I started Clever Leverage for three reasons: 1) to build a resource I could reference when clients, friends, and family ask me business/internet/website related questions (a lot of them are redundant, and most would benefit from video tutorials so they can see what to follow along, versus an answer on the phone with no visual reference), and 2) out of frustration, and 3) a personal mission to improve my lifestyle, continue to learn and connect with other about areas I’m passionate about, and to maintain good health.
Many people I ran this blog idea by, before I started it, said I shouldn’t mix so many topics together, or that I should focus on just business. I struggled with this quite a bit, but after a lot of thought and having some health problems recently, such as suffering from anxiety and high blood pressure, I stuck with my gut and combined several topics. While dealing with these health problems, I realized that without good health, none of this business stuff matters. Thus, maintaining good health became another primary focal point in my life, and I’d like to share those experiences to inspire those around me to remain healthy as well.
In 2008 I started a local internet services business in Orlando, which ultimately grew into a lead gen service company, focusing on local service companies ranging from pest control to remodeling services. I still retain a few clients, but am much more selective now when on-boarding new companies, and rarely take on new accounts unless it’s something I really enjoy.
To address the point above about starting Clever Leverage to solve one of my own problems, refers to leveraging my time. You can’t imagine how many people have asked for website/internet marketing/business related help over the years, and I love helping, but the one mistake I made was not leveraging my time by creating a resource to refer people to in the future. A lot of business owners and aspiring bloggers/website hobbyists or enthusiasts have many of the same questions, including a lot of overlap I encounter with clients. I believe creating a helpful resource, in addition to a lifestyle blog, can help people the same way I do in person when doing a consultation.
A lot of people might be thinking… why am I willing to intentionally commoditize my business? They might say things like, “But Matt, you put up video tutorials and show people exactly how to build different types of websites and how to market them locally… Isn’t that giving free consulting away and killing your business”?
First, I don’t necessarily view it that way… If I were strictly a graphic designer or web designer I may, but I’m neither of those things and believe that the true value in web services is the business growth garnered from such activities. (hence morphing into offering lead gen services and other performance based marketing in prior years, instead of bespoke design services. I can sum this up by a simple phrase I use: Looking great won’t get you nearly as many customers as prominent placement in your market.)
And second, potential clients who don’t do business with me because I have some video tutorials online and want to do everything themselves, those aren’t my ideal clients anyway. Nine times out of ten they still need help even if they can’t afford my services, and I’m happy to create a quality reference to fill those needs and solve those problems, so long as I can leverage my time and not limit my reach. It will be really nice to have finally build something for myself to point people to!
A question I’ve been asked already, is how I came up with this concept and the name, Clever Leverage. I was at a point in my life where I knew I wanted to get into other things, like real estate investing for instance. I wanted to free up my time to explore other business ideas, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to do it continuing along the path I was on. Once day in the shower I was pondering all of this like I usually do, and I said to myself… “Man, if you’re going to be able to do this and eventually get into multifamily, and balance an existing business, you better get damn clever and start leveraging everything you have at your disposal”!
And thus, Clever Leverage was born. The essence and core message lead by example is, leveraging your time and resources to get from where you are, to where you want to go.