After suffering through Joel Kaplan’s obnoxious YouTube ad (ya know, the one where he’s holding a sucker and flashing red instructions at you?), I had to do some digging to see what this dude was all about. Namely, is he a cokehead? And can he really help noobs scale their digital marketing agency to seven-figures and beyond, like he claims?
Here’s what I uncovered. Joel Kaplan was born in Venezuela. It was important to his parents that he to to college, so he did. It was here, at age 18, he launched his first business: Joel K Entertainment, where he DJ’d for weddings. It didn’t hurt that his family was already in the wedding venue business, and could hook him up him with gigs left and right. After a while, he was making good money, but his ego got in the way. At one particular wedding reception, he got into it with Bridezilla and her mom about the music he was playing, and ended up quitting.
Who cares? This was Joel’s first foray into business, and he was successful. Surely, the next thing will take off too, right? Wrong. He set out to make the next Facebook—a social media site called Mazoof—and it completely bombed. That taught him the importance of only building businesses that had a proven model he could mimic.
At this point, he’s still in college, studying business, but felt like he was learning nothing. So he switched majors to philosophy, eager to deep-dive into persuasion, knowing he’d need it to be a great salesperson someday. Joel went on to graduate from Temple University in Philly.
Next, he moved to Colorado and followed his dad’s advice to get a job for at least two years (to gain experience) before launching any more businesses. He took a job in education sales.
Eventually, he runs into this billionaire from the family who founded Cisco Systems, and joins her working for a nonprofit in Denver. After seeing said billionaire donate a million dollars to local schools, a lightbulb went off: “If I’m going to have an impact on the world, I need to make as much money as is humanly possible,” he thought.
That’s when he met his business partner, Marcos, and the two of them founded Atlas Digital, based out of Boulder, Colorado. Two months later, they were making $10k per month and Joel was able to walk away from his comfy 9-to-5 and never look back. It wasn’t all smooth-sailing though. The very next month they had plummeted to $3k. The next year or two was a roller coaster ride Joel wanted off of. Luckily, he didn’t quit though.
Because, fast forward to present day: Joel Kaplan says he has over 200 clients and rakes in roughly $250,000 a month from his agency. It’s unclear what percentage (if any) of that comes from his various courses and coaching offers, but there you have it—the backstory for Joel Kaplan and his StartOrScale.com funnel which takes you into a long-winded pitch for his 7-Figure Agency Flywheel thingamajig.