Chris Dessi

If you were perusing Matt Masiello’s LinkedIn profile, nothing would strike you as out of the ordinary. Matt appears to be an average sales guy at an average company. Start to peel back the onion, though, and you’ll see there is nothing average about Matt.

He’s excelled at every step in his sales career at Cintas for the past nine years. But many have done so before him. What makes Matt so unique is that while at Cintas, he also launched athriving multimillion-dollar side business.

I’m going to share the five steps that Matt took to build his dream business so that you can too:

Step 1: Challenge yourself to learn as much as you can, and gain inspiration from people outside of your myopic social circle.

Matt started his career nine years ago as a sales representative at Cintas. About seven years into his job he realized that he wanted more. During his windshield time he would listen to audiobooks like Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week and Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intention. This would set him on track for a life-changing path.

Armed with the knowledge of how to break free from the rat race, Matt set out to create a side business to help support his growing family.

Step 2: Never neglect your day job. Push yourself to excel at work, and allow that work ethic to spill into your relentless pursuit of your side business.

As a sales manager, Matt would regularly work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at night. He was eventually promoted. After his promotion, the demands on his time at Cintas lessened.

Instead of kicking back, he decided to keep those hours and dedicate himself to growing a business outside of work hours.

Step 3: Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities outside of your industry.

Matt’s cousins run an FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) toiletry products company. Inspired by their success Matt decided to try it himself, only with fitness products. He named his company DynaPro and opened shop.

Matt launched the business as an FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) where merchants fulfill their own orders. Matt was spending two hours per day just fulfilling the orders, all while maintaining a day job. He felt he was neglecting customer service and marketing at DynaPro. Something had to change.

Step 4: Take the leap, and cut your risk.

Matt used his vacation time and booked a trip to China. He decided to cultivate
relationships directly with the factories that manufacture his products.

He realized that if he could better control this process and connect with great people, he would improve the quality of DynaPro’s products, creating a deep leaders’ advantage.

After his trip, he shifted alliances and pursued better quality and efficiency. Now his products are the highest quality and he’s reaping the benefit of more time to market DynaPro.

Step 5: Break out of the rat race.

His growing side business has made it difficult to stay motivated to remain at Cintas. By leveraging Amazon to fulfill his orders, he has scaled his business faster.

The numbers speak for themselves:

Year 1 = $100,000 year gross revenue
Year 2 = $860,000 gross revenue
Year 3 = trending over $2 million gross.

Bringing it all together:

Don’t let having a day job dim the burning light of your entrepreneurial spirit. Push yourself to learn every day. Have reverence for your job, excel at it. But on your own time, invest in yourself.

Stop wasting time on trivial activities. Keep your eyes and ears open for outside opportunities, take that leap of faith. Have confidence in yourself and your capabilities, and break out of the rat race and set the world on fire.

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This article was originally published in my column for INC.com

Hi, my name is Chris Dessi. I’m CEO of Silverback Social. I’m also author of the book Remarkable You: Build a Personal Brand and Take Charge of Your Career

If you’d like the first chapter of Remarkable You for free, just head here. 

“I’ve known Chris for a long time and adore his work ethic, standards and passion… I am sure if you are lucky enough to get to know him through this book you will agree.”

 Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO Vayner Media and NYT Bestselling author

“The definitive book on personal brand building that everyone is talking about. Two huge likeable thumbs up!” 

Dave Kerpen, NYT Bestselling Author of The Art of People

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