so proud that you won’t take an opportunity like delivering pizzas.
- I went into the military to learn.
- Even though I never really had any aspirations to be a pilot, I went to pilot school.
- I was asked to be an instructor.
- I never knew where or when I was going.
- It was quite an exciting lifestyle for a time, it became difficult when we started to have kids.
- I was really close to washing out of pilot school in the first couple of months.
- I had no aviation background, I not a mechanical kind of guy.
- God blessed me with great hand-eye coordination, so I went from near the bottom of my class to near the top.
- I spent about a year and a half selling hospital diagnostic equipment
- The problem I had was that I had a route, I’d speak to the same people and get the same reasons why they didn’t need the diagnostic tools I was selling and I got pretty bored.
- The reason I got to where I did in direct mail so quickly is because I created win-win situations for my clients.
- I got my clients to where they wanted to be quickly so they came to me in the future rather than me going to them.
- I spent time creating wildly profitable campaigns for my clients rather than wining and dining them.
- In my first full year in advertising, I ended up being #1 in the country.
- I did that well, my boss increased my quote by 93%, the office average increase was 5-10%.
- A lost some of my big clients due to them consolidating which ended up cutting my income in half.
- I knew there was no way to work myself out of this hole anytime soon.
- So out of necessity, I started doing things on the side, initially collecting aluminium cans with my son and trading them in.
- There is a 1000% markup on gum balls, so I found a way to use those machines to help me create more money.
- Within around a year and a half, I had 125 locations around Houston, Texas.
- When you’re in a hole and worried about being able to provide for your family, you’re willing to do whatever you’ve got to do.
- I didn’t know anything about vending but by getting into “Action mode”, I figured this thing out.
- I went to check my very first machine because I had to know if people actually used them. When I opened it, quarters spilt out all over the floor. That’s when I knew I’d found my answer.
- Over time, I was making thousands of dollars which only required a few hours of my time a month.
- I like change, I like to do new things, I like new challenges, after I’ve been doing things a while, I get bored.
- I started attending conferences and met Aaron Walker and about 6 months later I hired as my business coach.
- Hiring a business coach changed everything.
- We started with franchising and out team has grown about 150% in the last 15 months.
- Life is like building a puzzle and every experience we have, person we meet, mistake we make is another piece of that puzzle.
- Too many people are too proud and they limit their opportunities.
- I’m sure I have people in my history that know me that are scratching their head wondering, OK, from airforce pilot to vending machine operator.
- Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Malcolm Gladwell in his book talks about “it takes about 10,00 hours to be great at anything”, so get excited about your 10,000 hours.
- [0:55] – Starting in the Air Force
- [2:20] – I’d completed my commitment to the government, now it’s time for something new.
- [4:38] – Selling medical equipment
- [5:35] – Direct mail
- [9:27] – The turning point
- [10:59] – Hero to zero
- [12:10] – A friend lead me to be an entrepreneur
- [15:23] – Stumbling blocks along the way
- [19:11] – Something I learned about myself
- [20:20] – Having families that depend on us
- [21:07] – School fundraising
- [24:02] – Hitting my goal and feeling stagnant
- [24:53] – Hiring a business coach
- [27:03] – Hurdles doing franchising
- [29:40] – Life is like building a puzzle
- [32:32] – The biggest thing
- [35:42] – Was it worth it?
- [38:36] – Guest links
- [38:54] – Get your free e-book