Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Max Heaney. I was 30 years old when I started Max Options Trading. My main product is education. I look to help anyone who truly wants to learn stocks, stock options, and technical analysis. My goal has consistently been to teach people the tools and techniques to use within the stock market. One of my mottos is “I do not fish for you, I teach you how to fish so you can make a secondary stream of income”. With this approach, I have been able to educate thousands of my subscribers on stocks and stock options.
As an entrepreneur, my story is unique to many others that you may hear as I started my adult life as a high school dropout. Through determination and focus on making this field my career, through many failed trades and many profitable trades, through finding a strategy that worked for me that I could share with others, through resilience and devotion, Max Options Trading was born and continues to help people around the world reach their goals.
We’ve now reached about $24,000/month in revenue with over 400 active monthly members.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
After almost a decade in the military and law enforcement, I was seeking the missing piece in my life. At the time when Max Options Trading was being born, I was a 9:00-5:00 salesman. Although I was a great salesman and can talk to anyone as you will see in my Discord Chats and Social Media, this did not feel like the final stop in my journey. I joined a Discord Group of like-minded individuals that were discussing strategies to use within stocks and stock options. After being an active member of these groups, I started to realize more and more people were asking ME questions. I then began the thought, “This may be it, this could be what I have been seeking”. I continued to be an active member of these groups until multiple people reached out to ME, asking ME to run a group of my own. This is when I created my first Discord Group.
After starting my group, I quickly realized that not only were people seeking my advice but that my advice was leading thousands of people towards their goals. Soon after opening Max Options Trading, the business became profitable. Now not only was I helping other individuals reach their goals, but I was also reaching mine. This felt different than any other business idea I had ever had in the past because any other idea always had some type of brick and mortar platform or a permanent type of product, But as I began to build this fully digital business and as it continued to grow, it quickly grew into something I did not even fathom in my early on the conception of Max Options Trading.
I learned that although I wanted to do as much as I could on my own if I leaned on people that had previously experienced the same thing I was currently going through, I could have minimized some mistakes I made and could have possibly reached further successes quicker than I did.
When I started Max Options Trading, I had ZERO education and a background in this area. I read almost every book that was published on this topic to begin becoming an expert in this field. I observed how and what other traders were doing. I took rigorous notes of what I liked and what I did not like about what I was reading and what I was observing. I started to make safe plays within the market and tested out strategies that I imagined could work. Some did work. Some did not work. I continued to craft my trade by persistent trial and error until a strategy I would use over and over repeatedly worked. I then took riskier trades and options. Some did work. Some did not. It was through this very process that I have now created 3 of my very own strategies that traders all over the world are using to this day.
Some entrepreneurs paint their stories through rose-colored glasses. My validation with thousands of other traders is my transparency. I have shown the entire internet my daily in and out profits and losses. The reality of trading is that some days are green and some days are red. Some days are super green and others are super red. As a teacher to other traders, it is only just that I demonstrate both sides of this coin. It is through this type of transparency that I have gained not only the trust of other traders but also their continued support.
At the time that I started Max Options Trading, I had just previously bought a house that I was dumping all of my current money into. I had just quit my 9:00-5:00 job to put all of my sweat and tears into building Max Options Trading and on top of that all, COVID-19 had just hit the United States. It was through this isolating and trying time for the world, that my back was up against my wall, literally as I sat against the wall in my unfinished and unrepaired house typing on my mini-tablet, that I began to truly build Max Options Trading.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and developing your first product.
Max Options Trading is a subscription-based product. The first product is a monthly subscription where members pay a monthly subscription fee to be a part of a Discord Group. The second subscription is a lifetime subscription where members pay a one-time fee to be a part of the Discord Group infinitely. All products offered are completely digital and occur directly through the Max Options Trading platform.
It took weeks, if not months to set up all of the servers involved in the back-end operations to ensure the site was safe and secure. The safety and security of my platform have always been at the forefront of importance. Third-party integration measures were put into place to build the ultimate trading platform.
If you have an idea, just start. Whether you start, whether you fail, the most important thing to do is just to start.
The website was designed by a third-party company, where I was involved in every single step from each link, to each font type and font color. I designed the logo and the branding. I put out surveys to hundreds of subscribers about what they would ideally be looking for in a trading platform and any aspects they did not find used to come up with the ultimate features for my platform.
Start-up costs were very minimal, estimated at $4,000. The most costly aspect of starting a fully-digital company is outsourcing the website design and third-party integrations. What the start-up needed the most was my own time. I spent hundreds of hours creating every single element that you see on the Max Options Trading website. As far as legality, there is a disclaimer on my website and server that investing is high-risk and you should only invest what you can afford to lose. There are Rules of Regulations and Terms and Conditions on the website as well. This is also all transparent and a part of the sign-up process to become a subscriber to my services.
Describe the process of launching the business.
My launch was already determined by the amount of support I already had from the community. I had over 100 members already ready to sign up for subscriptions to my group. These are the members that were asking me to create the group in the very first place. This outpour of support is what drove me to launch Max Options Trading.
My launch strategy was pretty simple. I planned to launch the Discord server and website on the same day and invite everyone who said they would join. All I needed to do was to “build it and they will come”. On day one, Max Options Trading had 50 subscribers. Most of those 50 subscribers are current subscribers to this day. The initial website was very basic and simple. The website’s main purpose at that time was to be a sales funnel to get people in the community interested in my services and links for them to join my company. Although it was clean and to the point, it has significantly grown over time. Now the website is fully integrated with many functionalities.
Since the cost of the start-up was low as outlined previously, the only other aspect other than some initial savings, was a few credit card swipes. With a combination of savings and some credit used, I was able to launch the website with no business or personal loans.
The biggest lesson I learned from starting Max Options Trading is to always ask for help when you need it. There are many experts within the industry and within the very process of how to launch a very specific business. I learned that although I wanted to do as much as I could on my own if I leaned on people that had previously experienced the same thing I was currently going through, I could have minimized some mistakes I made and could have possibly reached further successes quicker than I did. My biggest advice to my readers, ask for help, even when you think you don’t need it.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The biggest factor that has attracted and retained customers is social media. Remaining authentic and transparent in all aspects of trading on social media has its challenges. Social media is a vehicle for spreading awareness of your company, but also leaves the door open for anyone to comment on your business. As you can imagine, there are many pros and cons to social media being the biggest driving factor in acquiring and retaining subscribers.
Acquiring subscribers is a consistent practice of Max Options Trading. We are always acquiring new subscribers as previous subscribers leave the company once they have reached a level of mastery that no longer requires the consistent support and knowledge of the Discord Group. We do not look at customers leaving as a negative event. They came to Max Options Trading to learn the tools and strategies needed to reach their maximum potential. When a customer leaves, it is another subscriber I can say I successfully assisted in reaching their goals.
The most important thing that I have learned is “that problems are building blocks to success.” Learning how to navigate each problem or issue that arises, translates to your company taking another step up the ladder of success. Each problem that is overcome, makes the company stronger as that mistake should then never be made again.
Our company has grown from its initial 50 subscribers to over thousands in two years. I hired a digital marketing expert, Jake From Marketing, to run advertisements across social media and Google. He is constantly checking what competition is doing in this industry and how to rise above what the vast majority is doing. I have a graphic designer who creates the ultimate content on social media platforms. All of these integral team members drive the traffic to my platform which ultimately results in more subscribers to my education groups.
Max Options Trading does a combination of social media posts, Facebook ads, weekly newsletters, consistently updating our SEO across all platforms, and partnerships with multiple companies. The social media campaigns consistently work because it is a digital company and gives me a chance to show off my product. This is why you will see a FREE 7-day trial across any ad or platform. We are confident that once you try my product, you will buy the product.
The weekly newsletter shows our supporters that may not be subscribers how the company is performing and why they should consider becoming members in the future. This consistent newsletter also helps to acquire subscribers who may have been considering joining and now have more reasons as to why they should join. SEO brings as much traffic as possible to the website organically.
I bring existing customers back through social media that they are following, through my consistent newsletters and email campaigns that are targeting old subscribers. Through continuous information that is posted across all platforms, the current and old subscribers always have a reason to continue following the newest strategies and tips. This makes joining and staying with Max Options Trading consistently enticing.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Currently, the company is thriving in today’s climate that is saturated with other companies that have the same business model. Regardless of the competition in this industry, we remain to be at the forefront of all platforms for this type of trading business. We have been profitable since the very first day of launching and continue to be profitable to this day.
At this time, our customer acquisition rate is $12.00-$15.00. Our monthly ad spend is about $3,000-$4,000. Our cost of goods is $60.00 for a monthly subscription and $600.00 for a lifetime subscription. Profit margins vary depending on the membership but are typically above 40% after two months. Our return on ad spend has maintained a 2:1 ratio on a slower month and a 6:1 ratio on a higher month. Our customer lifetime value is about $180.00-$190.00 per customer.
Most importantly, as an entrepreneur, you have to follow your gut. You have to put in the hard work and determination to meet your personal and financial goals. You need to keep building your brand based on the original principles that you founded the company on.
Monthly traffic on social media platforms ranges from 100,000-to 300,000 accounts reached. The website reaches 18,000-24,000 people every single month. The average time that a customer spends on the website is about one minute to a minute and a half. The conversion rate on our website is 3-4% which shows how vital social media outreach is to our success. We currently have an email subscription list of over 4,000 people, all of which get the weekly newsletter.
On Instagram, we have 32,000 followers, on TikTok, we have 29,000 followers, on Twitter we have 1,000 followers, on Facebook we have 1,400 likes on our business page, and on Redditand Youtube, we have about 2,000 followers. Year over year growth is over 200% to date with over 1,100% growth in our first two years of business.
Today, operations consist of a CFO, three analysts under the CFO, a full-time educator, a full-time digital content creator, a full marketing team, as well as a software development team. From conception, we have expanded to merchandise and added education programs. We currently offer a free course on YouTube. The current business model is effective and the plan is to continue that business model as the future unfolds.
The short-term goal is to continue doing what we are doing while keeping retention numbers high. The long-term goal is to take this fully digital education model to live conferences where we can reach thousands of people to further educate them on stocks and stock options.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
It is important to have a great team around you to support you, and give you constructive criticism. Building successful companies take time, patience, support, a great team, and consistent learning.
I do not come from a digital world. I come from a military background. I had to self-teach myself about how websites work on the back end, how to market, and how to figure out all of the logistics of a digital company. These were all obstacles that I had to overcome as none of this was in any of my official background or training.
I joined partnerships that I have broken off on many occasions that to this day, I do not know if they could have further advanced my business, but these were all tough decisions to make. Most of these partnerships ended based on creative differences. Some of these partnerships have proved to be very beneficial for all parties involved. And some partnerships I know ended because they could have hurt my future business endeavors.
Most importantly, as an entrepreneur, you have to follow your gut. You have to put in the hard work and determination to meet your personal and financial goals. You need to keep building your brand based on the original principles that you founded the company on. This will continue to build the most genuine business with deep-rooted values and principles.
Although an unfortunate time during the pandemic of COVID-19, it was a time that a lot of people stopped working, were stuck at home, and were searching for other means of income. These factors of timing ultimately helped to drive the company and what we were selling. As a company that provides strategies for possible profits, our company saw exponential growth during this period. Even as the pandemic ended, our growth continued because the major switch from working in an office to working from home was still prevailing.
I believe that the best skill I have is my genuine, authentic and transparent personality. I would not say I have specific ‘habits’ that drive the success of my company, but what I will say is that my drive to teach people this craft and reach the best version of themselves is the driving force behind my agenda in growing Max Options Trading.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Calendly is used to book coaching & mentorship sessions.
Stripe is used for billing & subscriptions.
MailerLite is our email tool.
Google & Facebook Ads are used for advertising.
Printful is used for our e-commerce merch store.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of the first books I read. I suggest this as a first read for every person who is trying to accomplish a financial goal.
The Four Hour Work Week is influential because it demonstrates how you can achieve your goals while simultaneously having harmony between your work and life balance.
The Bigger Pockets Real Estate Podcast even though it does not cover my specific industry, it covers many people who have reached out with their real-estate dreams. This inspired me to reach for my dreams within stocks and stock options.
The Bigger Pockets Business Podcast is full of young entrepreneurs talking about their successes and even more about their failures. This helped me to determine what I wanted and how I could go and get it.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Biggest tip….just start. I think the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make is that they verbally tell people their ideas, get discouraged by other non-entrepreneurial mindsets, and then do not start. If you have an idea, just start. Whether you start, whether you fail, the most important thing to do is just to start.
If your first company succeeds, you're a part of the 1% that succeeds on their first business and you are on the road to success. If your first company failed, you have learned more than any person that never took the step of starting.
After you start the first time, you can start the second time, and then you will continue to build your problem-solving stairs to success. No one successful has ever been unsuccessful. Failure is a part of success, but if you never start, you will….never succeed as an entrepreneur.
I often see other people going into businesses and ideas without analyzing all aspects of the choice that they are about to make. You have to look at it from your side, the side of your competition, and the risk and reward that choice brings. People often lose focus and begin to doubt themselves. Owning a business has its ups and downs. If you can stay encouraged just as much on the downs as the ups, you are on the road to further success. If I visualize this, it is a wave that gets bigger and bigger but as you wave down, you cannot get demoralized, because just as it goes down, the wave will go back up.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are currently not hiring, but everyone is encouraged to reach out via email as we are always looking for the next inspiration @ [email protected].
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.
Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:
- Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
- Step by step guides on how to start and grow
- Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
- And much more!
Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.
Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.