Neil Stafford’s achieved what many would consider the holy grail of mastering the art of the membership site and the continuity program, and not just once either. He’s done it in multiple niches including soccer, internet marketing (IM), pet ducks and witchcraft. If anything those last two are my favourites!
Neil talked us through how he grew his first membership site while still in his day job. He was able to give his notice in 2004 when everyone questioned his decision and called him “brave”.
He did it with another colleague, also called Neil, and the two Neils gave up their day jobs together when they already had a turnover of £10,000 a month but after tax and VAT and overheads, it still didn’t match their salaries. Years later, the place where they worked no longer exists which puts brave into perspective.
He tells us about a couple of pivotal moments, including his first online sale and a six-hour layover in Chicago where he nearly came home instead of going to the crucial conference in Las Vegas where he learned about the possibility of membership sites.
He taught me something really useful about selling subscriptions in multiple currencies and a nifty little way to do that, and he endeared himself to me especially (after talking about soccer for a long time) when he revealed that his niece is semi-pro and that his most northern subscriber to his football site runs a girls’ team inside the Arctic Circle. His wife calls this gentleman Father Christmas.
Neil met both of our criteria for being a guest, it was an either/or, but Neil has both a passion-based business and one which he can run from anywhere in the world and although he’s based where he was born and bred, near Wigan, he and his wife and young son now holiday for 12 weeks of the year and he’s prepared to check emails for an hour a day on yachts and shady balconies in order to be free of the rat race as he proudly tells all who question him doing that on holiday. He converts them all to his way of thinking, he’s that kinda guy.