Learning to Maximize the Opportunities at Your Day Job Is Key Before Jumping Into Your Own Entrepreneural Business

Secret To Success – Barry Doyle

Secret Entourage Success Story
As SE has reached new heights, so has the exposure to entrepreneurs who want to be featured. Most entrepreneurs simply just want a plug for their business but other entrepreneurs like Barry Doyle want to share their successes and failure for others to learn from. Barry is a young entrepreneur who dropped out of college to eventually manage multiple companies ranging from online marketing to exotic car parts. Quite a number of valuable lessons can be learned and Barry is here to tell us his story…

Tell us about your childhood and where you got your entrepreneurial traits from…

I grew up like a regular middle class child. I certainly wasn’t born into money but I’ve always been very entrepreneurial-minded. I remember I was really into drawing in grade school. I remember selling drawings and then got into mowing yards, basically anything that allowed me to earn money. I liked the idea of being able to work for yourself and capitalized on that.

What does your educational background look like?

I went to Georgia Tech for Mechanical Engineering. I have always been very interested in the mechanics of how things work. I like to be the jack of all trades, the master of none. I want to know how everything works, know a little about a lot. Being interested about things in that manner growing up made mechanical engineering very fitting to go into. Having said that, I never did graduate, but I’m actually still kind of frozen in my senior year at Tech. I had dropped out in good academic standings. I can go back at any point and finish it if I wanted to. At this point, I don’t need to jump through hoops to get a piece of paper that’s not going to benefit myself.

Have you ever had a ‘9-5’ job in your career before?

I worked with a group of friends at a company involving drag racing engines. I didn’t have any vested interest in this. I didn’t have any ownership in the business but for several years, I helped grow the business. We kind of collectively worked together as a group of four guys that just didn’t want to have a boss telling us what to do and grew this business that became eventually, over just for a short amount of time, a multi-million dollar business that is huge in drag racing and has since ventured into a number of other things.

What lessons were you able to take away from that job?

That was a very valuable opportunity because it allowed me to be able to try a few things, suggest a few things, and see them go into action without having anything of my own. It wasn’t my own company. I wanted to see it succeed for the benefit that the more the company made, then the more money that would be available for payroll. We could all make more money at the same time, and I did not sweat it because it wasn’t my finances or my time that were at stake here.

What was your first real company on your own?

The first real thing would be branching into the trailer industry with Trailers For Cheap. We did sales and service of trailers, basically being a dealer for manufacturers like Haulmark trailers. They manufacture enclosed car haulers, motorcycle trailers, and cargo trailers. The opportunity came from working for an industrial equipment company that was working on a lot of trailers and accessories, and it was just going to be something that would kind of supplement the business.

Why do you think you were able to succeed with Trailers for Cheap?

I feel that regardless of what the industry is, there is essentially a recipe that you can follow from a generic standpoint that will drive any business to success. It’s keeping a reasonable overhead, not trying to grow too fast, and not branching out too fast. With any business, you find an idea that you can market. You figure out what demographic, what group of people you need to reach, and where is your money best in reaching these people, and then from there, it’s adapting with feedback and just building relationships and going from there. It seemed that overhead was one of the first things that kills a lot of companies. They get in too deep and they don’t have the cash flow to be able to support the operation at the scale it was currently at.

In what ways were you able to generate new customers?

Through advertising in a number of places, starting with advertising on eBay. We also bought ad space on racingjunk.com, which was a huge site in drag racing so there are a lot of guys who are looking for car haulers there. You’ve got to have a little bit of budget for advertising to get something to get going.
I learned a lot through SEO (search engine optimization). Uniquely enough, in the trailer industry, a lot of the business is still very old school. Nobody makes use of social media. They don’t understand the importance of search engine optimization. These are websites that were built in 1996. They are not using a content management platform. Half the links are dead links when you try to click on them. They don’t understand that our generation, the people that are becoming the buying power of all these respective companies, we go online to find anything. I didn’t know a lot about specifically how search engine optimization worked, I just knew that it’s very important.

At the company I had worked for doing the race engines, they had brought somebody on that was basically a web developer. He did a little bit of everything and I had learned that was probably one of the best hires we had. It was cheap to bring somebody on and the benefit they brought the company was exponential. Once in my own ventures, I put an ad out to hire for a person with a similar skill set. I ended up finding someone that was a great fit. He was local too so I ended up putting a desk in my office and he worked in my office Monday through Friday from 8-5. I’m a very hands on person so not only did he do his job, I wanted to know about it myself. On top of that, I wanted him to build a couple of websites for me and things like that so it’s easier if they work onsite.

What was your next venture after Trailers for Cheap?

From there, I realized the opportunity of search engine optimization because I would start telling people about it. They want to know what we are doing to generate the calls because that was an industry that had been flooded with companies doing the same thing. That evolved into the Exposure Group which was something that was going to be contract service for web development and search engine optimization that basically offered the same things that he was able to offer me as an employee in my office but to everybody else.
My web developer was going to be able to handle the technical side of things. Also he essentially already had a network of people, mostly in India because you could have labor so cheap, you could pay a guy that’s very qualified for full-time work. They would work for us 40 hours a week every month and $350 would be his pay for the whole month. There is somebody here for everything on our team from graphics to helping with the copywriting, basically anything for building content, writing blogs, even using some things that are more gray hat areas.

You mentioned you were developing websites, did you create anything substantial?

Actually, one of my biggest current projects is Silent Rewards and that is based on the affiliate marketing industry. My web developer would always keep an eye on different opportunities and sites he could buy. With Exposure Group, we purchased this company that was already an existing company. It had been running and doing well. It had about 15,000 users on there that were constantly doing things and so we bought it. It was something you can go to and you can take part in offers.

How does Silent Rewards operate?

For example, you would see an ad for a Netflix offer where you can get a free month of Netflix. On our site, you would you earn points towards this offer. So, if you want to do a free one month trial of Netflix, you’re going to earn 800 points to do it. Well, 800 points is worth about $8 so you can do anything from cash out that money through PayPal, redeem it for an Amazon gift card, Hollister, or different clothing companies, etc. Simply put, you can get gift cards or cash for doing offers. Even smaller things like simple surveys. There is a huge opportunity out there to be able to earn money so it’s great for the younger demographic.

What was the cost to buy a website/business like that?

It was about eight months of revenue. I learned that 8-10 months of revenue is about what you will pay for a site. If you have a site that can earn, say, $10,000 a month, you would expect to pay about $80,000-$100,000 for it. If you keep it doing the same thing in 8-10 months’ time, you’ve now got something that has paid for itself and you just have $10,000 a month to blow on whatever you want.

How is Silent Rewards performing since you took over?

It had laid dormant so a lot of the users had left and weren’t really interested in it anymore so it wasn’t doing very much money. It’s the first time that I’ve actually taken an established business, purchased it, and tried to get it rolling again. That is something I’m heavily involved in right now. I’m really excited about it. It’s fun because I like a challenge. I enjoy the entrepreneurial style of starting something from scratch and breathing life into it. Silent Rewards is fun because it’s my first venture into the whole affiliate marketing scene. Somebody else has already done big things with it but is not doing it right now. It’s fun because it’s an opportunity and definitely a challenge.

Tell us about your latest venture Exotic Clutch Technologies (ECT) that seems to be a big focus at the moment.

The main thing that we do is we build after market clutches for Lamborghini and Ferrari. We use Kevlar for the actual clutch material, the same material used in bulletproof vests. We offer a dual friction set up which is going to be a Kevlar and ceramic. Basically, the benefits of these things as many people know in the exotic car industry, the stock clutch in the cars does not last long. It’s for a number of reasons.

Let’s take Lamborghini for example. The Gallardo is one of the highest produced exotic cars of all time. The Gallardo uses a ten and a half inch twin disc clutch while they are trying to keep a low center of gravity, keep a small rotational weight, they made the clutch very small. The material they used, it just wears really fast. In many instances, the clutches last at 6,000-8,000 miles with 13,000-15,000 miles being about the average. The use of it wasn’t a problem because it would take somebody a long time to put 13,000-15,000 miles on an exotic car. Now, Audi owns Lamborghini and the cars have Audi technology so everything about the car from the engine to the brakes to any other area could easily be a 100,000+ mile car and that’s becoming much more mainstream knowledge so people are actually starting to daily drive their exotic. So you’re seeing a lot of Gallardos out there now at 70,000-80,000 miles on them. There’s no reason the engine can’t go longer than any other part. The only weak point in these cars and the only significant expense in ownership is just the clutch itself.

How much would someone save by using your clutch vs an OEM clutch?

You’re going to pay around $7,000-$8,000 for parts and labor, and you’re going to be doing that around about every 10,000 miles or so. It also depends on location, how hilly the area is, or driving style, how you drive the car, you may be seeing only about 10,000 miles. It’s not unheard of at all. In 30,000 miles, you paid three times for parts and labor.

Let’s say you’re at $7,000, during your ownership, you spent $21,000 to drive the car 30,000 miles not counting all the other expenses for brakes and what not. The biggest expense for ownership is the clutches. We built something that will last about 300% longer so you’re going to have three times the life. You’re going to buy one clutch for every three. You’re going to pay the installation one time for every three, and then there are other benefits too. The clutches will withstand most power and torques if you’re wanting to do more modifications. We’ve had one of our clutches behind a twin turbo Lamborghini Gallardo that’s making 1,000 horse power to the wheels and still has not slipped. It has no problem withholding that and again, it’s not in the back of the guy’s mind every time he goes to drive it wondering how much more worn his clutch is before he has to spend another $7,000. We do installs here as well as we have a number of dealers and then there are number of independent shops that carry our product. You’re talking about $2,000 to install it and around $3,500 depending on which clutch you’re getting so you’re going to spend roughly $5,000. You’ll spend less at one time than you would have the one time for the stock one and only going to do it one third as often. It sells itself.

How were you able to gain acceptance in the exotic car community with a new product?

For me I knew that a dealership is not going to install an after market clutch so I didn’t want to reach people that they take their cars to the dealership for maintenance. My money would be best spent reaching do it yourself folks. I realized the best place to advertise is going to be Lamborghini Talk, it’s a forum and I had been a member on the site for a while and noticed that there were a huge group of do it yourselfers on there. A lot of guys change their own clutches and if they didn’t, they would most certainly save money by going to an independent shop and they understood that these guys are just as competent to work on the cars as the dealership was. Because of that, it was a great place to advertise. We bought a banner. We were given names on there where we are a supporting vendor and we could advertise on there and tell people about our products. I realized that was a great place. So that was where we started. I would try and answer tech questions on there because being a supporting vendor, we are able to have a big signature banner and things like that and so as I’m answering tech questions, we’re constantly advertising as well. That was the first area where I started advertising.

Things really started taking off through there and then from there, I went into social media. I started a Facebook page. People want to see exotic car clutches. They want to see exotic cars getting clutches changed on them and getting worked on. They want to see that different things were involved and what events we’re sponsoring and what we’re doing. I started that and then things really started to take off. I would say around December of this past year, things really started taking off with ECT. It has been around for a while before that but it really started taking off then. When we started the Facebook page, it has been a tremendous amount of exposure. That’s another part of the learning process. I realized that I don’t even have to pay to have a Facebook page and to be able to reach these people. It is a huge amount of exposure and it’s just free, minus the time to get on there and tell people what you’re doing, take pictures, and put them up.

You also have another business in the bodybuilding niche. What is Body Building Humor?

It’s a fitness apparel company that was started by me and a friend that work out. We’d make fun of the same things that anybody else in the gym would make fun of. If you go to a gym, you know there’s that one guy that’s really loud. He is just making all sorts of noise in there and everybody is kind of looking at him like, “Man, this guy. What is wrong with that guy?”  We all laugh about it so we made a shirt called The Grunter and it makes fun of this and those sort of things.
We started that, made a nice website for it and started selling some of those shirts, set up a few distributors for it, and again to reach the people, we said, where could we go?  Where could we advertise?  So this past year, we attended The Arnold Classic. The Arnold Classic is a huge show in fitness and body building and things like that. They have a great manufacturing midway where you can set up and buy. There’s about 300,000 people that attend the event that weekend so a lot of exposure. We went there, set up a booth, and put up a banner. We sold several hundred shirts in a matter of hours. It was insane.

Why do you think the response was so great?

I guess the theme with all businesses, regardless of what industry, whether we’re talking about something in the trailer industry, commercial equipment, fitness apparel, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, the one thing that holds true for all of them is just basically taking something and breathing life into it. That really happens when you say who do I need to reach and what’s the most cost effective way to reach them?  Where is my money best spent?  Once you figure out where it is best spent and how you get to those people, it’s a matter of networking, making sure they know about your product and just getting the exposure, as much exposure as possible and then from there pretty much it takes off on its own. You have organic growth. It grows exponentially because the more people that know about it, the more people they know that would have a use for your product and it goes from there.

Do you consider yourself successful? What advice can you give to our readers?

I have a Lamborghini Gallardo and when I take that car out anywhere, one of the first questions I get asked every time is what advice could you give me?  What can I do to replicate that?  I feel like I don’t consider myself as somebody that has made it. I feel like there are a lot of things I want to do and I’m nowhere near having done those things, but I do feel that I know a little bit at this point.   The one thing that I recommend is don’t get caught up in that rat race. In America, everybody is keeping up with the Joneses. I would say 90% of households are paycheck to paycheck. When you do that, you totally kill the opportunity to take an opportunity that could be that one big thing and can run with it. You don’t have that opportunity because you don’t the ability to harness that. If you don’t live paycheck to paycheck and you live within your means, I feel like that’s the biggest piece of advice I could have because that provides the opportunity for you to be able to grab that moment, take it, and run with it. Everybody knows that it takes money to make money. That’s how capitalism works and so in America, we have a lot of opportunities at our fingertips that pass people by because they are paycheck to paycheck. They don’t have the ability to be able to capitalize when they need to.

Let’s say for example you saw a huge business opportunity become available and you could grab that up for $30,000, take it, and run with it. $30,000 really, if we’re honest, is not a lot of money. That’s what a lot of people that don’t make much money will spend on a car. The only difference is they are financing it and trying to pay for it every several years and all that. I’ve seen people where if they were given a raise $500 a month, they will go out and buy a vehicle that they finance that cost $475 a month as their car now. Now, you’re back to square one. You’re driving a nicer car in the meantime but you’re driving a depreciating asset and kissing away your bonus that you would have had every month as just extra money to do whatever you wanted. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned. Living within your means provides the opportunity to capitalize on the moment that you need to get a lot going.

I feel like I haven’t done anything that anybody else couldn’t do. I’d like to think I’m an intelligent person but there are a lot of intelligent people out there. They just are okay with not doing anything more than just the bare minimum or they don’t realize how easy it is to do something more. I guess I would like to just encourage everybody to challenge themselves. If it seems like it’s a big opportunity, don’t be afraid to fail. If you do it right, you probably won’t fail anyways, but if you do, you’re no worse off than when you started. In regards to image and perception, you are what you are perceived to be and that’s the one thing that the internet has provided an insane opportunity for. You can put out a vibe. I’m not saying lie about your business. I’m saying you can establish yourself as a big player in the industry before having necessarily solidified that spot. While still just being a rising star, you can already be seen as the go-to business in that industry. People are more willing to buy if you come across as professional and knowledgeable — it gives you an automatic head start.

There’s the saying of doing what you love and money will follow. What do you think?

I guess the other advice is do something that you’re passionate about. If you’re passionate about it, it’s not work. I work seven days a week but to me it doesn’t seem like it because it’s not working. It’s almost like this is my new project. This is not a new business. This is the newest project and for me, it’s like it’s here and I want to get it to here. I’m not looking to necessarily make more money. It’s just that I’m looking to grow the brand and I want to grow our customer base, and get more people using our product just because I think ours is better. I’m passionate about all the things I do. They all came about for different reason but if you’re excited about it then it’s not something that you have to grind through.

If I truly believe mine is better then it’s going to be the drive there to get more people to use it just off the fact that I think I’m helping them because I’m an automotive enthusiast. I’ve been into cars as long as I’ve been alive and can remember. I don’t just want to make a ton of money. Making money is like the secondary objective here. It’s like getting people to use our product because I feel that we offer something better than everybody else and we offer it at a better price point. That alone is a huge thing. The ability to identify the fundamental pieces that will ultimately be the path to success and then breathe life into them, that’s the hard part. So it’s easy to see, the real talent comes in the execution. Sometimes all it takes is the ability to better implement a design or more effectively reach a demographic.

Any closing remarks?

Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “Every dream carries with it certain risks, especially the risk of failure. But I am not stopped by risks. Suppose a great person takes the risk and fails. Then the person must try again. You cannot fail forever. If you try ten times, you have a better chance of making it on the eleventh try than if you didn’t try at all.” Bruce Lee once said, “Don’t fear failure. – Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” Those two statements are very powerful. Tons of people have great ideas; however, many will talk themselves out of acting on the idea – thus failing before ever starting. Having a good idea is the easy part. Coming up with a plan that will allow for success and then executing that plan, that’s the true gift. The ability to identify the fundamental pieces that will ultimately be the path to success and then breathe life into them, that’s the hard part. So it’s easy to see, the real talent comes in the execution. Sometimes all it takes is the ability to better implement a design or more effectively reach a demographic.

The idea itself doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Facebook wasn’t the first social network, Windows wasn’t the first operating system, and the list goes on. Exotic Clutch Technologies isn’t the first in the clutch industry, even in the niche catering to the exotics market, but that didn’t stop me from entering anyways. Already, we’re developing products that none of our competitor’s make, and through innovation, they contain solutions that address a void in the market and should better the automotive community as a whole. Some of our competitor’s make a great product, but we challenge ourselves to continually innovate. I don’t want to just make the same thing over and over for years to come. As material science develops, so will our products. So that, combined with what we believe is a more effective marketing strategy for today’s generation, is how we are making large strides as a fairly new player in an old industry.
I would just challenge others to not be afraid to take that leap. To add to the Arnold quote, you will have a better chance at succeeding the 11th time than you did on the 10th… and most definitely than if you never tried. There are plenty of examples out there where people learned from their rejections and failures, adapted, and went on to do very big things..

We want to thank Barry for sharing his story with us. You can find more information about Barry and his companies at the following places: