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Vito La Fata: Trapped in Brick and Mortar

Hey, Vito La Fata here!

I got into online business building because I didn’t like feeling I wasn’t in control of my future. 

Twice in my life I had worked for companies that had dogmatic policies I simply couldn’t agree with; especially considering I was excelling at both companies and the methods I had created were creating growth and happy customers.

But, when you work for someone else - no matter how good you are - if you have people in charge that lack vision, courage and the confidence to change when a better way presents itself, you can simply be let go.

And I was. I was fired from both companies and had my income taken away from me. 

That feeling of not having control of my ability to make money and have security was something I never forgot. 

Is that something maybe you’ve experienced in your life? 

Today, there is no safety working for someone else, no matter how long you have been there.

Those two moments, led me to say “I’ll never work for someone again.”

So, I began my own business and started a gym back in 2005 after years as a successful trainer. I refinanced my house to create the startup cash (because the cash needed to start up a brick and mortar is $50k+...that doesn’t even include having safety operational cash to the tune of another $100k).  

Fortunately, an online business can be started up for a fraction of that. 

As a new business owner, I was growing but not fast enough... 

Like many new business owners I discovered that being good at a service doesn’t mean you are good at business. 

So, I went on a journey to grow my skills in business so I could figure out how to turn the corner...

I began dedicating all my time to studying marketing, business building, leadership, entrepreneurship and high performance in order to break from the norms of what was being experienced in the fitness industry as a trainer and business owner. 

Most people do not live with freedom in the fitness industry. They are trading dollars for hours, or tied to a physical location. 

Now that we’ve been coaching outside the fitness industry, we see that most businesses are struggling with the same growth problems. 

After the 3rd major setback in life - when my business partner and I separated, and I lost the house I had used to finance my gym in the crash of 08’, and I went $105,000 in debt - I decided that I would do what most people weren’t doing at that time… to start building an online business.

A mentor had shared that people were starting to teach others online and get paid to do it with automated courses. He gave me the chance to speak in front of a crowd which was the first moment I learned the power of 1-to-many selling versus just 1-to-1. 

After a 60 minute presentation, I made $3,000 in an hour! 

I was never the same again. 

I began diving into all things online... 

All things about speaking... 

I read books, bought courses, attended seminars, conferences, events, and got into expensive masterminds.

It was a period of growth, but it was also a period of running around like crazy, trying to piece things together, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, to move from one product to multiple products, development of an actual Brand, building websites, email lists, and to command an understanding of how to operate an actual business online and not just sell courses. 

Having a course online is not the same as owning an online business. 

The turning point came after I invested $14k in a guru mastermind... 

I put it all on my credit card, and had 45 days to pay it back. I scratched and clawed to build a launch leading into the holiday break, and while it seemed all things were going off the rails, in the 25th hour, I had dug out $25k in a 7 day launch and knew I had arrived in the online game.

While I wasn’t doing big guru 7-figure launches, I had figured out how to build a consistent 6-figure online business that was changing my life, helping my brick and mortar business, helping my network marketing business, and gave me the first glimpse of living the freedom lifestyle.

It was in 2014 when a trainer I was grooming to take over and buy the gym, left with 40% of the business, that I truly was over businesses that I couldn’t control with my own efforts. 

In a traditional ‘Brick and Mortar’ business, you need a lot of staff and employees.  Too much stress so I was over that business model…I wanted a business with less overhead and more freedom. 

An online business meant I could run a 6-figure business by myself.

So, I shut down the gym, got out of brick and mortar and pursued how to turn my 6-figure online business into a 7-figure one. 

And how to help my wife Anna (then fiance’) create her very own 6-figure business that would bring her joy and purpose. And allow us to run our businesses together from anywhere in the world our travels took us. 

It was at that time that we met Mike L. Murphy, who helped us realize that to go from 6-figure to 7-figures we would need more systems and better operations so we could scale and we would need a deeper backend to our business (more on that in a sec).

I invested $98,000 to work with Mike and his team for a year (don’t worry, if you join the Visionary Planner® you won’t pay anywhere near that for what I got plus so much more). 

Together, we started connecting the dots of getting online into an elegant easy to follow step-by-step system... 

This was years of studying courses, seminars and gurus to connect the puzzle pieces so we could avoid the overwhelm and confusion that had been thrust upon us.

This immersion in ‘how to startup online’ became a quest that we were committed to seeing through to the end.  (There are so many business we dream of starting, but there is no way we can continue to see other Visionaries struggle like we had to).

We don’t want you to walk the same long road we did or invest the years and hundreds of thousands of dollars that nearly broke us.

The Visionary Planner® was officially born in 2017, and it became our 4th multiple 6-figure business, launched using the VP System. 

Now we own a vineyard, launched a private retreat called Vision In the Vineyards™ in 2019 (which became our 5th 6-figure business) and get to live our dream lifestyle.

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