Community//

How Hiring Mentors Took 11-Yr Old Peter Szabo To Growing a 7-Figure Ad Agency

Facebook Ads Expert

What’s your backstory?

I remember sitting across the kitchen table when my dad made “that” decision.

The decision that would change our lives forever.

You see, when I was 11 years old, my parents invested all they had and money they didn’t have (by taking on loans, drying up all our savings) into an MLM company in hopes for a better financial future. Little did we know at the time, that things would change rather dramatically over the next few months. We went broke. So broke, that I was the only kid in my school whose parents didn’t own car. I couldn’t even buy a pair of sneakers that I wanted.

And I was miserable. I was pissed off, angry, broke, frustrated… and I really, truly wanted to change. But hey: I was an 11 year old kid, who barely spoke any English from a post-communist country of Slovakia where an average person makes roughly $2-3 an hour. I was destined for failure and there was no light at the end of tunnel… until that one lucky day, when I saw a movie called “The Secret” that made me naively believe something very important.

It made me believe (just as little kids believe in Santa Claus) that I could be, do, have whatever I wanted even if I was a broke 11 year old nobody from Slovakia.

With that courage, I decided to take my family’s financial situation in my own hands at the age of 11 and immediately went on Google and searched “how to make money online”.

I started earning pennies… roughly 4-5 cents a day. It took me months to make my first dollar. I remember at that time classmates would laugh at me, telling me they wouldn’t even bend over on the streets for the amount of money I was busting my ass for. I was humiliated, but I stuck with it. Eventually at 14, I had my first, major breakthrough. $14,000 in sales in 7 days. Roughly $4,000 in profit. It was my first product launch. It was good money, especially for a kid in Slovakia – however it wasn’t consistent, nor sustainable and I wanted more.

But, for the love of God, I could not break through this invisible glass ceiling that was crippling my income. Well, fast forward a couple years, I hired my first mentor for $5,000 at age 16. Guess what? I got ripped off. I still remember quietly crying in my room so I wouldn’t wake up my parents in the middle of the night. I busted my ass for years and it was gone overnight. I did manage to recover myself and those funds and guess what my stubborn self did next.

That’s right, I hired another mentor. Now this one was a huge success, I scaled to $10-20K/month, but it was still like a roller coaster. Some great months, some scary lows. I was maybe 17 at the time. By that point I figured out the secret shortcut to success was mentors. So I didn’t stop there. I found this guy posting insanely valuable content on Facebook, so I private messaged him to “take me under his wings”.

Deep down I was hoping he would give me special treatment and free coaching as I was so young… next thing I know, I’m on a sales call being pitched a $5,000 a month mentorship program and I pulled the trigger! After a couple months this coach invites me to fly into Dallas, TX for one of his private masterminds. He told me there’s going to be multi-millionaires there and even a guy worth $500M. Plus, at that time I heard so many stories of lives being permanently changed when they finally went to a live event: whether that was a seminar or a mastermind.

Deep down I knew there was something “special” about being there in person… about experiencing proximity with ultra successful people. So, I made the decision that I had to be there. So, as any 17 year old would, I asked my parents “Can I go to America?” And they’re the type of lovely people who would put off things until we’d forget about it. So roughly a week before the event, I ask my mom “Mom, it’s very important for me, can I go to America for this mastermind?”

All I see are tears.

She says “son I love you, but I’m not going to let my only child travel to the other side of the world by himself at 17!” So I said I’ll bring you too… and dad as well!”. There was only one problem, I already paid this guy a lot of money and I didn’t have an extra 5 grand sitting around for last minute plane tickets and extra hotel rooms.

I was super committed, but I only had 7 days left.

So that week I did everything from trying to “hustle and 16 hours a day” to “manifest money” with law of attraction. Literally 2 days before the event, this guy from Dubai shows up. We get on the phone. I make the offer “it’s $9,000. Would you like to use visa or mastercard?”

His answer took my breath away!

“Oh, that’s so cheap! Let’s do Visa”

Gosh! No objections, no friction, nothing…

He paid in full and off I went.

Needless to say, the event was life changing and I came back a different man. Now here’s the crazy part, I message the guy, text him, call him but he literally disappeared off the face of the Earth. It’s been years and I still haven’t heard back from him! I don’t know what it was, but I like to think of this way, if you’re ruthlessly committed, God, Grace, The Universe, or whatever you want to call it, will move mountains to help you achieve what you set out. I was maybe 18 at this point and income was consistent, life was good, but again, I hit an upper limit I couldn’t seem to go past.

So I went to another mastermind in France. First, we hiked the French Alps for 3 days, crossed borders to Italy and finally we hiked down the mountain back to our mansion in Nice, France. It was my turn for the “hot seat”, so I speak up. “I really want to speak on stage, but I just don’t feel good enough.”

2 minutes later, I’m crying like a little baby.

It turns out, that wasn’t my issue at all.

In reality, I had a deep, unresolved conflict with my father.

You see, at 17 I dropped out of high school. Teachers, parents, classmates, pretty much everyone around me told me that I’d be a nobody, a total failure and I’d fall flat on my face if I quit. At that age, I used it as a source of motivation. I wanted to prove them all wrong and eventually I did, but it really scarred me on the inside. You know, I’ve heard this concept of “fall in love with your customers… add more value… help people and you’ll be helped” but really it was mere intellectual knowing. It was all nice and cool, but I didn’t really, truly believe in that truth.

And now I know why, it’s because deep down, what was truly driving my success wasn’t impact or changing other lives.

It was money.

It was money… because I thought, if I had made “enough”, finally my dad would say “son, I’m proud of you.” I was really just craving acceptance from my own dad and I didn’t really care too much about giving back or changing lives until my inner child was wounded and in so much pain. I knew I had to sort this out with my dad very soon. So, I flew back home and it took me 2 days to grow a pair of balls to sit down with my dad and address this. I cried for a solid hour, had a very deep conversation, discovered more about his tough childhood and really just gained a sense of compassion and understanding that he was doing his absolute best (and really, just tried to keep me safe from failure).

Something shifted that day. I remember it was as if an invisible boulder fell off of my shoulders. Life literally became more vivid and colorful!

And the spooky part?

My business revenue quadrupled in one and a half months without changing anything in my ads or funnels. I think there’s only one reason behind it. Now that my inner child was healed, I could finally, really, truly, genuinely focus on impact, serving my customers and trying to prove myself. I really do think people feel that! People can tell if you’re genuine or in it to make a quick buck. That’s when I really dug deep and figured out why I do what I do because on the surface level it may seem like we optimize your CPC, CTR, ROAS and what not, but all we’re doing is pushing buttons, pulling levers, and deep down I believe we change lives.

Just a $1 vs. $2 cost-per-click variance can be the difference between someone having to work 16 hours a day and stressing their brains out and someone who’s calm, collected, living life on their own terms, has financial abundance and can choose to travel the world at any given time.

For instance, a 10% vs. 30% opt-in difference (which by the way is an extremely easy tweak that can be made in 30 minutes) can be the difference between someone stressing, struggling, sacrificing, being locked in their office, not being able to sleep at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering “where will my next client come from?” and someone who has absolute financial and time freedom. Someone who can say “you know what, I’m not working today and instead I’ll go see my daughter perform, or my son play his first soccer match and see his little face light up”.

And the best part?

I believe if we can change one business, one life, it will create a massive ripple effect.

That one person will impact 10’s, even 100’s around them. Then 1000’s and eventually millions.

It all starts with a simple Facebook ad that eventually snowballs into a movement and a change in the world.

So I know it may sound corny, but I believe that with the work we do, we literally change the world for the better.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

Initially it was money that drove me. You see, at 11 years old my logic was simple. “We’re low on money, life sucks… only if we had more, all our problems would be gone.”

So I went ahead, made a lot of money, life got better… however, I wasn’t fulfilled.

And I realized that money is awesome for a lot of things, but there’s more to life than just money.

So for a while I tried being just fully spiritual, giving, go all in on philanthropy… and while it felt good, it still wasn’t very sustainable.

So I had an idea: what if I merged money with spirituality? What if giving and taking was the same? And I came up with the concept of “get rich by giving back”.

What if making money was the most noble, most spiritual thing you do, as by making more money you get to inspire and change more lives?

What if the more you had, the more you could give?

So, essentially my drive right now is a healthy mix of creating prosperity and good for myself, my loved ones and others.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?

I’m certainly not a self made man. I’ve invested multi 6 figures into mentors, masterminds, seminars and I credit a lot of my success to them. There’s no one person in particular, as there’s been a lot of people who helped me on my journey.

The biggest lesson I learned is that you have a choice.

You can either try to figure out everything by yourself and make all the costly, potentially deadly mistakes on the way, trial and error and “struggle” your way to the top.

Or you can be smart and pay someone who’s already got what you want and simply have them show you the way while skipping all the trial and error in the process.

A good mentor may be expensive, but it’s still a 100 times cheaper and faster than doing everything by yourself. No one great has ever done it all by themselves.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.