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From Hell And Back: The Story Of Jeff Lerner

Many of us are satisfied with the normal nine to five work grind. We are content to work for someone else and do so for the rest of our lives. Not Jeff Lerner. Jeff knew from a young age that he was not going to be working a traditional job with a traditional role. He didn’t want to find himself doing the same thing every single day for the rest of his life.
“I wanted to be an entrepreneur my whole life. I had one job when I was 16 years old where for 3 weeks I worked in the supply room at a law firm delivering staples and ink cartridge refills to ornery legal secretaries. After three weeks I got fired for “talking back to a secretary” and I knew then I would never be fit for traditional employment. A year later in a moment of panic after realizing I was going to end up having to have a job someday if I didn’t change my course, I dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a piano player.” Jeff recounts.
He decided, after years of overhearing and chatting with millionaire and billionaire business people (while playing piano gigs at their houses) that he was going to try and give the business world a go. Unfortunately, it was a rough start for Jeff. His businesses began to crumble shortly after their start as the recession hit and he was hit incredibly hard.
“I had taken on hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to open 2 restaurant franchises and was spending 10 hours a day trying to keep the stores afloat while also playing gigs. It was 2007, the middle of the great recession, and my businesses and my entire life were falling apart. I had developed arthritis in my wrist, compounded by too much piano playing and hours of doing laborious work in my franchises (like chopping vegetables). I got evicted from my apartment and had to move in with my wife’s parents. Not long after that my wife and I separated, which was really awkward considering I was living with her in her parents house. I basically hid in my room and, undeterred from my dreams around entrepreneurship, I continued searching on the computer for ways to make money and trying to turn my life around,” Jeff states.
For many people, this would have been the end of their journey. Jeff refused to give up. He began pursuing online affiliate marketing. This led him to his first surplus in a very long time. He was a quick learner and soon was a sought after expert in the field. He decided to take his skills to the next level and help others.
“I decided to take my skills and use them to help businesses grow their business. In spring 2013 I founded Xurli, which would be my primary business for the next six years.  I had previously trained with multiple business coaches and finally had a chance to fully use what I had learned. The training paid off and I was able to grow a team of over 50 people.  In six years we provided digital marketing services to over 10,000 businesses and did over $30 million in sales and in our last two years in business (2017 & 2018) we appeared on the INC 5000 list as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.  In 2018 I sold the agency and created ENTRE Institute – the world’s first COMPLETE ecosystem for people to build the life of their dreams.  Originally after I sold my agency I figured I’d take some time off but I was spending so much time answering questions about how I turned everything in my life around I concluded there was a market for educating people on what is possible in the modern economy.  60,000 students later it appears I was right!” Jeff explains.
Jeff has no plans to slow down now. After rebounding from such a difficult point in his life, he has proven that anything is possible if you have a good mindset and are not afraid to keep trying. In the upcoming year, he plans on scaling up his business and much more.
“My goal is Scaling ENTRE to $100M in revenue, launching a software company, and finishing my book,” Jeff says.
For those hoping to start their own business, Jeff recommends taking advice from those who have been successful in life both personally and professionally. As Jeff remarks, he is proof that anything is possible:
“Basically I’m proof that anyone can do anything if they are willing to go through hell, always working on themselves, and willing to ignore the doubters and naysayers.”
To find out more about Jeff, you can follow him on instagram here and check out his website here.

Sofia Vargas is a News Columnist at Disrupt Magazine & a Senior Associate at Now Strategies Group

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