Richard Lorenzen, 24, is one of the leading millennial entrepreneurs.
He is the Founder and CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands, which is a prestigious PR company in NYC that handles media coverage and speaking events.
You may have heard of some of his clients, including Tai Lopez, Grant Cardone, Timothy Sykes, as well as tech start ups like Paymently, and an extensive rolodex of firms doing $20-$50 million in revenue throughout the city like Blue Realty Group.
While sitting at Fownders, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to chat with Richard and discuss his come up, his message to other millennials, and, of course, his business insights—insights which will help you grow and scale your business or brand. Trust me, there aren’t many people in the game that do this as well as Richard.
Let’s Get Right into It
Richard started his company bootstrapped—which means low funds for those of you who don’t know—at 15 years old. He became fully immersed and learned the industry gaining great contacts through hustle and effort. It takes a pretty ambitious, determined, and motivated youngster to set out on this big vision, and that is exactly what Richard did.
Like many other great entrepreneurs, reading books was pivotal to his success, and he happily shared the three books that impacted his life the most.
You must read these:
- The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy.
- This book is essential to understanding how small consistent wins over time are the best way to become successful. Don’t always try and hit the home run. All you have to do is continue to get base hits and you’re going to win the game.
Lesson: Change your perspective.
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin Sharma
- This book is all about shifting to the abundance mindset through meditation, rituals, and routines. A big lesson here is to value personal growth over money. Master your craft and become the best at it and by doing that you can impact lives. The better you become, the more you can serve the world.
Lesson: If you create value for others first…money will chase you.
- Slight Edge, by Jeff Olsen
- This book discusses making small tweaks to your routine and creating habits that move your towards success for certain. This book is similar to the Compound Effect and both in tandem were game changers for Richard. He was always focused on the big homers, and after reading these two books, he realized that small consistent wins will compound over time. You may not see a difference in six months, but one year, two years, three years out you will see the compound effect in action.
Lesson: Consistency is everything.
His message to others—you can do it too.
Practical consistent actions are all it takes to move you towards your goals.
Richard speaks at inner city high schools in New York and Philadelphia and inspires them on how he started and how they can do it too.
He said, “One thing that holds people back is limiting beliefs—’I have no education’, ‘My parents aren’t in business’, ‘I’m too young’, ‘I have no money’, etc. If they can move past this with unwavering belief and consistent action, then they can do anything.”
Technology and Social Media has leveled the playing field. With email, social media, and the Web, we can reach more people than ever before in human history!
If you’re willing to skill up and bring value to the marketplace, then you can do it. It’s a simple formula:
- Build a reputation
- Build a following
When Richard started out at 15 , Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etcc weren’t prevalent. He had different means of getting connected with people. Through Craigslist and different online entrepreneur forums, he started selling Web design, link building, and PR services for $500 or less. This garnered him the deal flow needed, yet he could still over deliver.
For all you business owners out there understand this: the opportunity is everything. It’s all you can ask for and it’s the best thing you can ask for.
It’s how you maximize the opportunity that separates the goods from the greats.
From these deals, he was able to get case studies and testimonials that he could then roll over as sales collateral to use as a tool to close more deals at higher price points.
However, he had to get over one problem: the fear of asking for more money. I don’t know about you, but even I have, at times, been fearful of charging what I’m worth. It is a common feeling. Thankfully there is a simple solution that removes all fear, guilt, and worry.
Realizing this allowed me to move past this block.
The golden nugget here is : you become more confident in yourself when you add tangible value to the market.
That simple fact is gold.
All this means is to get the small wins faster. Don’t worry about the home runs. Start hitting singles. Everyone eventually catches that nice sweet pitch and hits it out of the park—it’s inevitable.
Just start getting small wins and tangible market ROI.
A proven track record speaks for itself.
So Richard improved his sales skills and landed his first major client at 15. It was a consulting company in Washington D.C., and he met the founder on a forum where entrepreneurs connected and did business. The guy was looking for some internet marketing help and wanted to get ranked #1 on Google for one keyword.
Richard was able to do this in a matter of days and over delivered. He got him ranked #1 for 10 different key words!
His results built trust, and the guy became a long-term happy customer. Within six months he became a six-figure client annually.
This man remains a client to this day and was the best man at Richard’s recent wedding to his lovely and intelligent wife, Pinsi Lei, who is doing incredible things of her own.
Over the years, this man has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business, and the referrals keep on coming.
For those of you who don’t know, referrals are a gold mine.
All you need is a couple really great clients in the beginning, and after a while, they will send you more than ten times what they paid.
A crazy random fact that he told me was out of the 6 groomsman at his wedding, five of them were clients that he’s had for the last five-ten years whom have become best friends.
And, he’s never asked for referrals.
Little actions every single day, and staying very consistent, gives you the accumulation of small wins that compound exponentially over time.
Put Systems in Place
As funny as it sounds, Richard said the first million in revenue was anti-climatic because as your business grows, you grow and change along with it. You sort of come to expect it because you know you are getting one percent better each day and you experience the process day-by-day.
By the time you reach that point, you have transformed into that person—the type of person that creates value and produces results.
Also, by the time of your first million, you should have new goals. Expect to produce that kind of result.
As Bob Proctor told me at his 55th anniversary in New York City, “Make it seem small.”
I asked Richard what his core values are and he shared them with me.
- Staying honest, forthright, and genuine.
- Gets up at 4:30 am and and works 15 hours a day since 15.
- He suggests going to sleep 10:30-11 pm. A routine is very important.
- Everything you do every single day is going to become a habit and it’s either going to work for you or against you.
- Anything you do slowly makes you weaker and weaker or stronger and stronger.
- Gets up at 4:30 am and and works 15 hours a day since 15.
He says, “The grind doesn’t change, but the players do.”
- Don’t have a transactional mindset. Don’t think about how much product you can sell. Think what kind of relationship you will have in five years.
- Transactional business is the short-term game. The long term game is referrals.
Richard wants to show other people that it can be done through consistent work and small wins each day.
His new book Surge: Super Charge Your Life, Business, and Legacy, is a practical guide for entrepreneurs, especially young entrepreneurs, who need a tactical game plan for how to get ahead when starting from zero or less.
He wants to stay reachable and show other millennials he is no different from them.
You can reach him here:
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter – @rlorenzen
- Instagram – @richardlorenze
- Website – richardlorenzen.com
My Closing Remarks
As millennials, we have to use social media and technology tactically in a way that that gives us a leg up in moving swiftly and in building audiences.
Most people still don’t get it. They do not understand how building a community or an audience works, and it is up to us to leverage these powerful technologies to help millions of people become the best version of themselves, create things that matter, and leave normal behind.
Millennials can bring this value to corporations because of the qualitative advantages that are inherent within our generation.
We are perceptive.
We are aware.
We are socially conscious.
While some are undoubtedly lackadaisical, there is a thriving movement of purpose-driven millennial hustlers that is growing exponentially across the globe.
The differentiator is grit, toughness, and determination.
It’s the will to execute, read like crazy, and listen to hours of audio.
It’s the commitment to acquiring new knowledge at all times.
Read two or three books a month about business, marketing, or personal development.
Get yourself around the right people because one relationship can change your whole life.
If you can combine all these things consistently over time, you can almost guarantee success.
Millennials are looking for purpose, freedom, travel and overall believe that so much more is possible.
And it is because of this naïveté that our generation is actually doing it.
Take it from legend Steve Jobs who leaves us with these iconic words, ” The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world… are the ones who do.”
If you want to reach me, add me on Facebook and send me a message.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.