AmberMac Blog

Your First Million: 5 Steps to Success

Here at AmberMac Media, it took five years to reach one million dollars in annual revenue. Looking back back at what we’ve done right, I can identify some of the key decisions that have helped us grow. 

In the video below I break down those decisions as 5 clear Steps to Success and I wanted to share the highlight reel with you here as well. 

5 Steps to Success

1. Invest in existing and original content. At AmberMac Media we aim to work with an 80 / 20 rule in terms of sharing on my social channels. This means that approximately 80% of the content includes timely and relevant topics from news articles and research reports we read online. About 20% of the content is original content, including videos like the one below, audio clips, and more. We use a number of powerful tools to make this happen, including AgoraPulse for our team to schedule and monitor, Headliner to turn audio clips into video files, and Rev to caption videos as needed.

2. Use subcontractors to build your team. I spent many years working at start-ups in San Francisco that scaled too quickly, hiring employees who often didn’t have enough work. We have a team of about a dozen subcontractors who work with us regularly. This allows us to ramp up when we have projects in place and keep our monthly expenses manageable when we have slow times. We also pay our subcontractors quickly and efficiently to maintain positive and lasting work relationships.

3. Start with “yes,” and then figure things out. Too many people building brands and businesses put obstacles in their own way. This behaviour can be ego driven – like when individuals are very specific about the work that they do – but sometimes it is also because they aren’t embracing a learn-it-all attitude. Most things are learnable. Try to be up for a challenge!

4. Keep your spending under control. Even in today’s modern economy, some entrepreneurs still want the fancy office, expensive art, and pricey tech. We’ve been able to grow our business thanks to staying practical about what we actually need. While working in San Francisco at one start-up, we used to pay people to water our plants. Recognizing when and how to prioritize office spending is an important part of becoming a frugal entrepreneur.

5. Create multiple revenue streams. While you might want to focus on doing one thing well, the most successful entrepreneurs can balance a number of different skills. That might mean writing books, speaking at conferences, and offering different services. This can help to give you room to experiment on projects that may not be income-generating from the start.

Bonus Step:

Be careful with one-sided contracts. Make sure you have a business advisor or lawyer reviewing all your contracts and agreements to avoid limiting opportunities. If the terms don’t work for you, even after negotiating, you should always be prepared to walk away or your business will suffer long-term.