Today’s podcast episode features an interview with Jason Bahamundi. He was one of my first internet friends over ten years ago, and I’m excited to chat with him today. Jason is a pro sales and marketing expert, so I invited him to share his journey and wisdom with the listeners. We jump into endurance races and what that has to do with entrepreneurship and having a winning sales strategy in a tough economy. I’m so excited to have join me!
A Triathlon Brought Us Together
I met Jason because my husband started training for triathlons in 2012. It was part of his bounce-back strategy after shutting down his business. The training was intense, usually around 20 hours a week. I struggled to understand it, so I started following some endurance athletes online to learn more about it and be supportive. Jason was one of the first I came across on the Cook Train Eat Race blog.
My husband decided that he was going to start a blog about the process but then realized he didn’t have the time, so he threw it to me, and I reached out to Jason. The blog was called Family Sport Life, and it was really the springboard to this business when I decided to start it. Jason was also the person I reached out to after John completed the Ironman Lake Placid because I was strangely having post-race depression, even though it should have been John. At that moment, I decided I would start my business, and I knew it would be my Ironman.
Running Ultramarathons and Ironmans
Jason is an endurance athlete who competes in many of these extreme events. He compares them to being an entrepreneur. You have to be willing to take risks and go out there and try to achieve your goals. And sometimes you fail. He gave an example of a recent race, Canyons 100, his first 100-mile race in a few years. He got to mile 32 and decided as he threw up while sitting on a log that it wasn’t his day.
Choosing to train for these competitions is similar to starting a business. You could just walk on a path like you could apply for a nice steady corporate job, or you can train (and sometimes fail) to do something much more difficult. These events require tenacity and resilience.
I remember tracking Jason during the Ironman Texas in the Woodlands. It was 108 degrees that day, and I remember watching him complete his run with perfect splits. Everything was done with such precision, and it had taken so much training, planning, failing, and starting over to get to that point. Knowing all the small decisions and trials that led to this moment that looked flawless in execution was fascinating.
Sales and Marketing Requires Endurance
Jason is a founder of the company Endurance Sports Investment Group. It started with the idea that they would invest in other businesses to have multiple income streams. Every day, he works with his partner, Lori, to talk about finances, how to make up dollars lost, and their ideas about getting more business. He is trained like a salesperson. When he reaches out to a potential contact, he’s asking, “Are you reaching your goals? How are you getting there? What can we do to help you get to your goals?” He will follow up if you aren’t clear with your response.
In an uncertain economy, it’s important to be out talking to people constantly. You must develop rapport with people and not focus on closing the deal on the first conversation. It’s about the connection with others. Economies go up and down. If you connect with people when things are down, they will remember you when things turn around.
Marketing is all about getting your name out there. Jason doesn’t understand why people completely eliminate and cut back during a recession to the point that their name isn’t there anymore. You can reduce budgets without completely removing yourself from the conversation. In today’s world, websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, social media, and more are at your disposal.
Jason focuses on one client per month. Moderate and slow growth is great because you don’t need to build a million-dollar business. You can still reach a million dollars in net worth. So many people are hyper-focused on giant numbers in today’s influencer space. It can be exhausting and not worth all the effort.
Diversity is Important
Multiple income streams are also important to Jason (and myself.) He runs a business, coaches, teaches, and is able to support himself in multiple spaces. He’s invested since he was young and always focused on diversity in his investment profile. His philosophy is investing in dividend-paying stocks because it’s free money. That is income that you don’t have to do anything additional to earn other than the initial investment.
Look at the different ways you can make money. You can cut costs, which is obvious. That is the first place I go when the economy starts to rock to see where I can save a bit. But there are so many options to bring in additional income and help diversify.
Advice on Starting a Business
Before starting a business, finding advisors and getting advice is important. Many people start this journey without the first clue on how to succeed, which can be a financial disaster. Jason came to me and we did a profit assessment when he was first starting the business. He still has the spreadsheet to this day and uses it.
You need to determine five things when you’re ready to start a business. The first is your target audience. Know who will buy your product specifically. Many people think they know this information, but it changes over time, and you must be prepared for it. Then you go to the four Ps of marketing: Price, Product, Place, and Promotion. All of these should be geared toward your target market.
If you do the work ahead of time and price yourself to match the value you are giving your clients, you’ll have an easier time selling the product. When you hear “I can’t afford it,” you should ensure you’ve created a path for the client to recognize the product’s or service’s value. Jason’s company offers many marketing services, so if there’s still an issue with price, there are ways to simplify the offerings to remove some items. It’s all about asking questions and listening for keywords to help you understand the client’s needs.
Not every business owner looks at their finances like Jason and I do. They might not know where all their money is going and if it’s best serving them. One of Jason’s main goals at the beginning of 2023 was to get rid of any debt, which took them four months. That freed up some money to help reinvest in the business, like dividends.
Jason’s advice is to start today. Even if it means just jotting down some notes and ideas, you must start immediately. Every day you delay the process is a day delayed in finding success. It’s OK to be terrible when you start, the more you work at it and the more effort you give, the better you will become.
You can find Jason’s podcast and newsletter with Run Tri Mag here and on social at @runtrimag on social media. If you enjoy this podcast, please make sure to leave us a review and share it with anyone you think might find it helpful.