John Meyer: You are right. We have a few companies that already exceed the one million threshold. One example is a single mother who eight years ago was worried about her children coming out of elementary school and being on a street corner. She decided to go all in with Arise. She was working crazy hours – 100 hours a week. She was basically working and sleeping. She had friends who said, “What happened to you?” And she said that she had gotten this check and that she was doing really well. So they asked her if they could do it, to which she replied: “Sure, just set up a legal entity, get a computer, get a phone line, get through these people´s certification process, and you are in business.”
They said it was too hard, so she took it on by herself. We didn’t know anything about this. She basically set up a call center in her apartment. She supplied the computers, the legal entity, the phone line and went through the certification, through which she coached them along. They became employees for her and today she has revenue that exceeds $2 million. She has 640 of these people working for her. We are proud to say her daughter is in university right now.
SM: That is awesome. That is a really interesting story based on the model you just described. Where is this person located?
JM: She happens to be here in Florida. The second largest business is in Georgia. She has 440 people working for her. If there are people who have aspirations to do the same thing she did, I don’t want these people to feel captured or trapped to their companies. We provide the person, who is Lexsine Mitchell, for example. If some of her people want to launch off and become their own company, we give them recruiter fees and say, “Thank you for bringing them to this level, giving them the entrepreneurial attitude.”
SM: Does that happen often – people start working for other people and then start up their own businesses?
JM: Very often. In a lot of regions people think setting up a company is a big step.They wonder about taxes, about other things. Having somebody who can carry you through that is a big positive for the model.
SM: Absolutely. That part of what you said is unique, especially in regions that have unemployment problems. Look at Europe: Southern Europe is in an absolutely sorry state – Spain, Italy, Greece, even France.
JM: You could say that one of the reasons is that they have such tough employment laws. People are reluctant to hire individuals, because you are stuck with them. The business model we have creates a whole society of entrepreneurs. Companies are willing to contract with us because they are not necessarily stuck with employees when they are not performing. There are two things I am working hard to overcome. One is raising awareness of the business model. We have people join on an ongoing basis.
The second is just the realization of the caliber of people you can gain. Our customers look at this and think, “These are people who are sitting around in their underwear. How can they possibly perform well?” The truth is, it is far from that. They have their own office environment and they are professional. When they say they are going to show up at 9 o’clock, they show up at 9 o’clock. They view this as “I am in business.” We promote that kind of attitude.
SM: It is growing. You will see that this mode of working from home, not dealing with a commute and being in a flexible mode is a very much a rising trend, and it is going to become big.
JM: We are not public, so we don´t give out that information, but we have been growing 20%-25% on average for the past five years. You are preaching to the choir on this. Some of it is just the awareness and acceptance of the business model. If you look at our customer base, three out of the four top telecoms are our customers. Three out of the five top e-commerce companies in America are our customers. Go across the list of retailers. They are our customers. If you go through the transportation industry, a lot of them are our customers. These are household names where you go, “Wow, they are doing this?” Unfortunately in our industry, not many of them provide referrals because they don’t want other people to know that someone else is doing their customer service.
SM: John, it was great talking to you. It was a very interesting conversation.
JM: Thank you.