An Amazing Vending Business Idea  – with Matt Miller of SSV

Tom Schwab of Interview Valet (see episode 012) was gracious enough to introduce me to Matt Miller a few weeks ago and I’m thrilled to have him on the Midlife Mastery Podcast. As someone who looked into vending many years ago, I was very keen to learn more about his business and the opportunity it offers mid-lifers looking to boost their finances or get more time freedom in their life.

I’m always fascinated by peoples’ backstories, and Matt's is no different. He started out in one of the coolest and most demanding jobs in the whole world – as an Air Force pilot. After nine years, he then moved into the corporate world, dealing in medical devices and later, advertising. Today, though, he heads up a truly unique vending business called School Spirit Vending, and it has delivered in excess of $3M of fundraising to the schools he serves.

In this wonderful conversation, we talk about how he left the rush and excitement of being an Air Force pilot to go into the corporate sector, and then go on to building a multi-million dollar vending empire. One thing I really like about SSV is that Matt took a proven delivery channel (vending) and matched it to something else entirely where there was proven demand (school fundraising). I think this is genius. We discuss how this idea came about and why it’s working so well.

Here are some of the issues we discuss during our conversation.

The Early Days

  • How long had he harboured the desire to be his own boss?
  • Had he tried other ideas in the past? How did they do?
  • How did he discover vending and when?
  • What was it about vending that appealed to him?
  • Did he go all-in right from the outset or did he make the transition into vending gradually?

The transition from corporate to full-time vending:

  • How important was it that this decision worked and did he have any kind of financial buffer or backup plan?
  • How long it took and how much work was involved in getting SSV to a point where Matt was convinced he really had something here.
  • Like any new business, there always obstacles along the way. We discuss these, too.
  • How difficult it was initially to get schools on-board.
  • When he started bringing franchisees them on-board.
  • The results his franchisees have achieved.
  • How big SSV is today.

The Transformation

  • How different his life is these days compared to when he worked a corporate job.
  • How this transformation affected his relationships, particularly with his wife and children.
  • The transformation amongst franchisees who had little prior business experience.

There’s a lot of talk about side-hustles, building multiple revenue streams and that kind of thing. These are some of the other topics we discussed.

  • The key characteristics he's witnessed amongst his most successful operators and what do they tend to have in common.
  • How much of his earlier career experiences informed his business decisions as he built SSV.
  • The military and his days in corporate provided Matt with a broad cross-section of principles to live and work by. We cover some of the key principles that have stood the test of time for him.
  • The three things he knows now that he wishes he'd known when he was just starting your business.

Finally, if this is your first visit to Midlife Tribe, you can get up to speed nice and quick by starting here.


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I love Peter's show – he has such an honest and open approach that I really relate to and find easy to listen to. As someone in his mid 40's myself I really relate to Pete's info. It's refreshing to hear that you're not on your own in this chapter of life. Thanks Pete.

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