Entrepreneurs

An Incurable Disease With A Hefty Treatment Cost Motivated Him To Start A Business

Unable to afford treatment for an incurable disease, this founder shares lessons learned and actionable strategies you can apply to your business, too.

30 year old Zach Machuca, founder of auto-Nurture, will soon receive a $17,000 dollar stem cell therapy treatment in hopes of combating an “incurable” disease he contracted while living in Portugal.

There is no known cause for the disease. While performing a bicycle kick, he landed incorrectly and then felt somewhat of a “thud.”

Two weeks later, he felt a pop in his ear, akin to what you would commonly feel when taking off in an airplane. From that day forward, he’s suffered from what is known as Meniere’s Disease.

While seeking treatment, he researched and found only one person who had recovered from the same illness at a stem cell clinic that performs both Exosome Therapy and Upper Cervical Chiropractic Therapy.

He was quoted a cost of $12,000 for this treatment. It would infuse 15 billion exosomes into his body, targeting the inner ear. He negotiated for a dose of 60 billion exosomes which would increase his odds of success, but this would be in a clinical trial and would cost seventee thousands dollars. Machuca didn’t have either amount of funds.

I spoke with Machuca about his journey since the onset of this disease to how he earned the money to treat it by building a business.

Darrah Brustein: Could you please share more about your unique health condition?

Zach Machuca: Meniere’s disease is essentially a combination of symptoms that include aural fullness, tinnitus and debilitating vertigo. They say it’s one of the worst diseases you can have that doesn’t kill you. The fluid in your inner ear is unable to regulate itself, so your vestibular system is also affected. What’s worse is the intense vertigo. Most people think they’ve experienced vertigo, but it’s not like this. Episodes can last for eight or more hours and because the room is spinning so violently, you become nauseous and vomit repeatedly.

There are no known cures for the disease that are widely accepted or FDA approved. Everything is experimental. The suggested dosage for exosome infusion, in my case, was 15 billion. My biggest fear was doing that, not seeing any improvement, and then being left with the question of whether a higher dosage could have cured me. After speaking more about it with the clinic, they were willing to increase the dosage, which theoretically increases the chances of success. The new dosage would be 60 billion exosomes.

Brustein: I’m so sorry to hear about your pain. Before we started the interview, you mentioned that you couldn’t afford either procedure. How did you handle that?

Machuca: I was raised to believe that my performance was my value.

Sudden events caused things to change. I had previous experience in digital marketing and my brother Alex was having great success doing lead generation for the mortgage industry. Our father also spent some years in the mortgage business and gave us exposure to the industry. 

This diagnosis provided motivation to find a way to make the money to pay for my treatments, which I was able to accomplish within a year of hard work.

Brustein: What lessons can you share with others who are starting a business while they have a pressing financial need?

Machuca: The best thing you can do when starting an online business with little to no capital is to create an environment that allows you to spend most of your time on sales calls. When it comes to the overall growth and strategy of the business, you’re the only person with a true vested interest in revenue.

Operations and fulfillment can be outsourced in the beginning and doesn’t cost anything until a sale is made. Sales can’t and shouldn’t be outsourced, because you’re going to have to hire and train the next sales rep that comes in and ensure that they’re walking into a winning environment. If you don’t, I assure you they’ll leave (and quickly). 

When outsourcing operations and fulfillment, it’s important to structure those agreements on a single or monthly flat-fee amount per new client. In this type of agreement, everyone benefits mutually and is now vested in the growth of the business as a whole. The more sales you make, the more money everyone else makes. As long as they can deliver on the offer you’re selling, you’ll have a winning and profitable team. Once you have those three pieces in place, it all comes down to sales, execution, and remaining hyper-focused in one direction and learning all along the way. 

To be hyper-focused is to reject all time-wasting activities that are disguised as “opportunities.” In the beginning, everyone will have an idea for you and your business and you’ll have many yourself. This is a common trap for most entrepreneurs, because there will never be a shortage of ideas. You will always be tempted to start a new project without completing the current one, or branch out to a new niche and potentially spread yourself too thin. I use a white-board to list my most important tasks, projects and goals. It sits right next to my computer. If it’s not on that white-board, then it’s not important. If it is on that white-board, then the task will be completed, no matter the difficulty.

Discipline is key.

Want more content to help you on your path to success and fulfillment? Then check out this free masterclass with Deepak Chopra and me. In it, we share the 5 key things you need to know to create a more meaningful life!

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