From Lockdown to Operation Freedom: The Entrepreneurs Who Went From Zero To 7-Figures In Sales In Under 2 Years While Traveling The World

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in June 2021 there were 2.4 million actively trading businesses in Australia. Of these, around 1.6 million (67%) had an annual turnover of less than $200,000.

Even if these business owners are great at what they do and genuinely want to help people, most businesses simply hope to grow, attract more clients, and make money. 

But, it seems too many are relying solely on hope to grow their business, and hope isn’t a sound business strategy.

Alisha Conlin-Hurd and Matt Craike, founders of Operation Freedom, are on a mission to eradicate ‘hope’ from businesses’ marketing and sales. They aim to help 1,000,000+ small and medium businesses serve more of their market, grow their revenue, and build a profitable business they love.

Why? Because even if a business is the “best” at what they do, it doesn’t matter if their market doesn’t know it. Most businesses fail to nail their message, market themselves properly, and struggle to close leads, which stops them from making as much money as they should, and helping as many people as they could.

The two entrepreneurs have discovered the secret formula to building a freedom business. In just 18 months, they hit an impressive $1 million in sales with their business, Persuasion Experience – all while traveling to 19 different cities around the world.

Like most businesses, Alisha and Matt launched their business into a hyper competitive market and even though they had launched 500+ funnels across 120 niches, they found themselves as “just another agency” in a sea of similar businesses at the outset, essentially a commodity.

Then, something clicked – they unlocked their ‘authority formula.’ It was like a magnet for dream clients, and it allowed them to finally charge what they were truly worth.

They managed to break free from the shadows by using their ‘authority formula’ to shine a spotlight on themselves, attracting billion dollar brands like Linktree, Kogan, and Wayflyer.

“In today’s hyper competitive business environment, you need to be an authority and you need to know how to profitably acquire new customers,” Alisha Conlin-Hurd states. She started her career in a call center, persuading people to switch their electricity providers, even though she’d never dealt with an electricity bill herself. At just 19, she consistently ranked among the top 10 reps in that call center.

She then went on to play a key role in building two sales funnels and CRO teams from scratch for companies King Kong and Foundr. In addition, she created 500+ landing pages and funnels across 120+ niches.

Alisha had to learn some hard lessons with four “failed” businesses under her belt before she decided to kiss her 9-5 job goodbye at just 27. 

Matt Craike followed an equally unconventional path to success. He began his career as a debt collector, moved into the world of accounting and then pivoted into videography and filming content all over the world. 

Matt then stumbled across an opportunity to work with two well-known figures from Australia’s Shark Tank – Sabri Suby and Davie Fogarty – in their 8 and 9-figure businesses.

Alisha and Matt realized something that many of us do at some point: that working for someone else could only take them so far.

The journey to ‘Operation Freedom’ began with side hustles, starting with their first $400 client and eventually working their way up to $4,000 and then to $40,000 clients. Each success bolstered their belief that they could make it on their own terms. Their unique approach with Persuasion Experience was getting results and using proven marketing principles to attract their dream clients. 

Alisha Conlin-Hurd and Matt Craike saved up what they call ‘f*ck you’ money – enough to cover six months of living expenses. Then, on an ordinary Tuesday in September, they took a leap of faith. Over breakfast, they decided to quit their jobs, knowing they’d make it work. Their side hustle had already outgrown their main 6-figure incomes.

Alisha and Matt offer a fresh approach rooted in human psychology and a genuine understanding of the target market. Persuasion, they state, is simply your way of helping them. “Most businesses have lost the art of ‘persuasion’. If you truly believe in what you do, you need to motivate and persuade people to take action and snap out of inertia,” they say.

Their mission isn’t just about creating a business; it’s about creating a business that offers true freedom. They admit that in their first year, they made good money, but they found themselves working tirelessly for the business. They were burning the candle at both ends, and it wasn’t aligned with their dream of freedom. So, they created marketing systems to provide more freedom

The most intriguing part of their story? They started their business during a lockdown. They used the power of LinkedIn to grow their business, sharing their expertise and forming strategic partnerships.

While most agencies and marketers believe that more traffic is the key to growth, Alisha and Matt emphasize that it’s more about making sure those visitors convert into valuable leads.

Today, they help other entrepreneurs find the same kind of freedom they did. They’ve been teaching their PX System, sharing the secret of attracting dream clients, building lead generation systems, and creating businesses on their terms.

Their next project, ‘The PX Coaching Accelerator,’ is all about helping others build businesses that offer financial success and true freedom. In their own words, “If you truly have a product or service that helps people, you have a moral obligation to get it into the hands of as many people as possible.”