This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Matt Miller. Matt is a former Air Force Pilot turned entrepreneur. Like many guests on the show, Matt followed a Misfit path. When he left the Air Force after almost 10 years, he entered the corporate world and did well…
But there was something that kept eating at him and it was a desire to create his own business and go after his dreams. His challenge was where to start. Then, one day as he was talking to a good friend, they mentioned the gumball vending machines that he and his young daughters owned. This conversation began a 10 year journey that resulted in the creation and massive growth of School Spirit Vending.
The vending machine business is not new by any means, but it is ripe for innovation and that is exactly how Matt has created success with SSV – by thinking differently and taking a new approach.
It’s this way of thinking and way of looking at opportunities differently to create success that Dave and Matt share you in this episode.
If you are interest in Matt's course, "Vending Secrets for Passive Income," go to www.VendingSecrets.net
Matt went to Air Force Academy and then was a fighter pilot for almost a decade. He then went into the corporate world in sales and in the direct mail world. But, he was at the mercy of working for big corporations and when one made a decision that drastically hurt his income potential, he started to look at ways to create income. He did everything from collect aluminum cans to selling books on Amazon. He had success and created income from all the things he did, but he wanted to create passive income.
He could not even afford to own his own home, but met a friend who was in vending. So he tried it with a used gumball machine he bought on Ebay. He hustled and figured out how to get into locations and after 18 months, he had over 125 locations with his vending machines, and was making more in his part-time vending business than he was in his job. But, then 2007-2008 hit and sales went down…
It was at this time that some kids came to his door fundraising and gave him the idea for School Spirit Vending (SSV). And today, they are in over 40 states, have over 115 franchisees, and are in over 3500 schools around the nation. At the 8:40 mark, Matt talks about how he had to learn to be an entrepreneur as he started with no background.
The keys for him were learning to change his mindset, a good personal growth routine, and a willingness to get out fail and learn as he went.
To make it grow faster, Matt was working, doing his vendor routes, and delivering pizzas 20 hours per week. He practiced “chicken entrepreneurship” in that he worked his jobs to pay the bills while building and investing in his business.
At the 15 min mark, Matt talks about the fact that what you think will sell well or that is the hot item is not always the best thing to sell. It’s the things that are unique, different, and quirky that sell well and offer better margins in places like vending or Amazon.
At the 19 min mark, Matt talks about how he created SSV and his philosophies on business:
At the 27 min mark, Matt talks about the unique way he used a podcast to communicate with his franchisees to help them and how with just over 100 listeners, the impact it has had on his business and the businesses of those involved is priceless.
He also does regional masterminds and weekly webinars which help to further the community, foster success, and share success stories from the field.
Principles and Lessons?
Lessons from the cockpit that translate well to business?
At the 43 minute mark, Matt and Dave discuss what really matters and “success to significance.”
Best Quote: “I needed to make money tomorrow, not 2-3 years from now. With vending – you put a machine out there and a month later you have income. It’s not sexy or flashing, but it’s tried and true. Sometimes, it pays to go against the herd.”
Matt's Misfit 3: