At 46 Years Old, Chris Is Giving Up His Consulting Practice And Moving Across The Country And Starting Over In A Very Small Town. What Lessons Can We Learn From Him?

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Here is an email I received a couple of days ago from Chris, one of our TopLine trained consultants. Chris begins with a nice compliment, then transitions to how he’s moving across country to take care of his elderly father, and starting up his consulting business from scratch in a totally new area.

Chris simply has a plan that he’s been following to build his business to a place where it provides him a very nice lifestyle, and he’ll follow that same plan when be begins again in a brand new place with a totally new market. Here’s his email:

Hello Martin,

Congratulations on your Forbes article!

I was so pleased to see it and saddened at the same time as I read your fight with cancer continues. I know you are a man and you will face it without complaint and do all you can to help others until the journey is over, if that in fact is the road before you, as is your nature, so it seems.

My mother died from complications from lung cancer on January 28th of this year and on the flight back to Vegas I was thinking of you and wondering how you were doing. Then I saw this.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you do. I read all of your emails and blog posts and watch all of your video posts and I continue to learn. I watch the way you market and I watch your selflessness in trying to help consultants or those simply seeking to improve their lot in life. I have had a few business mentors in my business journey and I consider you to be one of those mentors with your body of work, body of knowledge and your intellectual and personal honesty.

Golden Arrow

Perhaps the greatest business lesson I’ve learned from you is this: to truly care more about the success of clients than my own profitsImagine if we lived in a modern business world (or world in general) that embraced this philosophy. This is my consulting business mission statement and I will be trademarking it as well and using it as the basis for another business book.

I preach this to clients… surprisingly many (not all but many) don’t think this way nor do they want to structure a business that focuses on service more than profit. My challenge is to get them to see that business profit generally will follow business selflessness… true commitment to the customer IS noticed in this day and age.

My mother has passed away and my father is nearly 80 years old and has NEVER been alone before, so I am moving back to the Midwest so he is not alone at this time in his life. I knew this day was coming one way or the other when one of them passed.

I will be starting anew in a fairly small area of about 210,000 people, so it will be a new business experience and challenge. My sister asked me if I wasn’t afraid of picking up and starting all over and frankly, that was the first time it had even occurred to me that there was a possibility that I would not be successful.

I’ve been building businesses for almost 20 years now, usually operating 2 or 3 or even 4 businesses at a time, so it just didn’t occur to me that I might fail. I’m certainly no Donald Trump but I’ve gotten by all these years. It’s funny, most of my neighbors think I don’t work because I’m always home or at the grocery store or book store or Kmart or the gym in the middle of the day. My time is my own, and at 46, I’m debt free and I just don’t have the normal pressures of the family with 2 mortgages and 3 car payments, so I can live a more free existence than most people my age.

I do have the pressure of being self employed and not having a paycheck but I’m used to that and don’t really think about it very much. I guess I am fortunate that I can just up and move and have the business skill set to forge “fearlessly” (as my sister said to me) into a new life.

I’m going to take a much more exclusionary approach in consulting when I set up shop in my new area. Right now I KNOW I have a deficiency in my business model because I try to be all things to all people and try to include too many different departments in my business. I just want to have a few clients at a time, and I’m going to make it a focus of my marketing that I simply can’t work with every business, and focus solely on cost control and development in CEO Roundtables.

In speaking with the Chamber of Commerce rep, he stated they have a monthly breakfast program where business owners have breakfast with 3 or 4 different owners once a month. I commended him for such a magnificent program as that certainly is not available where I now live. What a great opportunity for business owners to essentially establish their own CEO Roundtables, if they are in fact, taking advantage of the opportunity placed before them.

In my town, I began using an after business hours voice mail broadcast marketing system that I developed to generate 1 or 2 step opt-in consulting leads (either for free reports or free recordings) that is very cost effective and actually quite productive yielding a 2-3% response for financing, cost control and development. It’s the only marketing I utilize now and I can run it completely from my computer.

This system is certainly nothing new but I adopted it from another industry and recast it in a new way. I run very small targets whenever I want leads but of course, I don’t know if the voice broadcast will perform in such a small business market so I am very excited about having greater opportunity for face to face initial networking.


Something I adopted from the Topline program was a Business Owners Blueprint (which is also in line with all of my books “The Blueprint Series”), when I put together a plan of action I don’t just type it up as a report I simply make a flow chart (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and so on) in Microsoft Word with a blue background, then blow it up at OfficeMax and go into both my Initial Meeting to show the blueprint with the business name on it, and then the Action Meeting with the stages complete.

I’m also interested in attending another Topline training event to get up to date on any new program features and refreshed overall so please keep me in mind if you are still having training sessions.

Please don’t think it’s lost on me that my “congratulatory” message to you is all about me. But perhaps, you will find my journey interesting and of some value and in a way, you are a part of my journey… the reason I am in this business.

I have another business mentor, a private businessman, who did not achieve success until very late in his life. He failed, and failed, and failed, and then at the age of 55, he finally had a business that clicked. He is now retired and very wealthy. He told me he had given up and when he told his son that he was tired and had had enough, his son began yelling at him (just as he had yelled at his son for 30 years), that he can never ever give up – that he must fight, and fight, and fight.

And so he continued fighting. He said that fight is what he saw in me. And I think that is probably true. I’ve failed so, so many times, but his path has motivated me as well. For whatever reason, arrogance or stupidity, I’ve been down but I simply have never given up.

I hope that you are around for many years to come Martin. The world is truly a better place with you in it.


This is such a strange journey we all take.

Best Regards,


Okay, so what can we learn from Chris?

First of all, I hope you noticed by his comments that he is a very kind person. There’s great value in this. You don’t have to be – and there’s no reason to be rude, arrogant, self-serving, or have a “driver” type personality to succeed in this or any other business. Some of the nicest, kindest, most complimentary, and gentle people you’ll ever meet are TopLine consultants, like Chris. They love helping each other in any way they can.

Chris will be moving from a large city, across the country to a small area of only 210,000 people to start his business from scratch… without even thinking that (in his words), “there was a possibility that [he] would not be successful.”

No Debt No Sweat logo

At just 46, Chris is debt-free and has the time to not only enjoy his family and his life, but the income – and equally as important – the confidence that enables him to uproot his life, give up his business, and start afresh in a new area, knowing no one and having zero contacts.

Chris is able to do this because he has a “Blueprint” that all consultants get in their TopLine training that he can follow that will lead him step-by-step from one milestone to the next in his business to ensure that he creates the kind of business that he wants. And he uses a form of that Blueprint when he makes presentations to his prospects to help them see the steps he will take to create some pretty massive increased profit surges for them.

Small Meeting

Did you notice what Chris did BEFORE he moved? He checked out the Chamber and found out that they have a monthly breakfast with 3 or 4 different business owners. Think about it: “3 or 4”! That’s it? Just 3 or 4? And Chris got excited about it! Why? Because Chris knows what he can do for those business owners. He has the confidence and the tools that will enable him to demonstrate what he can do to help them gain a real competitive advantage and dominate their marketplace. Just imagine what he could do (and what he HAS done) in a much bigger market with a much larger attendance!

Chris mentioned that he wants to come back to training as a “refresher” and to pick up some new ideas. That’s great… he’s welcome anytime. Many of our consultants return from time to time for the same reason… and we love seeing them and hearing of their successes.

Businessman Wearing Cape

So what about you? How are you doing? Do you have the ability, the tools and the confidence that you could do what Chris is doing? If something disastrous were to happen to you that you had no control over and incapacitate you for an extended period, do you have the financial resources to maintain your present lifestyle, and then pick right back up where you were previously and get back on track?

What about your financial future? How are you doing in that area? Is your present job or employment secure, and will it provide you the income you need to send your kids to the schools of their choice, enable you to take care of your aged parents (like Chris is… and like Cheryl and I are doing), and fund your retirement? Are you able to spend as much time with your family as you’d like… or perhaps with your church, community, or charity?

If you can’t answer these questions in the affirmative and you would like to investigate a business (your OWN business), they we should talk. Please contact Dawn, my assistant, at, and she’ll arrange for a one-on-one call between you and me, and I’ll make sure all your questions are answered and you have all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.

Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions

1 Comment for this entry

  • Regina says:

    “I hope that you are around for many years to come Martin. The world is truly a better place with you in it.”

    I’m going to have to second the quote above. I have been following your fight with cancer as well and I know that you are going to beat it.

    Thanks for being who you are Martin.

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