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Unrealistic Goals and Unlocked Potential: How Louie Torres Build and Sold Unleashed Consulting

Louie Torres Deal Closers Podcast

Louie Torres is a first-generation American whose family comes from Ecuador. His mom had Louie when she was 18, and he didn’t have another sibling until he was 10. So he had a lot of time to himself where he would script up his own movies or set up his Star Wars collection or just dream. And part of that dream was to find a way to make some cash.

Today we share Louie’s story of how he built and sold his digital marketing agency, Unleashed Consulting, after it pivoted twice, and after it nearly all came crashing down just months before he sold it.

Previous How I Built and Sold This Episodes

How Cristina Van Osten Revolutionized and Exited the Pigments Industry

How a Dog Training Guru Built and Sold Her Business

Breakthrough in Hair Care, Overcoming Tragedy, and a Successful Exit, with Beth Di Maio

From Kickstarter to Successful Exit, with California Beach Company’s Austin Wright and David Shoham

Laser Precision: How Strikeman CEO Scott Hutchison Built and Sold his Company

Netpicks’ 7-figure exit in the day trading industry

An ecommerce exit in the $150B+ supplements market

Cryptocurrency and Ecommerce: Brothers Bryan and Colin Aulds’ Successful Exit

How this 22-year-old built his eCommerce brand and exited for 7 figures

A high performance exit with GWA Auto Parts’ Gregg Alper

How RARI Exited the Supplement Space by Rising Above with Real Ingredients

How Adam Spiegel Built and Sold Ownloop

T-Shirts, Pests, Gas, and Social Security: Elliot Marks’ 4th Exit

This episode of Deal Closers is hosted by Jason Gillikin and Izach Porter, brought to you by, and is produced by Earfluence.


Louie Torres – 00:00:05:


But I was a solopreneur. I was making six figures. I was comfortable, but I knew that I wanted to do more. I knew that I wanted to, one of my goals was retire my grandmother. And I just knew that, you know, just having that income was for me, it was kind of selfish to be comfortable. Like I need to be uncomfortable because I have other people to help. And that’s kind of what pushed me to the next level.


Jason Gillikin – 00:00:35:


You’re listening to The Deal Closers, brought to you by, a show about how to build your e-commerce business to be profitable, scalable, and one day, even sellable. I’m Jason Gillikin, and on the show today, Website Closers Izach Porter and I talked to a founder who built and sold his digital marketing agency, Unleashed Consulting, after it pivoted twice and after it nearly all came crashing down just months before he sold it. Louie Torres is a first-generation American whose family comes from Ecuador. His mom had Louie when she was 18, and he didn’t have another sibling until he was 10. So he had a lot of time to himself where he would script up his own movies or set up his Star Wars collection or just dream. And part of that dream was to find a way to make some cash.


Louie – 00:01:19:


I didn’t grow up with the silver spoon exactly. And, you know, we lived in a three bedroom house with my aunts, my uncles, my great grandmother, my grandparents. I mean, there’s 10 people living in this house. Had really, you know, humble beginnings. And I always used to look back and think, you know, that was definitely one of the things that led me to becoming an entrepreneur, having to hustle with my family. My weekends as a seven and eight year old kid were not playing soccer at the at the tournaments, you know. With the rest of the kids. They were at flea markets. And it got to the point where I had my own little table selling Pokemon cards. I’m 10 years old making $100 on a Saturday.


Jason – 00:02:04:


Louie was also that kid who was selling candy out of his backpack in 8th grade and selling video games in jerseys in high school, and he was the one that would always run the Super Bowl squares and March Madness pools. He went to college at Coastal Carolina and took a boiler room sales job on Wall Street, where he learned how to be quick on his feet with objections. He then moved on to a different industry and a different sales method that would completely transform his career trajectory.


Louie – 00:02:28:


So I took a couple months off, got into the recruitment world. That’s where I learned consultative sales. That was a game changer for me. Not the hardcore clothes. It’s very consultative, asking questions, leading the conversations by finding the answers to the questions, having the potential lead prospect feel understood. Diving deep into their needs beyond their wants and figuring out what’s preventing them from making these jumps and doing those things. Consultative sales really changed everything. I had the skills from the tonality. How to communicate with people. But then when I added in learning how to understand people on the psychology side, it changed everything for me. So it didn’t matter what I eventually did in life with any of these businesses. I was going to be successful because I knew how to market them. And then I knew how to close.


Jason – 00:03:19:


I think that’s so important. We’re all into sales, whether we want to be or not. And you learn with the boiler room sales that. It is okay to hear no 100 times a day and how to let that. Brush off your shoulder. And that is really challenging. And then when you got into consultative sales or pain-based sales, it became much more about listening and much more about truly understanding what the customer wants. And I think to grow any business, that is exactly what you need. So what a great lesson there, Louie.


Louie – 00:03:58:


Yeah, I agree. I think active listening is the number one sales skill.


Izach Porter – 00:04:03:


And I think one thing that I would mention just from having worked with you, Louie that has impressed me is that you’re very self-aware. Just even the awareness to know that you’ve learned these skills and to say, these are the tools I have in my toolbox, that’s a great attribute for an entrepreneur. And I think something anyone’s listening to the show, really take some time to reflect on what it is you’re good at. Where you’ve learned those skills and how you’re applying them in your own business. Because it’s amazing how many people really don’t do that or aren’t aware of where their strong suits are. Because with awareness, then you can leverage those skills.


Louie – 00:04:38:


Yeah, 100%. I think a lot of people get into business because they’re passionate about something. And I did those things that didn’t work out because I didn’t have the skills. So I went to the corporate world to learn the skills so that I could leverage those and then find, go back to the thing that I’m passionate about. And I think that’s where a lot of people mess up is like I did is they start out with the passionate thing and not have the skills yet to be able to grow the thing that they’re passionate about.


Jason – 00:05:06:


So while you have a job, at some point, are you side hustling?


Louie – 00:05:11:


Always side hustling. You know what really unlocked it for me, guys? I was growing the skills without realizing where I was going to be going with these things. It was multi-level marketing. There was a multi-level marketing company at the time called Vemma. It was really big on college campuses. This is back when I was about to graduate Coastal Carolina. And this helped me unlock something in my mind into understanding like anything really is possible. And you have to remove yourselves from the crowds of people that are saying, hey, have realistic dreams, have realistic goals. It’s probably the number one word that I try to stay away from anyone. That says that word realistic, right? Because it’s usually followed up by something pessimistic.


Izach – 00:05:53:


Right. Dude, that is so true. What a good little tip there.


Louie – 00:05:59:


Yeah. I want to be unrealistic. I want goals that scare people. I want goals that people are like, wow, I’ve never even thought to even think that. And I think that changed it for me was I realized I was dreaming too small. Like I want to, you know, learning money and how to leverage money. I’m going to go work for a bank to do that. Like that’s too small. Why do that? Why not dream bigger than that? And the multi-level marketing got me thinking differently. Got me asking more why rather than just going with the herd. Questioning things more. And I think that that’s super powerful as humans is we don’t do that enough. We have like this herd mentality. We don’t question things enough. We don’t, we don’t take time from our day to day. And just go sip on some coffee. Early in the morning, watch the sun rise and just think and just ask questions and try to problem solving. You know, really push your mind to start going beyond what you’re doing in your day-to-day life. I think it’s so important to have that and to not just wake up, go to the gym, do my routine and go to work. Right? Just having a moment to reflect, I think is really, really important.


Jason – 00:07:07:


That’s great. So you’re side hustling with an MLM? Okay. And so you’re starting to make a little bit of money and you’re realizing the unlimited potential. You don’t want to be realistic. You want to be unrealistic. This is great. And then at what point are you thinking, you know what? I maybe I don’t want to have a real job.


Louie – 00:07:34:


I got hit with a targeted ad. I’m on the internet searching for answers on YouTube, the late night, three o’clock stuff that keeps you up in the morning searching for, you know, how can I make more money on the internet? What can I leverage? How do I use the internet? And I got hit with an ad. It was a guy, Billy Gene Is Marketing. Billy Gene owns this huge marketing agency. And it was about how to make money on the internet using marketing and all the things that I’ve been building my skills in. I just kind of dove in and everything he was saying made sense. And back in 2013, I had tried to create the first. Well, Dan Fleischmann, if you guys look him up. We did it at the same time. He’s actually one of my mentors now. The first influencer agency. So I saw the power of social media. I saw the smaller micro-influencers and the big followings and all that. So it’s 2013. Instagram is not acquired by Facebook yet. There are no ads on Instagram yet. So what I would do is partner up with small businesses, a little brewery, a little company here. And have the influencer go in, take the photo, like influence marketing before it even existed. I was one of the first people to put it near this.


Izach – 00:08:47:


Did you even call it influencer marketing?


Louie – 00:08:48:


No, I don’t even know. I don’t even remember what I called it. I called it like something connecting. World worldwide, Torres worldwide like connection group network was like what i was going for And. I didn’t really know what I was doing with it. I just knew that there was something there. But my problem was I didn’t have the skills. I didn’t know how to reach out to people via email, cold email. Then I went into Wall Street the following year and got the skills. But I had the idea. I didn’t have the skills. So the marketing agency that we just sold, Jason, was kind of like from that, that initial concept that I had 10 years ago. Now I learned the skills and I built it. I started creating in 2017, about four years after, when I got those skills from corporate America. And then, you know, finally able to exit in what, two months ago, a month ago, finally closed off.


Jason – 00:09:46:


So, all right, the agency that you just sold, the Unleashed Consulting Agency, right? That is a big shift from influencer marketing, like a general influencer marketing, correct? Unleashed is all about helping grow dog walking businesses. Am I right on that?


Louie – 00:10:06:


Yeah, dog training facilities, dog training businesses.


Jason – 00:10:09:


Dog training facilities. Okay. All right. So, there’s a lot of different pivots there from influencer agency to dog training, helping grow dog training businesses. So, with the influencer agency, when did you start to realize, okay, I don’t quite know what I’m doing here? And when was the first shift to what it would become today?


Louie – 00:10:33:


The first shift was the technology wasn’t there yet in terms of how to show ROI from influencer marketing. Businesses would say, how can I prove that I’m going to get anything back? The technology wasn’t there to show their engagement rate, the traffic sources and all those things. It just wasn’t there yet. Back when I was trying to develop this and I’m not a tech guy, right? So I, I wasn’t I wasn’t ready for that. Now, Facebook ads manager did have the technology, right? But instead of coming from the influencer, you’re just buying a piece of real estate on the social media platform. And you could have the content directly from your business or your page. The original, obviously the Facebook ads, Instagram ads. That is when I was like, okay, well, if I can’t prove that the influencers work where I’m at now, I can actually show the numbers from the Facebook ads manager. And I can show you gave me X amount of dollars, what the return is. That’s where I transitioned into that, into just buying, media buying and buying space on the platform and just kind of skipping out on the influencers. So my cousin was a chiropractor. He was my first local brick and mortar that I tried this for. Paid for the budget up front. Couldn’t believe it. I followed my Billy Gene Is Marketing Course. You know, everyone’s like, oh, these internet courses are scams. Some of them are, but some of them aren’t, right? You just got to get, you just got to do the research. I follow the steps. I go in, I help him make some money and I’m mind blown. I couldn’t believe that strangers were showing up at his practice and buying chiropractic care. It was incredible to me. Next thing you know, fast forward a couple years later, I’ve got 10, 12 clients. I’m doing pretty well.


Jason – 00:12:14:


What was the first test? How much did you spend on that first test? $100. $100 and all of a sudden people are showing up. And what’s the lifetime customer value of one person showing up at the door for chiropractic services?


Louie – 00:12:26:


At the time, $2,000.


Jason – 00:12:30:




Izach – 00:12:30:


Wow. What an ROI. And you fronted the money, you said, right?


Louie – 00:12:33:


I fronted the money. I didn’t want him to give me-


Izach – 00:12:35:


You went to your cousin and were like, hey, let me try this out and just do, let me be your test case. You put up the a hundred bucks and people start showing up his door and then you’ve got, immediately you’ve got proof of concept.


Louie – 00:12:44:


Proof of concept right away.


Jason – 00:12:46:


Nice. Okay, so who were the first people that were your clients that were not your cousin?


Louie – 00:12:52:


So down here in Charlotte, I had about three. Chiropractors within an hour of Charlotte.


Jason – 00:12:58:




Louie – 00:12:58:


And I was going to their places doing an in-person demo on an iPad. Like, imagine you’re the customer and I’d have them walk through it. It was so like… So different. It was like, compared to what we do now with the internet and Zoom. I enjoyed it.


Izach – 00:13:13:


Were you even able to geo target in that point? Like what year you said that was like 2017.


Louie – 00:13:17:


Yeah. Yeah. I, I did a little bit. I, um, I was cold emailing and cold calling. Because that’s what I knew how to do. I knew how to cold call. I was okay with, I had thick skin from getting told no over and over. Just to blur mine a little bit. So on the Wall Street. The numbers, guys, 500 dials a day. To get 100 connects, to get 10 leads. That was an amazing day. I think I only hit it twice. But that-


Jason – 00:13:46:


500 a day.


Louie – 00:13:47:


Yeah, so now I’ll… When I’m training kids to cold call for me or whatever for, for my previous businesses, like it was hard for them to hit $150. I’m like, guys, I did 500 a day. What do we, what are we doing? We have two phones side by side. I’d have one of these guys. Still got them. Right? Two on each side. And I’m like this, dial, dial, dial. I have the other phone on the other hand. Dial, dial, dial. The first person that picks up, I hang up the other one. And I’m like, hey, what’s going on? I do my little pitch.


Izach – 00:14:19:


You were physically dialing. You weren’t even using an auto dialing.


Louie – 00:14:21:


This is 2013.


Izach – 00:14:26:


You’re the OG. OG cold caller, man.


Louie – 00:14:28:


OG cold caller. And I think that was massive for me. And there’s a lot of billionaires that you follow up with. Their first jobs were door-to-door sales or cold calling.


Jason – 00:14:40:




Louie – 00:14:41:


It’s such a valuable skill.


Jason – 00:14:44:


So, all right, you’ve pivoted from influencer marketing to now more social media ad type of agency.


Louie – 00:14:52:




Jason – 00:14:52:


And you’ve had some success with chiropractors and some other B2C businesses in the Charlotte area. Okay. Gotcha. And you’re just perfecting what you can do with Instagram ads and Facebook ads. That’s really great. And so when did you start growing? Like, did you start building a team around this?


Louie – 00:15:15:


I was by myself. I was trying to grow and I was running into the agency issue of fulfillment and sales, right? As soon as I go and I’m growing the team, fires happen and then I’m jumping over here and then, okay, I put the fires out. Now I’m back to sales and I’m trying to call, cold call, email, get people on board. And then there’s fires. I got to jump back and forth. So that was one of the biggest challenges I had. I was a solopreneur. I was making six figures. I was comfortable, but I knew that I wanted to do more. I knew that I wanted to, one of my goals was retire my grandmother. And I just knew that, you know, just having that income was for me, it was kind of selfish to be comfortable. Like I need to be uncomfortable because I have other people to help. And that’s kind of what pushed me to the next level. Because my grandmother’s the reason I’m here. She raised me when I was young because my mother had me when she was 18 years old. She didn’t know how to be a mom. You know, my father disappeared. So, um, That was big for me to be able to retire her. She, until recently, until I sold the business, she was stocking shelves at Walmart overnights, 40 hours a week, 73 years old.


Izach – 00:16:30:


And did this exit help you help her retire?


Louie – 00:16:33:


Yeah. Upon the exit, one of the first things I did was I put my bank info into her mortgage and that’s it. Mortgage is gone. She had 10 years left on it. She bought a house late in life because coming over, she didn’t have… Doing cash businesses in the flea market. So she didn’t have, she couldn’t have proof of income. So later on in life, she got a job at IBM back when they had a big plant up in New York. My grandfather was, you know, making money cash. He passed away during COVID. And it broke my heart because I always wanted to retire them together. And I realized I wasn’t going fast enough. So I had to get out of being comfortable. I had to start pushing myself because I was like, I don’t want my grandmother to. You know, her be at Walmart for the rest of her life. I wasn’t able to do it fast enough for my grandfather. I don’t want to not do it for my grandmother. So I had to really push myself to get out of my comfort zone because I was like, I’m making good money, whatever. And I had to build something special so that I could afford to make enough money to retire her.


Jason – 00:17:36:


It’s amazing. Congratulations, Louie.


Louie – 00:17:38:


Thank you.


Jason – 00:17:38:


Yeah, man. Oh, cool.


Izach – 00:17:39:


Yeah, really. Uh… Impressive.


Louie – 00:17:43:


Yeah, and thank you, Izach for helping me with that, man. It is… Like, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, Jason, with the business sale. I mean, it was way more intense than I thought. In the beginning, everything was so smooth. All this interest, calls are going well. And then once you start diving in. It becomes a little bit more real. It becomes more detailed. You know, it, it gets a little stressful and it goes on a little longer than you imagine. And, you know, I didn’t have any, my expectations. I guess. I don’t know where the bias came from that I thought it would be a lot quicker than what it was, but now I know. But, you know, Izach you were amazing in just keeping my head cool throughout the whole thing. Because I was also going through a buyout of my other company with my business partner. So I had a lot of things going on at the time that were really stressful. And, you know, you helping me manage that throughout the process was amazing. But yes, I took funds from that, was able to retire her. And that was one of my whys. That was one of my whys.


Jason – 00:18:51:


That’s so cool. I’ll play therapist here for a second, Louie. How does that make you feel?


Louie – 00:18:57:


It was an unbelievable feeling. It was… Just like… A surreal moment. I’ve thought about it leading up to it so many times. And Izach knew this when I met him, I told him this. And when it actually happened, it was just, she was so grateful. She was so grateful. Like, you know, when you do things for people, sometimes, um, you don’t get the response that you would imagine you get and you kind of manage your expectations there. And Um, when you do other things. But this was a big deal to me. This is a lot of money that was, you know, putting towards this and She was so grateful, man. And it made me feel so good. It made me feel, it just made me feel so good. Like that was my purpose was to help her in that situation. Literally, she’s crying. She’s like, I can’t believe it. I could finally quit. Like, she’s so happy. Guys, she’s been working 40 hour shifts at Walmart for the last 15 years.


Izach – 00:19:49:


At night.


Louie – 00:19:50:


At night, overnight.


Izach – 00:19:53:


She didn’t want to do that. So you were able to help her. Get to a lifestyle improvement.


Louie – 00:20:01:




Izach – 00:20:01:


She doesn’t have to stay up all night.


Louie – 00:20:04:


Yeah, the biggest thing is her back started to go. And she’s like, I can’t do this. But she’s like, I can’t afford to not go to work. She’s like, I can’t. I got the mortgage, car. So. It was just a huge relief for her. And, you know. The thing with my grandmother is she needs something to do. She needs a purpose, right? So that’s the next thing is figuring out how she can help me at Obedient K9, giving her a job, something to do because, you know, without my grandfather, it can be lonely.


Jason – 00:20:37:


So, Louie, when did you start Obedient K9 then? And was Obedient K9 before you shifted the agency to Unleashed?


Louie – 00:20:49:


Yeah. So I’ll backtrack a little bit here. So I have the chiropractor marketing agency. Yeah. And it’s going really well. As I said, I’m not where I want to be, though. I’m just kind of comfortable. I’m making some figures. I’m cool, whatever. Coming from my humble beginnings, in my opinion, I’m doing pretty well. And we had a, like a life-changing moment where my fiance, Michelle, we move in together. Her chihuahua is a menace. Like, the devil dog. Aggressive. I can’t get near her, near her without him trying to bite me, you know. Guests can’t come into the house without him being protective and nonstop barking. Going out in public, walking him was just a nightmare. It was embarrassing. Neighbors would see us coming and turn around. So it was bad. It was really bad. It turned into like me or the dog. We got a decision here. And we didn’t realize that professional dog training existed. You think of like Petco, PetSmart, when you go in and get your dog food, they got the little eight by eight room. We didn’t realize that there were actual people that made a living professionally helping people like us. And the guy came over, you know, we reached out to this guy, he comes over. A few of the people said your dog’s too old to train. At the time, he was 10 years old, 10-year-old Chihuahua. And Chihuahuas can live up to 20. So that’s not even, he still had plenty of puppy energy, right? He wasn’t, you know, going down anytime soon. So we get some professional help. The guy comes over, does this free evaluation, right? He starts working with the dog. The first two minutes of him walking in the door, Alfie’s trying to bite his head off. By the end of this one hour session, Alfie is letting him pet him and taking food out of his hand and walking perfectly next to him outside. We were mind blown. We were like, holy crap, what is going on? And then you know what he does? He drops the price to keep going. At the time, it was like $2,000. We’re like, what? Cash? Like, yep, one-time payment, $2,000. We’re like. We can’t afford this. So taxes are right around the corner. Michelle gets her tax money back. She pays for it. And a six week program completely changed our life. We were able to take him out in public. He didn’t care about the other dogs anymore. He didn’t care about people. He was so confident. He was just paying attention to us. And next thing you know, every time I go home, I’m helping family and friends with their dogs. I’m like, hey, you should tweak this thing. That’s when I realized everybody has some kind of dog issue. Right? No one has a perfect dog. And I’m like, there’s a marketing opportunity here. I asked him if I could do his marketing. He said he was busy. He just relied on word of mouth. I’m too busy. The facility I’m in right now with Obedient K9, he had. And then he went out of business at the facility during COVID.


Jason – 00:23:50:




Louie – 00:23:51:


Because he relied on word of mouth. But anyways, fast forward to my marketing. I I’ve been toying with the idea for a year. And for some reason I’m too scared to pull the trigger. Finally, in March of 2020, I say, Michelle, my fiance, I’m rebranding the company. I’m going all in. I found, um, you know, the, the software company that I ended up moving over to. Um, so I changed my software. I rebranded the business. I started firing my chiropractor clients. I’m like, I got to focus on this a hundred percent. And, I hired a business coach.


Jason – 00:24:28:


Okay, back up a second.


Izach – 00:24:30:


Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff there.


Jason – 00:24:31:


Okay, why? You’re doing well with the chiropractors.


Louie – 00:24:36:




Jason – 00:24:37:


And one path could be, I’m going to go national with these chiropractors or international and helping out chiropractors. That’s a niche lane right there that you could really focus on. Instead, you decide, no, no, I want to go in a different lane. Why? Why not chiropractors?


Louie – 00:24:57:


So at this point, I have the skills. I’ve been media buying for years now. I’ve been closing deals for years now. I’ve been doing all the things for years. I have the skills. So I wasn’t passionate about chiropractic. And to be honest, I don’t even know if it worked. And I’m sitting here marketing for something that I don’t truly believe in and my heart wasn’t in it. And I felt like because of that, I wasn’t. Putting my best effort into it. I was there to make money. I wasn’t doing it because I thought I was changing the world. Now that I have the skills and this dog training thing really changed my life and I can’t stop talking about it and I can’t stop recommending this guy and I can’t stop helping people with their dogs. So I’m like, I have the skills, just move, change the niche. So that’s what I did. I changed the niche and I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to double down, hire the coach, rebrand. I’m going to go all in. I’m not going to have a plan B. I’m just going to go all in on this and this has to work. A week later, the world shuts down. The pandemic. And I’m sitting there and I’m freaking out. I’m like, oh my God, I just did all this. But I stuck to my, I said, I have to make this work. I cannot have a plan B. Plan B is death. Plan A is survival. I have to survive. And my business blew up. Everyone was adopting dogs during the pandemic. Everyone was at home buying dogs. And these dog trainers did not know how to get the business. So I became an authority in the space overnight because it was an industry that didn’t have a marketing guy, didn’t have a marketing business that was solely dedicated to it.


Jason – 00:26:40:


So how did you become the authority then? Are you doing videos? Are you doing podcasts? Like, what are you doing?


Louie – 00:26:48:


Funnels, Facebook ads. I would send them to webinars showing them this stuff and then saying, hey, this is how you do it, but you could just pay me and I’ll do it for you because you’re training dogs and you don’t have the time. So dog trainers have very little sales skills, very little marketing skills, very little business skills. Most dog trainers are passionate about animals and they’re like, I’m going to start a business. Again, what we were talking about, they didn’t have the skills. So that’s where the marketing agency comes in and helps them with that. And where I really bridged the gap and became very, very successful. And it’s something I learned from my coach who had a multi seven figure agency in the gym space. So now I have the skills. What am I missing to get to the seven figure mark? And it wasn’t the marketing, it was sales. I’m getting them leads like crazy. But they’re saying the lead quality sucks. We all know it’s not the lead quality. It’s the inability to convert leads into sales, which is a skill in itself. So we started to offer free sales training to every client. Every Thursday, they would come on with myself and my sales director. We would role play, read scripts one hour every single Thursday. And it changed everything. They’re feeling confident. They’re learning how to close. They’re learning how to schedule. Now they’re closing deals. Now their ROI is 10X. They’re giving me a thousand bucks. I’m giving them 10K every month. For every thousand dollars that they put into media buying, I give them back 10K. If they came to the sales training. The one that didn’t come would drop out and I’d have churn there. And we saw a direct correlation in the people that were coming to sales training and the ones that were not. And then we started to require it. That’s where it changed everything. And then I really didn’t have any churn. I was able to scale, grow. And the missing piece was teaching these business owners, I don’t have the sales skills, the skills of sales so that they can close my marketing leads.


Jason – 00:28:48:


So Louie, 2020, you start this business and the pandemic hits, you know, you’re nervous, but all of a sudden it’s kind of a blessing in disguise because everybody’s getting a dog. I know I got a dog during the pandemic. And we could have used some help with that dog. Anyway. But when did you get your first 20 clients with this? And when did you know, oh, whoa, this is something that I truly can scale and potentially one day exit?


Louie – 00:29:22:


So I started running ads. I was so used to cold calling with the other business. I started running ads and I got booked up quickly and overwhelmed quickly. And my business coach was like, your first person does not need to be a media buyer. It doesn’t need to be the funnel builder. It needs to be a salesperson. And I had always done things backwards. I had always been the salesperson and you hire fulfillment. And that’s when I learned, okay, you need to hire. Sales is everything. Once you have money coming in, you can hire and you can patch up things because you have money to patch things up with. But if you don’t have sales-


Jason – 00:29:58:


It solves a lot of problems.


Louie – 00:29:59:


It solves a lot of your problems, right? And then if you don’t have the money, then you have to be creative with how you’re patching problems. Versus if I have the money, now I can afford to hire the best people to fulfill the product for me. Instead of hiring D and C players, I can hire A and B players because I can afford them. So that was a big thing that I changed. And I got my first 20 clients in the first 60 days of rebranding. Hired a sales guy who was a friend of mine that I used to bartend with. He’s still there. He went with the company, was with me for four years. I changed his life. He was on unemployment, you know, just graduated college. He’s army, army, um, He was in the army for four years. Got his degree after he was bartending. He had no sales experience. He’s just very charismatic. I taught him the skills. He’s my sales director. He’s closed millions of dollars for me and went with the business during the transaction.


Jason – 00:30:58:


That is awesome. So when did you start to think about exiting? Was it 2023 at some point?


Louie – 00:31:05:


It was never on my mind. Really? It was never on my mind because… So, the other business comes into play. So we’re scaling the business. Everything’s going really well. The office that I’m in right now is actually Unleashed Marketing. I still own the space and I’m putting something different. I’m actually changing up the space. I’m doing something different with this here. So Michelle, my fiance, wants another puppy. Pandemic puppy. Pepper, who’s right behind me sleeping. And, I have access to hundreds of trainers. At this point now, we’re probably a year from the initial maybe eight months. I probably have 75 clients. It grew fast. And so now I have access. And all these people were loving me. And they’re like, They all want to work for you. I want to train your dog. I want to train your dog. So now I have the pick of the litter. So as a marketing agency, I see the behind the scenes footage, right? So we make their Facebook ads. We have them send us the raw footage. We make it look nice and we put it on the internet. So I get to see how long it takes him to train a dog. I get to see what’s really happening behind the scenes. And I found one guy in particular that was just stood out from everyone else. His dog was absolutely amazing. The speed in which he can get a dog to respond was incredible. So I worked with him through Zoom. He was in Virginia Beach, which is about six hours away from me. And we train my puppy through Zoom. I had my dog off leash by six months, completely obedient. And I was like, this is powerful. This is next level. The training I got with the Chihuahua was great. This was next level. I said, we need to open something up in Charlotte. So he came down, he would come down to Charlotte. We got a little house. We rented out. We would train in the backyard. This is 2022. Everything’s going great. I get into a 5,000 square foot facility blocks away from the Panther Stadium, which I’m in right now. And now this business currently is doing over a million dollars a year. And we’re getting ready to open multiple locations. So, things are going great. There’s a situation that happens and I have to buy out my business partner. I’m not the dog trainer. I’m the marketing guy. I’m Steve Jobs. He’s Steve Wozniak. So now I’m about to lose my main coder. What am I going to do here? So. When I, when I. Did the buyout. Which was unforeseen, not planned. I had to make a lot of adjustments in the company to keep my staff because my staff’s like, oh, my God, he’s our head guy. What are we what are we doing here? Louie’s leading the ship. He’s the he’s the business guy. So I had to bring up Kelly, who ended up becoming my general manager. I started. Guys stick around i started sending them to dog training school i started investing into them. And, everyone’s almost everyone stayed except for one person. I took on a lot more than I thought at the time. I was a 50-50 business partner. So now I had to make a decision. I was overwhelmed. I was stressed. I was going through a lot. I’m trying to run Unleash. Unleash is going downhill. My numbers are going down. Because I’m not there and we’re not doing marketing. I had to make a decision. I called, you know, met Izach I said, Izach I want to sell the business. I’m going to go, you know, fast here. Pedal to the medal. Give me six months and I want to list this thing. And then I went really hard at it for six months, made the right adjustments at Obedient K9 so I could go all in and unleash, bring the numbers back up. And then we were able to sell. But I wasn’t planning on it because Unleashed was doing the marketing for Obedient K9 for free. All my expenses were through Unleashed for free. It was like a free business for me. I wasn’t making any money anymore. I was breaking even, but I was taking all that revenue and I was plugging it into the dog training facility. So I wanted to keep it, but I just got to a point where it became more of a headache to keep both without partners at the other business.


Jason – 00:35:04:


Izach what do you remember about that initial meeting?


Izach – 00:35:08:


Well, Louie the first time we talked, just as you mentioned, the business that we ultimately sold. Was in decline. And I think our first conversation was, look, we can go to market now, but… Your valuation is going to be significantly higher if you can. Take a couple months and focus on that business and get the growth trend. To be upward sloping again. And one of the things that I… Always enjoyed. About working with you, Louie is that you could tell good advice and then go out and execute on it. So you did that, right? And you executed on it. You took six months. And we touched base a few times during that period. Six months later, it was like a whole different business. Your retention rate was up. Your churn rate was down. Your growth was significantly positive. You were month over month increasing recurring revenue. When we went to market, it was a really nice story to tell because you saw this nice pop in the business. It was obvious to see that this business, with somebody focusing on it, this business was a business that had still a lot of upside potential and a lot of track left to go. When we went to market, we had a great response on the listing. I don’t remember how many buyer-seller calls we did. We probably did six or eight buyer-seller calls. I think we had maybe four LOIs. And we were able to get the company under contract pretty quickly. And, you know, so that… That was a success and it was really in large part because you took the time to get the business really polished up and performing well. Before we marketed it.


Jason – 00:36:54:


Louie what did you do in that time to make sure it was back to being a much more profitable business and that it could pass the bus tests or the lottery tests, whatever you want to call it?


Louie – 00:37:07:


I got back into focusing on the marketing, getting in, uh, more volume of leads for my sales team and really focusing on them running the team. I’d given them too much freedom. I wasn’t really involved. We’d have, you know, I get a weekly email update. No, now we’re meeting every morning, 9AM what’s on the books. How’s the day look? How are we going to attack it? Just more of a. I’m a sales manager, I’m a marketing manager, I’m running all these things, but at the end of the day, I’m really pushing the sales team. And focusing there, putting people in other places to maintain where I could just focus on the sales. That was everything. If I had stayed in sales for three years, I mean, we probably would have been worth triple, but this is how it works as a learning experience.


Jason – 00:37:52:


Yeah, for sure. So you’re getting a few offers. How are you evaluating these offers, Louie?


Louie – 00:37:58:


So obviously the first part is cash. For me, I really, really, really wanted to get my grandmother out of there. And that was the biggest thing. How much cash forward are we getting? Obviously, there was a combination of being creative on seller financing and whatnot. For me, it was cash. What are we getting as far as cash up front? That was a big thing. Another thing that we talked about was I wanted to make sure that we could have someone come in. That’s, what was their vision for the company? Because this was my, this is my first like business that changed my life. And I would have just hated if someone came in, just took the leads, put it into their business. Like, was someone going to keep the name alive? Were they going to keep using the branding? Were they going to keep my team around? So those were big things too, because I didn’t do it alone. So whoever we were selling to, we wanted to make sure that they were keeping the team there or at least give the team the opportunity to stay on if they wanted to.


Jason – 00:39:05:


And the Ultimate Buyers, did they have experience in running businesses like this?


Louie – 00:39:12:


Yeah, the Ultimate Buyers had a marketing agency in the gym space. It was using the same software for a CRM. So literally, it was just very easy to transition. Izach I think through the 30 days. With the buyer. I met him for one hour. For four weeks. It was just so smooth and easy.


Izach – 00:39:34:


Yeah. Yeah. It was a, the, the buyer we found was. It was a strategic buyer, so he had a very similar business in a different niche. And this was a great plug-in for his business. There’s a few things that you did, Louie at Unleashed that I think were… Really smart and added value to your business. One of them, you talked about your lead sales guy and the relationship you had there. But you also had a really unique comp plan in place for him that really incentivized him to stay with the business. And that created a lot of stability that I think added value to the transaction. It was one of the value differentiators for your business. Do you mind just talking about, at a high level, how you kept him interested in the business after you sold it?


Louie – 00:40:21:


Yeah, so his commission was not a very, it was a residual base commission. So instead of getting a lump cash up front, it was a percentage as long as the client retained with us. So let’s say we did a one-year contract. He’s getting paid 15% on that one-year contract. Year two, when they renew, he gets paid 10%, as long as that client’s with us. So he’s building up a book of business. And let’s say he has a bad month and he has no sales. Well, he still is getting commission on everyone that’s retained. So he’s still getting a nice fat check. And so it just motivates someone like that to stay around and to stay with the company because the opportunity cost of them leaving, there’s a lot of money on the table that they’re automatically guaranteed every single month. For me personally, in the deal, I also threw an extra incentive and told him I was selling. And I gave him a percentage of the profit from the business sale to make sure he stays on. And I had him stay on for a certain period of time to make sure that the client is set up, their new owner is set up for success. And that kind of helped him stay. The buyer ended up just being, and I’ll be honest, there were some moments where I was like, I don’t know if this is going to work out. The buyer was just such a great person. And as we got to know each other, was very warm to the team and ended up renegotiating a deal with my sales director who had been with me from day one while we were building this business in my second bedroom, gave him a nice base salary, changed his comp, gave him everything he was looking for to stay. And it was great. So I kind of set him up and he finished it. So now he’s there.


Izach – 00:42:09:


Yeah, and I’ve sold a lot of digital marketing agencies and they are… Human capital intensive businesses. The people really matter because, the guy who’s going out and making the sales to fuel the pipeline that’s driving the rest of the business, that guy really matters or that person really matters. And so you did a great job of making sure that that was locked in. So the buyer knew like, hey, I’ve got this individual on the team who can generate revenue that’s going to stick with me for a variety of reasons. That was something you did differently than many other agencies I’ve seen because churn in these digital agencies is a big deal. And oftentimes we end up renegotiating employment contracts as part of a contingency to closing the deal. We really didn’t have to worry about that because the way you had taken care of your team and the way you structured the comp plans. And the other thing that was really unique about your business that I thought was a differentiator and a value add is the software you had. You mentioned it briefly, but I want to touch on it a little bit more. So you white labeled an off-the-shelf CRM product and then customized it. For, for dog trainers. And so you’re offering, you had actually a SaaS component of your business. You had a, we’re going to do the marketing and lead gen for you for a price, a monthly price, recurring revenue. And then we’re also going to provide you with the CRM so that all these leads go into your CRM system. And there’s a subscription fee tied to that, that CRM software, which was branded as your software with your dog’s name. Right. If I can, if I can mention that it’s called Pepper. But I just thought that was so brilliant because not, it solved a couple of problems, right? Obviously it created recurring revenue and software subscription, which is a, which is great to market. I mean, I love that from a marketing perspective and selling your business, but it, but it really created a, a customer base where even what you saw is even if your customers like when they got filled, your marketing was good. I can’t book any more appointments. My calendar’s full. But they kept paying you that subscription on the software. And so… That was so valuable to your, to your business because that provided a really good base for. The buyer to kind of build on as well. How did you get that idea? Like what, cause I haven’t seen anyone else do that in an agency that I’ve sold. And I just thought it was such a good integration. It was valuable. And I think it helped the clients that you were serving. So how did you come up with that?


Louie – 00:44:40:


That’s a good question. The first thing was before I used this software, I was using 20 different softwares, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, ClickFunnels, like every it was just a hassle. So finding the software was a game changer in itself. Then the white label idea came from someone else in the gym space that was doing it. And the gym space is very similar to the dog space. In the gym space, you have big gyms that are similar to dog training facilities. And then you have the dog trainer that works out of their home that just goes to the client’s house, just like a personal trainer might go to someone’s house or meet them at the gym. So it was so similar. And I honestly took a lot of ideas from that industry. My offer, my irresistible offer is called the transformation session. I took that from the gym space. So a lot of it was just finding an industry that’s already built out, that’s more sophisticated and bringing those ideas to a niche that has no sophistications at all. That’s just kind of been overlooked. Everyone’s big on the pet boarding and the doggy daycare, but no one ever talks about dog training. I just kind of got that idea from another industry and brought that in. You’re right, though. It was huge. It all came in because they needed leads, but they stayed because they had systems and processes and technology at the palm of their fingers that could organize their business in an industry where they were still using paper and pencil.


Izach – 00:46:12:


And they were very sticky, right? Because they get comfortable with that software. It’s integrated. It’s their calendar. It’s their billing, right? So they’re paying you the subscription fee and it becomes like the backbone of their business that they bought for you for marketing and lead gen. And then all of a sudden, that’s also running their business.


Louie – 00:46:30:


Yeah. And the branding was really important. The branding was really important for two reasons. One, people didn’t know the actual software. So they thought if I lose this, I lose all this data. Right. So that was obviously the business decision behind it. But what I started to notice is my more educated… Business owners, they knew what it was. They knew it was white labeled and they stayed because I customized it for dog trainers. And I kind of built it for them so that they didn’t have to do that on their own. The third thing is… It started building a brand. It started building a brand where people wanted to be part of the tribe. And they. People were talking about it. They’re like, oh, you have to try this Pepper app and Pepper this and Pepper that. And it started to create like a culture that I didn’t even plan on having. It just happened. So I think it originally started as a strategic thing to, you know, lower churn and it turned into a culture.


Jason – 00:47:29:


Very cool. Louie so you have already bought your grandma’s house or bought out the mortgage for her. And, uh, So I usually ask what, What? You’re going to buy with the money, but I already have that answer. So now I want to know. Louie what’s next? You’ve got the dog training facility. Is there something else on the horizon for you?


Louie – 00:47:56:


Yeah. So I actually just bought a house. I bought a house in Dilworth, Izach You know where that is right outside of Charlotte.


Izach – 00:48:04:




Louie – 00:48:05:


Thank you. I’m kind of like a Grant Cardone believer in if you’re an entrepreneur, buying your home is a bad investment. And I think it is because that’s a lot of money that you could be putting back into a business that can create more revenue for you, right? But when you get to a point where you do have a little bit of passive income, it helps. And you know what I was thinking, Izach. Because I’m telling myself, don’t do it, Louie, don’t buy the house. It’s a bad investment. It’s a cash burn. It doesn’t bring you back money. And what I’m thinking to myself is, Well, the business that I sold, is not a tangible asset. I sold a multiple of future cash flow. It’s a virtual business, right? Like I sold the customer list and those things. So I was like, you know what? I consider that passive income. It’s future passive income. It’s not earned income today. So I bought a house and that’s how I justified it to myself. So I did buy my first house, Jason and my fiancee, Michelle, her first home. So we’re really excited about that. We gave the dogs a backyard. We’re the millennials that are like, I’m buying a house to give my dogs a backyard. So I did buy a house as well in Dilworth and the rest of the money would just go back into Obedient K9. Like my thing is I want to have zero. I don’t want anything. Cash sitting there is useless unless you have it in high interest earnings. So I said, you know what, invest it back into it and let’s go and open up two more locations. So that’s the next thing. I want to open up two more locations before the end of the year. One’s going to be up by you, Izach and Cornelius. One’s going to be down on Fort Mill. I’m going to keep it on 77. So it’s very easy for staff to help out if I need people from the other location. And honestly-


Izach – 00:49:48:


How soon are you going to get the Cornelius location opened up? I want to, I want to sign up right now. I’ll be the first client. Seriously.


Louie – 00:49:53:


Yeah, definitely.


Izach – 00:49:55:


Partially good.


Louie – 00:49:57:


Definitely by the end of the year. Towards the end of the year. And where I really think I can go with this, guys, I have so many people reaching out to me on partnerships and want to become investors once they see it in person and see how mind blowing it is. And. Right now, the immediate goal is to do that. Ideally, once we have proof of concept that multiple locations can run off the same exact concept, franchise.


Izach – 00:50:21:


Let’s do it, man.


Louie – 00:50:22:


That’s the franchise play, 100%.


Jason – 00:50:26:


Well, Louie you’ve got unrealistic expectations and you hit those unrealistic expectations. So congratulations on what you’ve done so far with Obedient K9 and with Unleashed Marketing. And I know you’ll be contacting website closers again pretty soon with whatever it is that you have next.


Louie – 00:50:46:


Yeah. Honestly, it might happen sooner than later, Izach so we’ll see. I got some other time.


Izach – 00:50:54:


We’re ready. We’re ready.


Louie – 00:50:55:


Got some, a couple other things I’m cooking up too. So we’ll see.


Jason – 00:50:58:


I know you do. Well, Louie thanks so much for coming on the Deal Closers podcast.


Louie – 00:51:03:


Thanks for having me, Jason. Thanks, Izach


Jason – 00:51:12:


All right. That was Louie Torres. For more information on Unleashed Consulting, head to And for information on Obedient K9 go to Thanks everyone for listening to this episode of the Deal Closers podcast brought to you by If you like the show, be sure to rate us, write a review, press the follow button, or share with your network. And of course, if you’re looking for help selling your e-commerce business, be sure to visit This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence. I’m Jason Gillikin, and we’ll see you again soon on the Deal Closers podcast.