This week on One Funnel Away Stories, I talked with Stefan Ceman. Stefan has been a bicycle fanatic for his entire life and has a passion for electric bikes. Because of his interest, he decided he wanted to be a part of the global bike industry. His goal is to make 3D printed electric bikes available to the world.
Stefan has always worked in a technical field. He is an engineer and started out working in automotive production. Through his dedication and work ethic, he worked his way up to a management position. Though he did well, he missed his sense of freedom and decided to take a chance on his dreams.
Along the way, he has learned how to rebuild himself and his business after hitting rock bottom. Everything that he’s accomplished acts as a lesson for himself and other entrepreneurs, and I think you’ll take great inspiration from his story!
When it doesn’t work out for the first time, fifth time, or tenth time, that’s okay! – Stefan Ceman
Stefan Ceman Turned His Passion Into A Business
Stefan started his career as an employee in the automotive industry. His background is in technical engineering. Due to his excellent work ethic, he was able to work himself up to managing over 350 employees. He was doing well for himself, and even though he was great at his job, he missed his freedom.
Eventually, he realized he wanted to go into business and naturally chose the bike industry due to his passion for bikes. He believes that cycling offers the greatest freedom and that electric bikes are the future, and he wanted to be a part of it.
His ingenious idea included making bikes out of 3D printed material and selling them with artificial intelligence in place. As he began developing the models, he realized that he would need to start selling them to survive. It led to him developing a standard sales shop and service center. The first funnel he created was to help him transition from the local to global space. With the help of the One Funnel Away Challenge, he created an electric bike conference.
How to Recover From Hitting Rock Bottom
“When you’re totally down, you can always go up”- Stefan Ceman
Entrepreneurs almost always hit incredibly difficult patches that they must overcome to move forward. Stefan Ceman decided to set up a brick and mortar business in Slovakia. But going in, he knew very little about business and had to teach himself everything. After a couple of years, he went bankrupt and thrust into challenging financial times. He was hardly able to care for his family and was struggling to get by.
His world turned upside down, and he had no idea if he was going to make it or not. The OFA Challenge helped to bring him back on track. He was spending so much time hustling trying to stay above water, which led him to take little time for learning. OFA allowed Stefan to refocus on learning. It gave him the confidence to know that he could recover as he listened to the success stories of those around him.
Stefan Ceman Explains the Benefit of Thinking Like An Employee
One of the biggest lessons he’s learned is not to get discouraged when things don’t work right away. When things are working, it’s essential to keep going and communicate as well as possible.
Stefan Ceman advises other entrepreneurs to keep going. When building a business can it can take longer than expected. It takes a lot of learning and growing to reach success, and it’s important to be patient with the journey.
Not Sure How To Get Started?
It wasn’t until my 17th funnel try, that it all started working, big time. You know what? There are PATTERNS of failure and PATTERNS of success. I WISH I had the One Funnel Away Challenge to guide me. Click to accept the 30 Day Challenge.
Get Russell Brunson’s Free Books
By The Way, I’m A HUGE ‘Funnel Freak’
If You Want A Two Week Trial To ClickFunnels, Click Here
- Inspiring and educational!by Lia Zalums from Australia
Great to listen to different entrepreneur experiences learning and making money online with click funnels
- Hidden G..by T_Holmes14 from United States
GOLD.. This podcast is HIDDEN GOLD. Thank you Shane for this Podcast. If you’re struggling in business. LISTEN to this EVERYDAY! 1,000 STARS
- Steve rocks the houseby grantegginton from United States
I love Steve’s podcasts. Such a great topic to be getting out onto the airwaves!
- Best Podcast With The Best Online Course Everby Become a Fearless Father from Spain
I was blessed to be on the first ever One Funnel Away Challenge and it changed everything for me from that moment forward. Plus I got to be on this show, how cool is that. Must listen!
- Right now action!by valerieleeneill from United States
Listening to episode 14 w/ Leanne Woehlke explain the next ONE THING helped me figure out my next step in my copywriting career goals! Thanks for this podcast!
- Possibility!!by Nashnan from United States
Love hearing stories of how others have been able to succeed in their entrepreneurial journey.
- Inspiring me to dig deeper and funnel better!by Sue Henry Talks from United States
Love these stories of people who have completed the OFA challenge, applied what they learned, and kept tweaking til they got massive results. I didn’t have success with my first one but after listening, I’m excited to keep trying and launching until I have success! OFA rocks and levels the playing field for entrepreneurs. Thanks, Stephen, for starting this podcast!
- Best course everby GTG Pod from United States
After managing the OFA Challenge for the last year and a half, I have seen first hand the impact it has in various business owners! Steve has an immense role in this success of these business owners and I love this show as he’s allowing them a platform to share their stories!! Must listen for any entrepreneur!!
- One Funnel Away is The Best!!!by Nata.M. from United States
Great coarse! The best coaches! They are always available, very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. I would recommend OFA to everyone who want to be successful!
- Another great podcastby Lesa024 from United Kingdom
Wow, cool podcast !! I'm looking forward for more episode. Keep up the great work.
- I can’t wait to hear these interviews!by Arushi-315 from United States
After going through the challenge myself, I’m excited to hear others successes.
- Love Steve’s contentby ryanhelms from United States
I always learn soooo much from listening to him!
- One Funnel Away is amazing!by RogerSmith! from United States
One Funnel Away is amazing!
- Where’s the BOOM???by SarasotaAgent from United States
Thank you for starting this podcast. Every day I’m studying, building, and implementing! The support and guidance you guys provide is priceless. I may have given up if it wasn’t for your support. Everyone comes into this thinking it’s going to be easy, and for a few it is. The majority of us must dig deep and change ourselves to become “good enough” to make it to the payoff. My goal is to one day be on a stage with people chanting my name. Not because I want to be a hero. Not because I’m rich, or famous, but because I made such a positive impact on their lives that they love me for it. Thanks for all your help in keeping this dream alive. D
- Great show!by Chase726842 from United States
Daxy and Ryan are amazing!!!
- Dom Caminitiby Domcaminiti2424 from United States
Stephen & Russell - you guys are awesome!!!!
- Super excited for more!by WhosChrisHughes.com from United States
The One Funnel Away Challenge was exactly what I needed to actually ‘finish’ a project I had been working on for years. It’s so easy to put stuff off, isn’t it? Well lucky for us we get access to some genius marketers and entrepreneurs through this challenge. They give us the formula and work with us to go through it... so there’s no excuses anymore. Can’t wait to hear more stories of this from Steve! Right now I’m actually building up a funnel for my Juggling Video Course and will be re-doing the OFA Challenge to make sure I finish it in time. - WhosChrisHughes
"The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors"
Stefan Ceman 0:00
When you totally down, you can always go up. And by the way, when I was totally down, I thought this is the bottom. It wasn't, it can still go below. It helps when you read about the people who did it, and who had the and also the people who did much worse than we had it. So if they could make it, maybe we if we try, we can make it. So
Steve Larsen 0:21
if you're like us, you've dreamt of building your own business empire and the freedom it can bring you. But today there's hidden traps on the path of entrepreneurship placed by Big brother and the big brands. So now we're forced to answer hard questions like how do we grow a real company without taking on debt or giving away ownership? Or how can we get leads and buyers for our own products when there's so much competition with deep pockets? Finally, those questions are answered and 10s of thousands of people are taking the challenge to walk the new path of entrepreneurship. Follow this podcast while I asked about their shopping journey from failure to freedom. You can join them too at one funnel away calm. I'm your host Steve Jay Larson and you're listening to one funnel away stories. What's going on? Steve Larson? Welcome back to the wolf hallway story show I am asking awesome entrepreneurs about their journey. The first businesses they started when they first started realizing you were an entrepreneur, all the ups and the downs. And it's been been a great time. I have the pleasure of being on with me, Steve Chairman, and very thankful to be on with him today. thing. Welcome to the show. Yeah. Thank you.
Stefan Ceman 1:27
I thank you, man.
Steve Larsen 1:29
Appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to come do this. Now just so people know what you're doing currently. What is your business right now?
Stefan Ceman 1:37
Okay, so I'm an electric bike fanatic. I was riding bikes and ebikes all my life. So that's the main main topic of all the all the businesses and for some eight years ago, I wanted to change the bicycle industry forever, globally. And we want to print 3d printed electric bikes to the world. Wow. Yeah. and sell them With the artificial intelligence in place, so kind of a different business model. And when we start developing these model, I found out that I cannot survive for the next few months. So I had to start selling those bikes. So I started selling. And on there, I developed my kind of a standard standard sale shop and the service center. So I learned a lot about the sales and about all the process. So along the way, I learned these kind of things. And now, I want to switch from local to global. So I organize a global e bi conference, and that's why I use the funnel for that. There was my first funnel.
Steve Larsen 2:36
So is a is a bike.
What was it for you? It was a electric bike, a conference,
electric bike conference, and you build a funnel to get people to come to the conference. Yeah, that's amazing. That's very cool. Actually, that was one of my first funnels was for an event as well. That's awesome. Very cool. So what was your first business ever?
Stefan Ceman 2:54
I started as an employee. I was an employee in the beginning. Yeah, I work in the production, automotive production. Okay, so I was kind of a technical. I'm an engineer. I'm a technical guy. So I started as an engineer. And then I worked my way into some kind of a management position. So at the end, I had maybe 350 employees. And I had a company, car, everything, everything paid nicely, but I missed the freedom. So I said to myself, Okay, enough of this, let's do something what I want. So I, I naturally chose the bike, the bike industry, so I'm back to the bicycle thing. So that's it.
Steve Larsen 3:30
So that's pretty amazing and very unique. You went from being an employee straight to the bikes, and then you stayed in the bikes. Yeah, mostly to hurt sometimes literally. Most people I see will will they kind of move around, you know, they do several different things, but you've just gotten better and better and better at the same industry. That's amazing.
Stefan Ceman 3:53
Yeah, I said to myself that this is my final station when I left the job. And I said, Never again, go into the job. I will make my own business. And I will stay in the bike business because I think he's the future electric bikes of the future. Yeah. Are you a writer? So you went to the parking lot? Yeah. Are you the writer? That's great. So we know what it means what it what it means the freedom, the freedom when you ride the bike, and you feel the air blowing. So that's
Steve Larsen 4:20
Oh, yeah, that's, that's, that's one of the backwards hat moments.
Stefan Ceman 4:25
Birthday. So So that's it. So that's why I chose bikes. I still enjoyed the most. That's the sport number one for me. So, yeah, that's it.
Steve Larsen 4:32
So what are some of the challenges you've run into? As soon as you left your job? And you started actually doing this business? What were some of the issues you had that were kind of unexpected?
Stefan Ceman 4:42
I for the first I didn't know how to run the business. So I had to learn everything from scratch, how to set up the company, and in our country. I'm from Slovakia. Here is everything much more complicated. For instance, now I set up the company in the us it was easy like, it was like this. In Slovakia. It's not that easy. It takes time. It goes money's really complicated. So I had to start these basic things. And I had to learn how to how to make the business how I didn't study some kind of business background, I didn't understand it. Everything about money about the cost about everything. And I had a brick and mortar business. So a lot of things show up showed up along the way. And two years ago, or three years ago, I went, I went bankrupt. So that was really hard. Hard times. Yeah. And I had kind of a problem, get over it. And we had some really difficult hobbies. But anyway, that was the I was 40 at the time. And he was really, I wanted to be a millionaire at 40. So I was a millionaire, but in minus. So there was not so good. And I didn't think that at that age. My wife, my mother in law had to cook for us. They had to buy groceries. I couldn't take care of the kid. So Julia, yeah, there was a crazy time. Yeah, but anyway, in those two years, we made a lot of things happen in the business under the grid. Rate pressure, we survived. And we made it like, work completely different. And we turned it upside down. So it was like, I learned a lot. I learned a lot. It was hard. Sometimes I thought that I cannot make it. But I hopefully made it. And now it's getting they're getting much better.
Steve Larsen 6:17
That's amazing. So I like to do thanks for being vulnerable. First of all, because I've never met anyone who's successful in entrepreneurship, who hasn't also gone through, just like crazy personal stuff. Like, for some reason, having success with an actual business opens up these things inside of you, that you didn't know were there. I think it brings self awareness. I don't know if you can speak to that as well if you've seen that, but I feel like one of the greatest gifts is having a little bit of extra time and just a little extra money to go spend on fixing your own head. You know, and all this stuff that's going on. I don't know if you've experienced the same.
Stefan Ceman 6:54
Yeah, it was. First I didn't think that this kind of shit can happen to me. I never thought about it. And then when it came, it is hard. And I was like, I really didn't know what to do. And for the two years, I was really hustling from day to day to make the money to go on, go on, go on. And last year, there was the when I started the OSA so maybe a few months before I saw a video of somebody I know it was a Grant Cardone, or somebody in the YouTube. I said, Man, you didn't study for years. You're stupid like, because before I was studying a lot, a lot. And for these two years, I was only hustling hustling, hustling, hustling. I also forgot about the vision about everything. So these videos some kind of brought me back to learning and kind of a self self learning and self process. So I started again, so that was kind of the the journey journey back to the right track. And there was an after that maybe I saw the Oh FA thing. And I said oh man that was 100 bucks ago was a joke, but for that he was great. Yeah, I
Steve Larsen 7:58
guess he specifically brought it up. occasion, what education? Do you feel like you needed to go get in order to start selling again and make you go further down your business path?
Stefan Ceman 8:08
I think I needed only to know that it's possible to do something from when you totally down, you can always go up. And by the way, when I was totally down, I thought this is the bottom. It wasn't it against to go below. And there was the biggest lesson when he's when he's going down. Everything is going down. He's going personally, it's going into business going into money with everything. So it can be really hard. And to survive those times. It was man, I didn't. It was hard. It was just
Steve Larsen 8:35
Yeah, absolutely. I completely get that. I
Stefan Ceman 8:38
just murdered that time. It helps when you read about the people who did it, and who had it and also the people who did much worse than we had it. So if they could make it maybe we if we try we can make it also. Yeah, it was a thing.
Steve Larsen 8:52
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's just knowing I like I just needed to know that it's all possible. Yeah. And it was the stories of other people sounds Like they really kept that going for you. So in the business right now itself, like, what, what are some of the challenges you're facing and you're trying to overcome?
Stefan Ceman 9:08
I switched last December, I let loose all my employees. Okay. Yeah. So what kind of free of employees and I said to myself, I didn't want to have employees anymore. I want to have a co workers who has their own businesses, because the employees most of the time, think like, give me something I work work for some for some money, but they don't think creative enough. And they don't push hard enough for the customers. Yeah. So I said to myself that I want to have a some kind of go business guys. So I work not only with the companies and with people who have companies. So first, I switch from employees to companies. And the second is that I'm switching from brick and mortar to more to online. But what is important that everybody knows what you do online, but anyway, I want to have the connection with the physical also, because with the bikes, it's necessary to have the physical kind action. And and yeah,
Steve Larsen 10:02
you know what I mean? No, I 100% get it. Absolutely. I think switching from brick and mortar to more online and completely changing the business model and going from local to global. So there's a, there's a challenge now. Yeah. So that's smart. I love that move, actually do the same thing with about 90% of the people I hire to work for me. they're required to have a company on the side or spilled something, you know, in the side, and it just makes them so much better. Yeah. And they're invested in there. They bring these new skill sets to the table. I haven't seen many too many people pull that off. So that's awesome.
Stefan Ceman 10:37
It's not very popular to say that. But anyway, it worked really great. Yeah, it worked really great. And I was already tired from saying to somebody that you can't, you must value the customer. You must do something more. The people don't care. If it's not their business, at least for some part. They don't care. They play the game, but they don't do this. So it's not Results. You are tired of saying the same old things again. Again, again, again, training new people again again again again. Oh, man. Oh, no, not anymore. Too slow too hard.
Steve Larsen 11:10
Yeah, no, I totally get it. I'm hiring. It's the same things like they have to have a business on the side in order to for me, it's one of the requirements. Almost everyone has that requirement, but it's um, which is doesn't work for everybody. But yeah, when you want to do it that way? Great.
Stefan Ceman 11:26
Yeah. Sometimes when you find a great person, maybe he can be an employee. I was also a great employee, because I was thinking like an entrepreneur and all that like an employee, but there are not many people like this. So you have to be lucky to find it. You have to work hard to find it.
Steve Larsen 11:41
Sure. You got to find someone though. I can't teach hunger very hard to teach them to be hungry. So you go in, I mean, you do a lot of changes to the business then. So you're hiring partners slash companies, instead of employees and then brick and mortar, the digital and then local, the global when going from brick and mortar to Don't we have a lot of people in that? Who are going to listen to this? What advice would you give to somebody who's moving from the brick and mortar to the digital space? Because that's, that can be a big jump or feel like a big jump?
Stefan Ceman 12:09
Yeah, that's first first if you have a working brick and mortar in generate quite a lot of money, if you do it, yeah. And when you turn it off, like I read it, so I, I literally switched thousands of customers from globe from the brick and mortar to online with the, with the new partners. So also the you have to communicate with the customers very, very clearly. So there was a hard thing about it. And also, if you have physical customers with physical products, then you really can can make the transition very easily. So what I did, I was training, I was searching for the partners, and then training them with our best processes how we did it in the company, because we were we are the number one in our country with the electric bike sales and service. Wow. So that's why we had that kind of a advantage. So I learned the new partnership. To get on our level to take care of the customers. And there was also the problem because we had one location and we work all over the country. It was not enough for scaling and not enough not enough for for growing fast enough. So that's why I knew that we had to do it through the partners. We had to train them hard and go up. But that's hard. It sounds nice. Sounds easy. Doesn't work. It's smooth. So the biggest lesson is when it doesn't work, so try to make it work. Yeah. So there's less than going keep going and do something communicate. And that's important. Yeah. Local, the global Yeah, which is part of digital digital, for sure. Hiring local to global was last year with the conference. And man that was hard. It was hard and he didn't work out and he didn't work out. Well. It was too small for the global. I think I was not satisfied. But I was also learning the finals, learning the conference, learning the the everything. So
Steve Larsen 13:58
it's a lot of things for the first time In the last year, it's awesome. I mean, it was great. It just exploded for you. Yeah. How did you decide what to learn and what to not learn?
Stefan Ceman 14:08
I think I will just slip from side to side and there was doing the learning. I really didn't know what I was doing all the time. So I had to learn something. I started to overpay, I was working with overpay. I chose like two funnels one local one global I was working on it at the same time. None of them did the work for the first time. So then there was there was a hard lesson and then I was like learning along the way what I needed what blow what blew up. I were like, reverse learning. What goes wrong? You have to learn fast.
Steve Larsen 14:38
is a very effective way something it's probably learn how to put up a fire. Yeah. Oh, well, I appreciate you taking the time here. Steve, this has been fantastic. Any any parting advice you'd give to somebody who's just starting out in this whole game?
Stefan Ceman 14:53
Yeah, the biggest challenge for me was that I expect things to move fast and to work out all the time. So when it doesn't work go fast. And when it doesn't work out for the first time for the fifth time for the 10th time, that's okay. You hit those like these. And that photo. before when I started, I said that I will build a business in three years. I didn't believe those guys who said that it takes 10 to 15 years. I was thinking like, no way I'm gonna do it faster. Now I know that it's not gonna happen so fast for it. Now I'm in the business for the eight years and I'm finally now I'm calming down from from the speed and accepting that it goes slower and that you have to learn so don't expect superfast results. Because you don't know at the beginning, you know nothing. So you have to learn. And that's it. Maybe you have to go forward. Don't stop. That's everybody says that. But it's like they don't stop when it's hard.
Steve Larsen 15:47
Yeah, it's 100%. You know, and what's interesting is, as great point you bring up to it's like, revenue can happen fast, but then you got to learn all these business skills, and then you got to go learn more about self management and care and then go back to the revenue and then cycle back to the employee and it's like this circle they just kind of go through. And that's part of the fun of the game. I think so.
Stefan Ceman 16:11
Yeah, there's a lot to learn.
There's a lot of fun just fun
when it's not that hard when you don't go down super fast. It's kind of fun to learn. Yeah, but all the time and learning at the same time maybe that's not anyway, the people who did it did it so it's possible hundred percent this lesson is possible because the lesson it
Steve Larsen 16:29
was all titled as one possible, possible, honestly, Thanks, Steve. Appreciate it. And for those of you guys are watching, listening now if you want to take the one funnel away challenge, like Steve did go to one funnel way.com we'd love to have you helps get your first or next funnel out the door in 30 days. Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Steve. This has been great.
Stefan Ceman 16:47
I think you're very much right and you guys hustle and work hard, man. He
Steve Larsen 16:53
Thank you. Thank you. Bye.
One more Marketing Secrets. You want to know how to create the file. people's eyes when they talk about your product. You want to know how I learned to write winning messages even for this show. You need Russell Brunson his best selling book expert secrets go to extra secrets calm now that books principles have changed my life personally, both in how fat my wallet is and how I interact with the very world around me. Inside you'll learn how to create your own high converting sales message and a lucrative offer to go with it. Take it from me, I'm not anti school or anti demand but almost everything I learned in my marketing degree was pretty much anti cash. All companies need cash flow and leads to survive and Russell Brunson extra secrets book will show you how to get both inside your own business. So skip misguided mainstream marketing and go right to a pure source. Get your free copy of Russell's book expert secrets calm now. This book is a playbook loaded with strategies that Russell Brunson is used to grow Click Funnels into a billion dollar Empire with over 100 Thousand monthly active subscribers. These powerful strategies are not new. They're just not known and they've helped me grow my own seven figure businesses. Learn what marketing really is and how to build a true cash flow and lead machine to fuel your own company. Go to expert secrets calm now, simply cover the small shipping fee and clickfunnels will send you your own copy for free. Go get your free copy at expert secrets calm now.