Episode 032 – Matt Miller – The Power of Persistence: Going From Surviving to Thriving

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Matt Miller is no stranger to hard work. After spending time as an Air Force pilot, Matt left the military in search of a career in corporate America. He found tremendous success in corporate advertising and felt he had found his niche. In the blink of an eye, Matt found himself losing a huge chunk of his income and was in search of something better. In reality, Matt was doing whatever it took to survive – from selling used books online to collecting aluminum cans. That’s when he read a book that would change everything: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Matt became fascinated with the concept of passive income and would work hard to find a way to make it work for him.

The power of persistence in transforming your life, on this episode of #Entrepreneur Unplugged Click To Tweet

Embracing the power of passive income.

Matt talks about the powerful experience of reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and why it had such an impact on him. He knew passive income could work for him, but Matt wasn’t quite sure which path would get him there. Quite by chance, a friend suggested giving vending machines a try, and so Matt purchased his first gumball machine on eBay for about $30. Not knowing what to expect, Matt worked to get the machine placed and found his niche in a local karate studio. He knew he may not make much money, but Matt was determined to give it a try. Just 2 weeks later, the machine had already paid for itself and an idea was born.

Going from 1 vending machine to 150 in a year and a half.

The placement of his very first gumball machine in a karate studio soon grew to all of their locations throughout the Houston area. Within just a year and a half, his business grew to over 150 machines. And just like that, Matt had built a flourishing passive income business. Matt discusses the process of finding machines, placing them, and working to maintain those relationships. He also talks about going from gumballs to stickers and how he discovered the opportunity to help schools with fundraising efforts with his machines. Today, Matt’s business, School Spirit Vending, helps schools all over the country raise money by selling stickers and temporary tattoos.

Going from 1 #vending machine to 150 in a year and a half, on this episode of #Entrepreneur Unplugged Click To Tweet

Stop waiting for everything to be perfect – just start.

It may sound like Matt experienced tremendous success right away. But, he also worked incredibly hard and made mistakes along the way. Matt discusses the biggest mistake most people make when considering starting a business: they wait for everything to be perfect. He talks about why that mindset will keep you from ever getting started. Matt shares the value of just going for it because, in reality, you’re going to make mistakes along the way no matter what. So, why not get started rather than waiting?

Helping other people get what they want.

As the business grew, Matt knew he had to find a way to get his machines in other markets around the country. When he realized how costly that could be to do on his own, he considered franchising as a cost effective way of growing the business into other markets, without a huge marketing budget. Matt also knew he could help other entrepreneurs to grow a successful business. His franchising business has been hugely successful and very rewarding for Matt. He refers to a favorite quote by Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want, if will just help enough other people get what they want.”

The power of #franchising in growing your #business, on this episode of #Entrepreneur Unplugged Click To Tweet


  • [1:15] Tony G.’s introduction of his guest, Matt Miller.
  • [1:53] A brief background on Matt, how he got started and where he is today.
  • [4:21] How long after getting out of the air force did you decide to try to go out on your own?
  • [9:01] The amount of money Matt earned from the very first gum ball machine.
  • [9:53] Growing from 1 location to 150+ locations across Houston.
  • [13:08] How did you parlay this business into a fundraising opportunity for schools?
  • [19:14] Franchising and growing the business.
  • [23:08] How to connect with Matt.


School Spirit Vending

Free eBook: Live Your Dreams: Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Start a Vending Business

Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki


Learning to embrace the #power of #PassiveIncome, on this episode of #Entrepreneur Unplugged Click To Tweet Why you need to stop #waiting for everything to be #perfect and just start Click To Tweet

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