Podcast: From a $50 Consulting Gig to Millions of Website Visitors, How 'The Points Guy' Turned His Idea Into a Booming Business

In our latest episode for 'Problem Solvers' Brian Kelly opens up about what it took to turn his idea into a huge success.
Podcast: From a $50 Consulting Gig to Millions of Website Visitors, How 'The Points Guy' Turned His Idea Into a Booming Business
Image credit: The Points Guy

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Entrepreneur Staff
Editor in Chief
4 min read

Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur magazine's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below.

Here’s something every entrepreneur has thought at some point: I have an idea that I just know people would like, but how the hell do I actually turn it into an actual business?

Related: Podcast: What to Do When Your Best-Laid Plans Turn Out Wrong

It’s such a simple question, but at the same time an infinitely complex one. You have to take this idea and build an infrastructure around it -- one that amplifies the idea, makes it even more compelling than you’d originally thought and creates so much value that someone will pay you for it. And then you need to figure out how to scale all that, so that your idea can keep growing and thriving.

How do you do it? On this episode of Problem Solvers, we learn how Brian Kelly turned a sharp idea into The Points Guy, which is now arguably the most well-recognized and influential site in the credit card world. It gets 4.5 million monthly unique visitors, and grows 40 percent every month. But at the start, Kelly was just working an unsatisfying HR job and running a side hustle that made him almost no money.

“You could pay $50 and get a half hour on the phone with me, and I would go through your credit cards and your point strategy,” he says. “So basically, I was working like 20 hours a day.”

It took Kelly years, and many failures, to finally figure out how to scale this crazy idea into a booming business.

Related: Podcast: Her Cookie Company Went Viral, Which Meant A Bouncer and 4-Hour Lines

There is, of course, no formula for turning your idea into a business. No blueprint that will work for everyone. It all comes down to the tenacity of the entrepreneur and the potential of the idea. The path is guaranteed to be windy, and you will succeed or fail based on how well you adjust along the way. You need to launch, see the strengths and weaknesses of your idea in the real world, figure out a way to make it better and stronger, and then repeat that process over and over again.

That’s why we’re telling Kelly’s story on Problem Solvers, because he did all this -- and his success is a lesson on just how important it is to keep hammering away at your idea. Listen to the rest of his story here and to subscribe on iTunes, click here.

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Freshbooks makes cloud accounting software for freelancers and small businesses: Manage your invoices, track your expenses, even keep track of your work down to the minute so you can accurately and easily bill clients. And their customer service system is built to be fail-proof: If a user calls between 8 am and 8 pm ET, and nobody in customer service can pick up after four rings, every phone in the company starts ringing. It's a freelancer's dream: Someone is guaranteed to answer their call.

Best Self makes products to help entrepreneurs perform at their highest level, and that includes smart tools like a dry-erase 13-week wall calendar. Their most popular product is a beautiful journal, which entrepreneurs can use to help organize their time, set and achieve goals, and so on. Best Self’s co-founders suggest devoting five minutes every morning to it, to create the habit of thinking about your day, your needs, your time, and your goals. The journal helps you step back. 


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