Michael Neeley of Consciously Speaking on Building Authority

BBR 258 | Building Authority

No one really expected that the population of coaches would blow up to the way it has today, which is good because that only means that there are a lot of people willing to help other people and send their message out to the world. Michael Neeley started his podcast “Consciously Speaking.” to help other coaches launch their own podcasts because he knows their message can wake up the world one person at a time. He explains why this is also a good way of building authority whether you are a life coach, a business coach or a solo-preneur.

Thank you to Bailey Richert from BaileyRichert.com for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is Nicole brings on such a wide variety of guests and they're always talking about interesting topics that a lot of other podcasts don't discuss.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Michael Neeley of Consciously Speaking on Building Authority

Michael Neeley, thank you so much for joining me here on the Business Building Rockstars Show. It's always such a pleasure to talk with you, to get so much awesome energy from you, with you, for you. I'm excited to share you with my audience, so welcome.

Thank you, Nicole. It's exciting for me to be here and see you in your genius, too. This is really cool.

Would you like to let us know anything that you're working on right now? I know you've got a lot of stuff on the go. Before we jump into your story, let everyone know a little bit how you're serving and supporting people best now?

The big mission that I have in the world started out with my podcast of Consciously Speaking and that is to help wake up the world, wake up the planet one person at a time. The way that has evolved to where I am now is that I also help other visionary solopreneurs to spread their message, to grow their authority and to get their word out in a way and create their own ripple effect. That's what I'm doing right now and it's pretty exciting.

You're doing that through which way? How are you doing that?

One of the ways is helping people to get their own podcast launched and out into the world. That I consider as the little bit of a tip of the spear because I go on from there to teach and mentor people in creating the four foundational pillars of authority. My live event I have coming up is in June called Your Authority Blueprint Live in which I help people to use the exponential power of combining your podcast and virtual summits and speaking from stage and authoring your own book. When you parlay those in a proper fashion and learn how to work those to repurpose imposition and gather your exposure, it can skyrocket your authority. The next big evolution of that is my live event coming up.

How did you discover these pillars? How did you recognize that this exists and come up with the blueprint?

 BBR 258 | Building Authority
Building Authority: You really have to delve into that to think about why we do what we do and that helps you then in building your character.

It started out with me starting in the reverse of the way that I teach it now. I started out with a book idea and I was approached by a major publisher who I was connected to through a friend and they liked my book idea and they said, “We're very interested in it. Can you please fill out this acquisitions questionnaire?” As I'm going through this questionnaire, it started to dawn on me that the question they were asking were related to how big is your following in Facebook, how big is your mailing list, how big is your social media following on Twitter. I'm starting to realize that they want to know how much can I sell the book that they're going to make the lion's share of the money on. It dawned on me that in order to become one of those people who are going to be popular with a major publishing house, you need to have your following. At that point, I started out with my podcast, which has very little barrier to entry and started growing my audience from there. That's when I formulated this whole plan of the evolutionary process of building authority.

What were you doing before your podcast? You had the idea for the book but were you already working as an entrepreneur or was this coming straight from TV? What were you doing at that point when you decided to write a book and then to have the podcast?

I was already working as an entrepreneur in the respect that I was coaching clients and the coaching that I was doing was based on a lot of the premises of my book concept. It was sitting down with one of these clients one day and we were having some great a-ha moments during the session and I asked if I could record it and he was totally cool with it. We recorded the session and at the end, we played it back and he said, “That sounds awesome. You should start a podcast.” I didn't know what one was at the time. I knew the word but I didn’t know how one work or I'd never listened to one of my life. Two weeks later, I launched my first podcast. That was pretty cool and exciting. This is a natural flow from the entrepreneurial work that I was doing as a coach to now coaching and still expose more at the same time through interviews. Some of my episodes were just me talking about particular topics I would talk with the client about.

Coaching, how did that happen? How did you wind up becoming a coach?

I was an actor first and foremost. Since fourth grade, I knew that's what I wanted to do when I grew up. As I was doing my acting career, I was studying human psychology. Any actor who’s worth their salt, you really have to delve into that to think about why we do what we do and that helps you then in building your character. I was doing all types of ontology work from Landmark education and Tony Robbins and studied with a lot of the greats in that realm of beingness. As I got out of the acting world and got into the pharmaceutical industry, that’s a transitional phase for me.

What kind of pharmaceuticals are we talking here, Michael? I know you're from California.

These were the legal kind and it's an interesting field in there. That's where I was first exposed to what's known as a double-blind study, which had a big impact on the thinking behind my book because it made me realize something. A double blind study is a test of a particular drug against a placebo and the physician is not allowed to know whether or not they're giving you the drug or the placebo. At first, I was like, “Why the hell does that matter? They're not taking the drug. You're the one taking the drug. Why does it matter if the doctor knows whether you're getting the real deal or not?” The reason is that statistically, they could prove that if the doctor knew and therefore subconsciously thought you would get better, it actually impacted you getting better. As I started to look more deeply and I thought, “We do this every day in all aspects of our lives.” We have subconscious seeds that we plant when we expect people to show up in our world a certain way and we have these expectations around ourselves, the way we're going to show up. They impact the outcome, the results. I thought, “What if you could shift those to make your world more full of possibility to be who you really want to be and to have more of the world show up the way you would like it to simply by your expectation shift?”That's where the book evolved from.

The podcast is Consciously Speaking?

Consciously Speaking was because I knew a lot of coaches in this realm having been in the soup, in this mix. I started to meet a lot of other coaches who are also on this path of conscious evolution and looking deeply our ways of being human. I started interviewing them for my show to get them more exposure and one thing led to another. Here I am now, 340 plus episodes later.

Do you love the Business Building Rockstars Show? Then, let us know. I'm looking for loyal listeners who want to shout from the rooftops what the Business Building Rockstars Show means to you. If you'd like to record your thoughts, visit BBRShow.com/fan and you could be heard introducing an upcoming episode. If you are loving what we are doing here on the Business Building Rockstars Show, then join me and my amazing rockstar guests backstage in the BBR Show Listeners Lounge. There you're going to find raw, unedited video interviews with me and my rockstar guests before they released to the public and you'll also get extra golden nuggets of wisdom that my guests shared that are only available in the Listener's Lounge. It's totally free to join and you can get access right now by visiting BBRShow.com/subscribe.

In 340 plus episodes, what are some of your key takeaways that you've had? I know for myself from the beginning there's so many things that I've learned, that I had tweaked, and I do differently, but are there any things that stand out that you have learned and also that maybe you have been surprised by since you first conceived of the podcast?

There are several. One of the big ones for me although it may not be such an a-ha type of thing, but it became more solidified over time and that was during my first whole season. I asked a question of, “How do you define consciousness?” It varies slightly from person to person but the overall base of it, the gist of it, is awareness. To go a layer beneath that, and this was where it was an evolution for me, is that it's an awareness of not just awake like I can see there's a light there, there's a screen there, there's a camera that I'm looking into, not that type of awareness; the awareness of the Wizard of Oz story. It’s like, “What's the man behind the curtain doing? What is this awareness of I am this human being having this experience right now? Can I shift to that observer and be aware of this thing here that is thinking and seeing the lights, the camera, everything else?” That was a big one for me to dig more deeply into that and have that solidified.

Was there anything else? Anything else you've taken away from your podcast career so far?

The other big one is the variety of stuff and as part of when I created the show is my mission statement was that I don't necessarily believe everything that I'm going to present on the show, but that's not up to me. You might very well believe it. I want to expose you to it. During this process, I've been exposed to some pretty wild stuff that some of it I try very hard to keep an open mind about things. I would go down these rabbit holes with people. For instance, the Akashic records. There are these records that exist where someone can go into and read a record of your soul. There's so much that I'm still learning and still being exposed to and that's also pretty awesome about the show.

Consciously Speaking can get pretty out there I say but it's from a space of acceptance, experience, and understanding of people's different beliefs about what that is. Now you have a new podcast, I don't think it's launched yet, has it?

It has not right now at the time that you and I are speaking.

Your second podcast is?

Buy This – Not That. It is more of an entrepreneurial podcast. As my evolution continues to morph, I started helping people to get their podcast launched and to grow their audience and their tribe. I had to learn more about a lot of the technical background of how do you facilitate these things, hosting platforms, websites and everything else. I found myself answering the same questions over and over again with many of my clients. I decided that instead of providing the same answers over and over again, I’ll create a podcast in which I review the technology that visionary solopreneurs use. Anything from mail management systems to webinar hosting platforms to list building strategies. Not just the technology itself, but also trainers, people who teach people how to do certain elements of the solopreneurial journey. That's the new show.

It’s like a resource library that jumps off of the page rather than having just here is some possible resources for these things on the website. You can listen to and get to meet the people behind those resources.

Let's say you're looking at a mail management software like Mad Mimi or MailChimp or AWeber. There are a lot of sources where they'll do quick little snippets of reviews but I wanted to go more in depth to them for starters. Then the other part is the whole reason of the title, Buy This – Not That, isn't that I plan to diss any of the particular providers of anything but to make sure that people are aware that this may not be right for them at their particular phase of business. That's the whole piece of it and I don't think that you can know that necessarily in a little snippet. You'd need to go a little more in depth.

Up until now, I've had challenges with finding a CRM that's perfect for me. I've been happily using HubSpot for quite some time and I have not outgrown it because it is for big businesses, but for what I wanted to do and the way that I operate and the way I best function. I love to drag and drop. I'm a Trello fanatic. I wish I would've learned about Trello sooner. It's changed my life. I'm very process-oriented and I like to drag and drop and I like pictures and colors. My Google calendar has 50 different calendars each with a different color code so I can at a glance see what I have going on and know that's an interview on the BBR Show. That's an interview of me I have to be prepared for. That's a call with somebody in my network, that's a call with a potential client, that's a call with a client. I have all these things that work really well for me and so far, I have not found a CRM that gives me everything I want.

I've just come across Freshsales. I'm going to be in touch with their people in the next couple of days to walk through it with me because I'm looking at this and I'm like, “I think this might be it.” I'm not sure that it's 100% yet. That's why I'm like, “Maybe it's good enough right now but I'm looking for that it thing and I can read so many different reviews on all these different things.” I would love to hear a conversation with the founders or somebody who is an expert in and part of the company to really explain here's who we really shine with, here's the user that will get the most out of this product or service.

I interviewed Jeremy Ryan Slate and he is a direct competitor of mine. We look at it not as competitors but as colleagues and we were able to talk about that and to say he got to voice his style and what have you. We talked about it before he came on and he said, “I don't want to step on your toes.” I said, “I don't think you're going to step on my toes because of who you are and how you show up.” You're not looking to disparage me or to say, “Nicole is wrong” or anything like that. You attract a different person. For example, people who love Gary V or like Grant Cardone or those types of personalities will hate me if they work with me. They'll hate me and they'll probably love Jeremy. Whereas somebody who is a little more subtle and quieter, maybe a little more understated, they'll probably hate Jeremy and they'll probably love me. It's nice I think that you're providing a platform for the people behind the businesses to share their stuff and that you're there to facilitate that exploration for your audience.

 BBR 258 | Building Authority
Building Authority: There's so much of what we do use that we’re barely tapping into the true potential that we could get better at.

I enjoy that part of it. Another cool benefit for me is this is the self-serving element of it that comes in, that I'm learning more about what the capabilities are of a lot of these things. For my CRM, I like Ontraport and even in my interview with the folks at Ontraport, I learned some more stuff that I had no idea it can even do. There's other value in it as well that I'm trying to unearth for people because there's so much of what we do use that we’re barely tapping into the true potential that we could get better at it and find our lives even more productive and a lot more free time.

Here's an interesting thing in my world. CRM, Customer Relationship Management System, is used for a lot of things that are not the same. For example, Ontraport would be in line with Infusionsoft and Constant Contact or ConvertKit. They all have different things. For me, that CRM that I use is Simplero and if you don't know Simplero yet, I'd love to introduce you to the owner of Simplero because it's phenomenal and it would be very interesting for people to learn about the differences. I had Infusionsoft and that was not the right fit for my business. I was told it was by salespeople and so there wasn't that unbiased person like you really saying, “Let's look at it. Is this a right fit or not and who is it for?” I used a couple. I use Simplero for my email marketing. It also houses my memberships. It also takes care of my affiliate. It’s my payment processor. There are tons that it does.

On the other side, when I'm looking at managing a relationship that's deeper, for me, because I have a service and because I do live interactions, I needed a different type of management system. I deal with hosts, I have to nurture those relationships. I have to put in a lot more information. I found that was not the best solution for that and I wanted something that was more robust and focused on sales cycles. This is from my own experience and what I'm going through. Even though something's called one thing and I have a bunch of different social media manager or automation and things, but they're not all good for the same thing. That's why I have multiple.

That more and more of these things like CRMs or even training portals like Kajabi, they're wanting to become your one stop shop. They're doing more and more and so like Ontraport and Infusionsoft. They're like CRMs on steroids and things like Kajabi and ClickFunnels. They're trying to be your lead pages, your shopping cart, your email marketing platforms now where they're able to do all of this internally. It makes it harder to keep up with like, “What do I really need and what can I do without? How do I make them all play together well, too?”

On one hand, it’s great because we, as the end user, it's like when computers came out, when the desktop, the household computer, the IBM came out, it was extremely expensive and it was clunky. Then laptops came out, the same thing with cell phones. I used to have a bag. I used to have a car phone that was in a bag, so I could transport it and it was around twenty pounds heavy. Back then, these things were expensive because they were innovative and new. Then as time went on, the next best thing would come and then those are even more expensive driving the cost of the basic down, the innovative, the start. There comes a point in time where there are so many producers of this that it's driving the price of everything down.

Now, you can get a cell phone for $0 and that was unheard of fifteen years ago. That's what's happening in the digital world. That's what I'm seeing is that when I purchase lead pages, it was the best and pretty much only option. Now, there are so many competitors. It's a question of, “Do I stay with them because they're reliable and because they have updated and I have so much on lead pages or do I look at a different solution that maybe isn't going to cost me so much money?”

Those are all totally viable questions as the market continues to change and because of those questions that you're asking, many of these developers are taking that on and going, “How can we add something like the lead pages where the people that won't have to pay for that as well?” That’s bundled in. That's making it harder for the places like your lead pages of the world who then are looking at, “What can we add to what we do to make ours better? It just keeps on growing. I do think there is a value in being super good at what you do even if it is that particular niche. While a lot of these other developers will take on adding an element like a landing page service or something, they're not the best at it. It's not necessarily their wheelhouse per se. Sometimes, you're going to want to stick with the original who that is their expertise until you're a bigger platform can grow up to that and they're trying. Sometimes, you're still going to want to have a few different elements to get them all to play well together.

Something that I see people fall into a lot and I fall into a little bit is once you invest in something and then you find something that's a better solution that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run, it's like, “But I already bought this.” You stick with something that's ineffective or not ineffective, but it's like the times have moved forward and there might be something better, but you stay stuck and, “This is already working,” and not really see that. You don't compare what the opportunity cost is versus what you're going to save potentially or how much time and effort it's going to go to move over to the newest thing and all these different things. I cannot wait for your show to come out personally. I'm really excited about it.

I'm excited too and it's really close. It's weird when I talk about my first podcast. I had to launch it within two weeks of learning what one was. Now, what's getting in the way is I know too much about everything and so I'm trying to make it a little more perfect, a little more robust right out of the gate and I need to relax a little bit and just go, “It's going to grow. It's going to get better over time. Just get it up.”

With love, yes, you do. The first time I heard about this show is almost a year ago. Keep looking for Buy This – Not That on iTunes or do you have a site set up for it? Is there somewhere that they can go to?

I'm probably going to host the podcast itself on my Your Authority Blueprint website, which is YourAuthorityBlueprint.com, which is just about to go live. Then I will have the podcast sit there. It's timing it all out and massaging that together. I can go from coming soon to coming real soon.

Is that the website people can go for signing up to the live event if they want to join you?

There are a couple of spots they can go to for that. I'll put a special link for you right on your side. That would be ideal and then they don't have to remember all the other stuff. We could do MichaelNeeley.com/BBRShow if you want?

We could do that if you’d like. I think there was a coupon for BBR Show?

That’s right, let’s do that. What we'll do is for anybody who wants to come to the live event, you can get in, I've got some scholarships available. You need to do what's called a seat deposit just so that I know that you're committed and you're going to be there. When you show up, you'll get that seat deposit back. Normally, that seat deposit is $197. You're going to get $100 off of that using BBR Show as your code. Your seat deposit will even only be $97, and you'll get that back at the door when you show up for the event. I'd love to see you there.

When is this happening?

It is June 25, 26, 27 and we're doing a little Sunday night cocktail party for anybody who gets into town on the 24th. There will be a little cocktail reception at the beautiful Monterey Tides Hotel right there on the coast. Literally the hotel, the conference rooms, you will be looking out at the ocean and it is gorgeous and it's going to be beautiful in June.

That's Monterey, California?

Monterey, California.

What's that close to?

The closest airport would be San Jose or San Francisco. Monterey does have its own little airport, but it's a smaller airport so you'll probably almost better off to get a car at San Jose and drive down, which from San Jose, it's about a little over an hour drive.

Folks, you can find it at MichaelNeeley.com/BBRShow.

Then use BBR Show as your coupon code and get $100 off. If you upgrade to one of what we would call or consider a business class or first class ticket, which are amazing, you will get wonderful meals included with those. You'll get extra luxurious seating up near the front. You'll get extra coaching session, a bottle of wine with the first class upgrade. You could use that code as well to get $100 off of any of those upgrades, too.

This has been really interesting and resourceful. Thank you. Are there any final words of wisdom you want to share with my audience?

The big one is how much fun you are, Nicole. It was so much fun getting to hang with you at the Podcast Movement. I hope to see you again there.

BBR 258 | Building Authority
Building Authority: You're going to want to stick with the original who that is their expertise until you're a bigger platform.

I will absolutely be at Podcast Movement on July 23rd to the 25th. Is it this year in Philadelphia?

That sounds right, yeah.

PodcastMovement.com for information. My people need to come and if they're coming, you let me know people because I'll probably do something special for my community.

I'm looking forward to it too. You're so much fun to hang out with and a great person all around. If you don't know this woman personally, go somewhere she's going to be live and meet her personally. If you're not working with her, work with her. You're amazing at what you do. Thank you for what you're up to in the world and for having me on your wonderful podcast.

Thank you, I appreciate that. It's been my pleasure.

Mine, too.

 

Resources mentioned:

About Michael Neeley

BBR 258 | Building AuthorityMichael Neeley is a mentor and business strategist for visionary solopreneurs. He is a former professional actor and medieval knight, an author and speaker, and he hosts the podcasts Consciously Speaking and Buy This – Not That.

His passion is waking people up, and he does it by coaching heart-centered entrepreneurs in finding their gift, growing their voice, and stepping into the spotlight in a big way. If you have a message or gift itching to get out to the world – Michael is your guy.

 

 


Thanks again to Bailey Richert for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Doug Morneau of Real Marketing Real Fast on Identifying Your Customer Avatar to Generate Sales

Identifying and finding your customer avatar and generating sales from them for you and your clients can be very effective. Doug Morneau has developed this technique during his 32 years as a serial entrepreneur. He connects with clients when he shares their beliefs culture. Rather than liking his client’s post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Doug prefers spending time with them personally so he can build a deeper level of relationship.

Thank you to Bailey Richert from BaileyRichert.com for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is Nicole brings on such a wide variety of guests and they're always talking about interesting topics that a lot of other podcasts don't discuss.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Doug Morneau of Real Marketing Real Fast on Identifying Your Customer Avatar to Generate Sales

Welcome to the Business Building Rockstars Show, Doug Morneau.

Thanks so much. I’m happy to be here.

You have this amazing energy that is so uplifting. I enjoy every conversation we have.

We've had a few and some of them have gone rather long. I've talked to you and I've seen it get dark at your place, so I was like, “It’s time to go. It's getting dark in the east.”

The crazy thing is our first way of connecting was so quick and you mentioned hopping on a call and I said “Now? Am I available now or something?” and it was late. It was at night and we wound up chatting forever. It's because of us connecting that you shared about Chris Ducker's service, the Virtual Staff Finder, which I went ahead and hired an assistant through them. It's amazing when you connect with people and have these organic conversations and what can happen from it. There are many amazing things since we first connected. That's one of the reasons as well I'm super excited to have you on the show because I talk about this with my audience and with my students and clients, but to be able to continue the conversation is powerful. I was recently on your podcast so I already gave our audience a bit of an overview with your bio, but do you want to share about the podcast and the books and everything else? Anything you want to bring us up to speed to what you're doing?

I'll start with sharing my approach to marketing. My approach is we identify your customer avatar or your end-customer. We get a real big stick, we reel it down on one end so we can get a grip with two hands. We find your customer, we beat them over the head, we pick them up by their pant legs, and we shake them upside down until all their money falls out. For some people that's very aggressive and it's not their comfort zone. They probably won't enjoy working with me because I'm not interested in branding and name recognition and distribution or whatever you want to call it. What I'm interested in is generating sales for myself and my clients. In terms of my podcast, it was on my goal list. Every year between Christmas and New Year, I shut down for about a week and I do a deep dive in reflection on how was my last year, what goals did I hit, what goals did I miss, what are the things that are causing me to miss my goals, what are the distractions, what things am I procrastinating, what people should I spend less time with, what people should I spend more time with, and then I reset some goals.

BBR 256 | Real Marketing Real Fast
3 Big Lies: The Real Truth About Renting Email Lists to Generate Targeted Leads and Sales

For 2017, I set some pretty big goals and I signed a contract to write three books. My goal was three books in twelve months, launch a podcast, rebrand my website, and launch a membership site for our health and wellness, so a very big appetite. Over the summer, I did complete the two books. One took twelve weeks and that's the email marketing book called 3 Big Lies: The Real Truth About Renting Email Lists to Generate Targeted Leads and Sales. The next book is How I Got Off Five Medications and Saved My Life. Then I launched the podcast because I had lots of free time. I just said, “I'll get into podcasting.” It has been a blast. I didn't have any illusions when I set up the podcast. The goal wasn't to monetize the podcast by selling ads or sponsorship. I'm not saying that's the wrong approach, but this wasn't the approach that I wanted.

The reason that we've connected so well is because we share some common beliefs. We need to connect with people and build a deeper relationship than liking my Facebook post or liking my Instagram posts or liking my tweet. I like to have conversations with people. The podcast has been the perfect opportunity for me to connect deeply with people and build relationships like yours. Out of that podcast has come a whole bunch of new business opportunities. I'm licensing some software for one of my guests. This as a way to have a good look at what people are doing that is value for my clients, but also what's the value for me, not unlike our discussion about me retaining you to do some podcast guesting services for me to help me to grow my business and grow my brand over the next year.

We're hopping on video because we've got the Listener’s Lounge, which is a membership area I'm creating at the moment of recording that gives folks the behind-the-scenes look. You're in your casual clothes, I'm in my casual clothes, we're sitting in our office face to face. We're having this conversation. By seeing that, you get that connection more. If you haven't joined the Listener’s Lounge, come on over, join the Listener’s Lounge because you get first access to the videos. As we're recording, within 24 hours, this video will be in the Listener's Lounge so that people can see it. My audience can see it anytime they want before it airs on iTunes and on the podcast platforms. The biggest thing for me is those relationships as well in podcasting and also in podcast guesting. You've had these massive goals and you've crushed them all. Let's talk about you from the beginning. If you think way back when you were quite young, what was little Doug like?

I'm a pretty driven person and so I stand out a bit. Honestly, I found school a total waste of time. The quicker I can get through that process, because it was a requirement and not an option, I just blew through it. I did what I needed to do to get out the other side. Very early on in my grade school years, Grade 6 and 7, my grandfather had been a quite successful entrepreneur, retired in his 30s, and then moved his family from Montreal out to Vancouver, Canada. I liked the entrepreneur stuff, so I started watching what he was doing. He had a paint manufacturing company and a drywall company. I spent a lot of time asking him questions and he said, “If you'll follow the stock market, I'll introduce you to SEED stock.” My dad was a working guy, worked for the city in a labor job all his life. He would take the sports section of the newspaper and I would take the business section. I would go to the stock pages and start following these penny stocks. I fell in love with that and I learned how exciting it was to get into that marketplace.

That was my early years. Something was telling me to read other than the books at school. My confession to my teachers, if they're watching or still around, is I only read one book from Grade 1 to 12. I managed to skim through enough of the rest and not read them. What I did do was I started reading books like Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar and how to Think and Grow Rich and Robert Schuller stuff. I kept reading all these books. I was just filling my head with this knowledge and going to school because we had to go to school. I could hardly wait to get out with the other side and go do something that I thought was meaningful. Years later, I have been invited back into the school as a volunteer with Junior Achievement to talk to the Grade 11 and 12 students and into the universities to talk to the new students about entrepreneurs and with JA how to set up a business in twelve weeks, like set it up, finance it, close it down, write an annual report. It's been interesting to go back into the schools now as an entrepreneur and share those lessons because when I was in school, nobody wanted to talk about being an entrepreneur. The goal was go to school, go to university, get a job for 40 years and then retire.

Your father did not pick up the entrepreneurial bug, but your grandfather shared it with you. You picked it up.

Once I got in there, there are a number of reasons I'm self-employed. I tell people one of them is I'm a horrible employee. It's not like I haven't had jobs before, but what I find is I'm always looking for the most efficient way to work and I'm always wanting to work hard. When I graduated from high school, I got out of school early because I had a job offer while I was still in school. I went to my principal and I said “I have a problem. I have a job offer,” and he said “You have all your credits, so why don't you just leave?” so I did. That was it. I left and I went and I worked four years in the steel trade and I got certified as a steel fabricator in a union environment. While I did that, I took management and business courses, took the course to be a stockbroker all at night school. I didn't feel comfortable with that environment that I was working, but my goal was to emulate my grandfather. I figured I needed to learn what the guys on the floor did before I could run a company as the boss. I went through that whole process and finished my four-year apprenticeship and left and never went back.

What was next for you? At what point did you start your company?

I had started a couple companies during that time while I was working. I was playing in a band so my hair was much longer and feathered and wasn't nearly as gray. That's how I met my wife. She fell for the drummer. That's what I was doing at the same time. I was doing that while I was working. I wanted to respect my employer and give them a good day's work, but I also felt that beyond that, my time was my own. I left that and I went into a totally different industry. When my kids were trying to figure out what they want to do, because we've got growing adult kids, I said “Find something that wakes you up fifteen minutes before your alarm and do that, and hopefully someone will pay you,” because it'd be a natural conclusion.

After going to the steel trade and learning to be a stockbroker and all that other stuff, it would just totally make sense that I would go to school immediately after quitting my job and learn how to be a prospector and work in the mining sector because they're so unrelated. I did that and people gave me jobs and contracts. I hired geologists and engineers, and we drilled holes and blew up things and built roads. That's how I got back into the stock market business, reverse running jobs. Just like this casual clothes for three, four, or five weeks out of town, come back in a suit and tie, go downtown, work the geologists and engineers, go talk to the brokers and our investors. Then I eventually transitioned into doing that almost exclusively the last time I was out of town because at that point we're looking at getting married. My wife said, “If you want to be a part of the planning process, you should probably be in town.” I'm a slow learner but I do learn.

Do you love the Business Building Rockstars Show? Let us know. I'm looking for loyal listeners who want to shout from the rooftops what the Business Building Rockstars Show means to you. If you'd like to record your thoughts, visit BBRShow.com/fan, and you could be heard introducing an upcoming episode. If you are loving what we are doing here on the Business Building Rockstars Show, then join me and my amazing rock star guests backstage in the BBR Show Listeners Lounge. There you're going to find raw, unedited video interviews with me and my rock star guests before they are released to the public. You'll also get extra golden nuggets of wisdom that my guests shared that are only available in the Listener's Lounge. It's totally free to join and you can get access right now by visiting BBRShow.com/subscribe.

I'm not sure how many businesses you have to be honest so I'd love to know that. You mentioned the health business, but I know about media buying business and you are still able to do all of these fulfilling things like writing the books. I'm all over the map because we need to talk also about how you got yourself off of those medications and saved your life. Something happened between getting married and now that you almost lost your life. Let's go there.

I was working a lot. I was growing my company after sixteen years from a home-based business to about US $16 million a year in sales, buying media and a staff of about twenty. I was living a life. Business was good and I was working lots of hours, spending lots of time with the family. I got high blood pressure when my daughter was born, so I had been on medication for about twenty years. The doctor kept giving me all these reasons why I had it. I worked too much, so I worked less. I didn't vacation enough, so we started taking twelve weeks of family vacation. I drank coffee, so I stopped coffee. I had salts, so I stopped salt. None of the things the doctor gave me for advice worked. In my own mind, I figured the doctor just didn't know what she was talking about, so I was just going to carry on with my life. I've got to a point where it was a stressful time.

We had bought a building. We had done a big deal with the hockey team. We had US $800,000 receivable that was uncollectible and I was working real hard, working lots of hours. My son just got engaged and I got sick. I came down with double pneumonia. I said to my wife, “We need to leave the party.” She said, “It's your son's engagement party.” I said “I got to go home. I am going to collapse.” I spent a week in bed. She said, “You need to go to the doctor.” I went to the doctor. She said, “You have double pneumonia. It's critical. You're going to be in bed rest until further notice.” I spent three months in bed at home and many nights wondering if I'd wake up because I was having so much trouble breathing. In hindsight, I didn't realize that the doctor's advice was not correct. I should've been in the hospital, that's what she surmised after three months. I came to her and said, “I don't like being sick anymore. It's not good for me. It's not good for my business. It is not good for my family, so I'm going to get healthy. I'm going to hire a trainer and get healthy.” She said “I don't think you should do that.” I said, “It was nice to see you. I'll see you in a year.”

I went on to Facebook and I said, “I'm looking for the best trainer.” I got a whole bunch of recommendations. We found a husband and wife team. They coach bodybuilders. I said, “You can see that I'm not a bodybuilder shape. I'm more like a barn shape.” I'm 6’6”, I was 285 pounds, so I was not a small guy. I looked like a football guy, but without the athleticism. I said to the trainer, “Here's my goal.” I took a picture of The Rock before he got super jock and I said, “I want to look like this in a year to two years.” He didn't laugh and I told them, “I'll do whatever you tell me to do. I'm a pretty decisive guy.” For me, there's no gray, there is no black and white in anything in my life. The light switch is either on or it's off, it's not half on. At that point, his business was pretty immature. He looked at us and our big home, 6,000-square foot, big theater, full size gym, and he thought, “Money. I'll train these guys, but I don't think he will last.” In hindsight, he told me, but he didn't tell us that until a few years ago.

I trained with them four days a week. I started out with real basic stuff, like step-ups with no weights, two steps, and then changed my eating. I didn't go to any crazy crash diet. I just changed my eating. I told people it was just everything in moderation, less red wine, no white sugar, less bread, more protein, and less calories. I worked hard. After a year, I had lost 60 pounds. With the sixth month, I had reached my goal and I had lost over 80 pounds. I continue training with them. We trained with them for six years to the point that my physique and my physical ability was about the same as that of an athlete. I would go with my son who is a lot younger than I am and his friends, and we'd go for a run or train in the gym, and I was the guy that didn't need a puke bucket. I was fine and like “Come on, you guys. You're twenty. What's the matter with you? I'm 50. Step it up,” in fun. Everyone has to compete at their own level, but that's my personality and my style. I realized that doesn't work for everybody, but that's what I did.

After a year, I went back to the doctor and said, “I'm back and I want you to take my blood pressure and send me for labs.” She did and she said, “Things are good.” I said, “I stopped taking my medication.” She said “What do you mean you stopped? That's dangerous? You can't do that. I need to write you a prescription.” I said, “I stopped six months ago.” Then the question changed to “What did you do? How did you do this?” I was thinking, “After twenty years of taking medication, you're telling me that I had no alternative, no choices, this was my prescription for life. Now you're asking me how I did it.” I said, “No sugar, no salt, less calories, and I'm working out four, five, or six days a week. I'm going to the gym three days a week. I'm running, trail running, hiking, and lifting weights at home.” She says, “What exactly do you do?” I said “I pick up heavy things and I put them down, like twenty reps at a time.” Seriously, it was that simple for me.

That's inspiring and exciting. How long ago was that then that you got off your meds?

Six years ago.

You're still working out?

I love it. The excuses I get are “I don't have time” or “It must be nice because you're an entrepreneur, so you have more time” or “You have more money.” Just a quick side story, we're doing this competition at the gym, and I'm a competitive guy. My trainer is trying to goad me into this competition with all these 25 year olds and I'm ignoring him because I'm doing Under Armour Competition or run 1,000 kilometers. He's going, “Just take some time and do this stair challenge with us. We have these stairs by our home that are in the woods that’s 443 stairs, and that’s first one to get to 100 laps.” I'm going, “No.” After about two weeks of bugging me, I thought, “I'm going to go kick their ass,” so I went out there and I blew this thing off. Then people who were watching, “Not fair because you live close,” and, “It's not fair because you have more time.” It got nothing to do with time or fair. What that has got to do with is what's important to you and put it in your calendar. What I find now is the only reason I believe that I can operate at the high level that I am and work on a number of projects that I am is because I've got clarity. I feel good and my energy level is high because I make time to look after my health. Our brain and our body is the thing that transports our business forward. If it's not moving forward then neither is our business.

BBR 256 | Real Marketing Real Fast
Real Marketing Real Fast: Our brain and our body is the thing that transports our business forward. If it's not moving forward then neither is our business.

Do you ever have days or periods of time where you go, “I need a break”? What do you do in that moment? How do you deal with a sense of overwhelm if you experienced that?

A few of those things I had to learn the hard way. It's about giving yourself permission to have crappy days and say, “I'm having a crappy day.” As long as it doesn't turn into a week or a month, that's okay. I had to figure out where I operate best, where is my highest energy. My highest energy is in the morning. By [2:00] or [3:00] PM, often I'm tired and I'm surfing on the web. What I'm doing when I'm surfing is I'm procrastinating because I don't want to do something. I don't do my important tasks like invoicing in the afternoon because I may make more or less money than I'm entitled to because I'm not thinking clearly. What I'll do is shut my computer off and I'll head out and I'll go do a 5k trail run. I'll come back and I'll feel fantastic and I'll feel refreshed. I take the hour out of the middle of the day and then I may work in the evening. We're at a spot in our life that we're in a season. There are seasons for rest, there are seasons for play, and there are seasons for work. I'm in a season for work and. I've got my foot to the floor and I'm looking for the nitrous button because I want to keep going because that's what I like to do. My wife also works at home writing for the blog so we get to spend a lot of time together. We get to hang out with our kids, and we get to travel. When I want to get away and unplug, I need to hop on a plane and go someplace warm.

What does that look like for you? Do you plan those seasons out or do you just move through them via inspiration?

It depends. My wife is a lot more organized than I am so she plans some of the stuff. We did a six‑week trip to Europe with our kids. I went “No, Europe, a bunch of old buildings. I don't want to go.” I went and fell in love with it. We had a blast. For me, what's required for a vacation are palm trees and sand. Apparently, the world is more than palm trees and sand. We had an absolute blast in Europe. My wife planned it out and that was a very organized trip. There was a two-week cruise in the middle and I had a good time. A lots of times, I'll just bail. A few years ago, I was just working like crazy. I remember this day came up and I went, “I need to get away,” to the owner travel guy. I said, “Where can I go where it's hot? Where's the deal?” He goes, “Right now, there are cheap rates to Hawaii. I'll get you a good deal at Trump in Hawaii,” so that was it. I flew over and my wife and kids flew over about three days later. We pulled everyone out of the school. My son had just gotten back from a trip and she said, “I don't think he'll want to travel,” and he did. We went over and we rented a place, and we got to Hawaii for five days and just unplugged. Lots of times, it's sporadically. Sometimes, those decisions happen and then two days later, we're on a plane.

What I'm loving hearing from you is that you combine things that most people don't. Most people are either the planners or they're the non-planners. Most people either have that routine and structure and things like that, and if they don't have it, they wane or they don't feel optimal. The other side of it is if they have the structure, they feel confined and they can't be. I resonate with what you said because I'm systems and I like structure in some ways, but in other ways I don't. I'm more intuitive than I am structured. You're the opposite of that. It's cool to hear somebody talk about that because a portion of my community, I will hear from people that say, “I'm so glad you talked about this because I feel like that. I always think there's something wrong with me because I don't get it this way or because this is not right or this isn't the way you're supposed to do it.” I love that you're able to combine what works best for you and from different places.

We probably wouldn't be great travel partners. There are lots of friends of ours that travel because I'm super structured in a lot of the business stuff. Some of the stuff, I absolutely have to be because of compliance reasons, and lots of stuff I don't need to be. When we travel I always expect the best. I've gotten very good at going through an airport. You probably would not like to be with me in an airport because I've learned how to travel. People stop and they look at their papers and they do this. We and our kids, we get the whole family tree, and we know how to move through the airport and get through the line and get out the other side efficiently. When we get into town, I figured that different people may have different jobs. I treat people with respect. I stop and talk to the doorman. I know who the concierge is. I know who all the staff are, so it shouldn't be a big surprise when we want to do something that I can go and ask them for help when we get there.

I think that a lot of the stuff we do is very contrarian. My best friend traveling is Yelp. I go, “Here's the three or four places we want to go to.” You go to the concierge and he goes, “Those are tough places to get into it.” I say, “That's why I'm here. I picked them. You get us in.” I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, but often we get what we expect. We do a lot of off-the-grid stuff. We traveled with our kids to Mexico a few years ago and stayed at this resort. They went, “Dad, this isn't where you normally stay.” I said, “We'll just come hang out with the guys. It will be fun.” We left the property and people go, “No one ever leaves the property.” It's like “Why not?” “Because it's an all inclusive.” I'm like, “So what? I don't want to go to Denny's every night for dinner. I want to go where they don't speak English because that's where the good food is. We can figure it out. We can come up with hand gestures to find out chicken, fish, ceviche.” I know few of the basics and it's always worked out.

Doug, we'd be swell travel partners. I used to live in Europe and traveled all the time off the grid, before cell phones and all that. That sounds like a blast. I just want to stay where we're at here in terms of morning routine. Do you have a morning routine? You know your optimal in the morning, so how do you get going? Is there anything you do in the evening to settle down and disconnect from work?

A couple of things, while I like spontaneity and say, “Let's go here, let's go there, let's go away for the weekend on Friday night and get in the car and just go away,” there are some things that I follow a similar pattern. For example, my morning routine is our espresso machine turns on before we get up. I'm normally up by [6:00] AM. I have a Bullet coffee for breakfast. A Bullet coffee is a tablespoon of grass-fed organic butter, a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil, two shots of espresso and put it in the blender with a scoop of cacao. I've got what tastes like chocolate mocha that's super high fat and that's my breakfast. On the non-gym days, I don't usually eat anything after that coffee until lunchtime. What I want is a high-fat, high-energy diet. On the gym days, I have a second breakfast. My second breakfast is almost the same. It's a protein shake, which is a cup of Alma milk and a cup of water. I consider myself like the family dog that gets the scraps. If you've got kids, they look in the fridge and if the banana's got a little bit of brown on it or the peppers are a little bit withered or the lettuce is not looking healthy, they avoid it as if it's poison.

I just take all that stuff and throw it in a blender with half a banana, some cayenne pepper, a whole bunch of fresh ginger and some curcumin. I blend it up and that's my morning shake. I put enough spice in there that no one will touch it because it will light their hair on fire. That's my lunch. I have that double breakfast on the days I work out. Then for lunch I'll just look for protein. I ought to have a shake, but most often I'll have whatever we've overcooked. I'll cook more fish, more steak, or more chicken intentionally so I have a healthy high protein diet. Often I don't have a snack until dinnertime, and then I'll have dinner. That's my routine for eating. For working, it's [7:00] to [8:00] AM in the gym with a cool-down three days a week. Then on the weekends, sometimes I'll train as well. I just moved my gym time to [9:00] AM because I deal with so many people in the East Coast and I should talk to them in the morning. I talk to them and then I go to the gym.

For your business, do you have business hours that you work specifically? Or is it a day-to-day thing?

It's a bit weird, honestly. I get a lot of late night calls and I don't take them from everybody. Some of it is setting boundaries to your clients. It's realizing that every client engagement is different. There are some clients that need to reach you after hours because they're in Europe or they're in Asia. I don't have to but I accommodate that. There are other times I just ignore my phone. If you call me on the weekend, you can call me as many times as you want. The more times you call me, the more times I'm going to ignore you because you're not likely having a crisis. The media is not banging down your front door because something horrible has gone wrong with your business, so go away. I'm not a heart surgeon. You're not going to die of a heart attack. You may want to get an update on “How did my last email campaign go,” but that's Monday morning. That's not Sunday afternoon.

How did you figure out to establish these boundaries? Is it just through experiences over the years? Do you have some system or way that you have? Not only how have you established them, but how do you articulate them to your clients?

The system is a secret system that's called Heather, and she goes like, “What are you doing?” If it was up to me, I'd probably work a lot more. I like what I do. I tell people I don't work, I love what I do. People go, “When are you going to retire?” I said “What's retire?” I've heard other people say retirement is putting cows to pasture. I don't like that. I know the stats that the average male collects eighteen paychecks after they retire, so how fun is that? Work hard, stock up your 401(k), your RRSP, and then die because you've got no reason to go to bed. That doesn't sound like fun. What is a vacation? What is retirement? Retirement for me is if we want to go away for a weekend or go away, we just go away. It's tough to articulate other than I like what I do. It's tough for me to set those boundaries because often I would rather work. I'd rather work, read, study, or interview somebody than watch TV. That's just me.

 BBR 256 | Real Marketing Real Fast
Real Marketing Real Fast: People need to step up and to take steps forward.

What I do to unwind at night, unwinding sometimes is tough. I'll switch off of coffee by [3:00] PM and go to herbal tea. I used to laugh at people who didn't have coffee in the evenings, but one of the things I learned in my health transition was that I need sleep. I needed more sleep than I was getting. I bought my daughter, who's a pastry chef and up at [4:00] in the morning, a Fitbit for her birthday so she could track her sleep. I figured, “It works for her. We're all going to have one,” so I bought one for the whole family. Now we can do fitness challenges with friends and family, see who's getting the most steps, and then also track our asleep. I went to my trainer and I said, “I'm not eighteen, but I look like eighteen.” He says, “No,” and I said “Then I need rest days. I can't work out seven days a week. I'm training nationally. I'm not interested in steroids or growth hormone and I need more sleep.”

I've set my goal to get eight hours’ sleep a day. People will go, “That's ridiculous. I can operate on six.” Yes, you can operate on six just like if you have a high-end car. If you have a Ferrari, it will run on regular gas but you're way better to put the high octane in. I track my sleep. I start preparing my mind for sleep early on. My Instagram posts go late at night. Can I get that stuff scheduled so it's a couple hours before bed? Can I not do anything that's work focused sitting in front of the computer or my phone a couple of hours before I go to bed? I'm just using some new essential oils from a Canadian company called Sage. I know that before bed taking a calcium supplement helps your body produce melatonin. I've looked at what are the things that I can do to contribute to a better sleeping environment in terms of noise and how dark it is and fresh air and what do I need to do to sleep. It's just planning. If I die, this part of the business dies, so I better look after this engine.

This has been fun. If people want to learn more about you, continue the conversation and check out your podcast, what's the best way to do that?

Head to my website at DougMorneau.com. On there you'll see all my social media links. I have a warning for you, if you do contact me on social media like Nicole, I'm likely to respond. Don't be surprised if you connect with me on LinkedIn and you get a personal message or you connect on Twitter and I connect back with you. I'm very social in social media. That's the key for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. They need to have conversation and watching people's posts go by as in a conversation. Go to my website. I've got an email list there. You can sign up if you want to see what I'm doing. There are some great podcasts there and all my information's in one spot and so is all my social stuff. I'm around.

Doug, final words of wisdom or parting thoughts?

I would say I have two quotes, but I'll share the one that I liked the most and that is “What if all the barriers were imaginary?” People need to step up and to take steps forward. Just because the industry says that your business can only grow at 5% or 10%, forget it. Set your goals and go for it and ignore those commonalities. If the barriers were imaginary, what would you do with your business? What prospect would you talk to? What clients? What goals would you set? You're not going to hit them, but it's better to set a big goal and get halfway than set a small goal and hit it.

I love that goal. There was some silence there because I just had to reflect. It's something that I believe I've believed. Sometimes I forget it though and so I need that reminder, but that's one of the things that I've done to build what I've built in a short time. The barriers are just in my mind.

It doesn't mean that we're not afraid. I don't want your audience to think, “Who is this person? Why would you say that? You don't know my situation.” I think of the time that I met Richard Branson and I got my picture taken with him. My knees were knocking so bad when I stood up at the front of the auditorium with about 5,000 of my peers there. I didn't know if I could get my voice to work when I got behind the microphone. I was so scared, but my thinking was, “If I don't do this now, when am I ever going to have a chance to talk to Sir Richard Branson and get my photo taken with him?” I thought I'm just going to go for it because I would rather him say no and be embarrassed in front of the crowd than have the regret of not asking. He gave me the nicest compliment because he said, “I'll have my picture taken. Why don't you come up here?” I said “I want to come on the stage with you.” He said, “Come on up,” and then he realized I was about a foot taller than him, so he got on the couch and he gave me a big hug. Then as he left, he goes, “There's a guy who's going to go places because he's not afraid to ask for what he wants.” The good news was I got this great photo, the bad news was he left the stage and no one else got to ask him any questions, so I was it. Everyone else wanted a photo and he left.

That's bad news for them. That's not bad news for you.

That’s what I'm saying. It's not that I'm not afraid. It's just that I am willing to work through my fear. If I needed to crawl up on the stage, I would have because I wanted to do that. I was willing to risk being embarrassed and failing in front of 5,000 of my peers. I was at the front of the auditorium and there were big cameras on all the big screens. If he said no, then I would’ve looked stupid and I would've felt stupid, but he didn’t. If I didn't ask, I'd regret it.

Even if it went the other way and you “looked stupid” or “felt stupid,” it's a moment in the lifetime. It's a story then. Such a great point to leave on is don't worry about the barriers, go for it. Even if you're afraid, do it anyways. If it's big enough and you want it enough, you go after it. Doug, thank you so much.

Thanks for connecting.

Resources mentioned:

About Doug Morneau

BBR 256 | Real Marketing Real FastDoug has made his clients in excess of $100 million dollars US by leveraging email marketing and renting third-party permission-based email lists. This made him one of the nation's largest media buyers of rented email lists.

Doug Morneau is a serial entrepreneur since founding his first company over 32 years ago. He is a speaker, podcaster, and author. Doug currently hosts the “Real Marketing Real Fast” Podcast. Doug just finished writing two books – both due out this year.

 

 


Thanks again to Bailey Richert for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Carrie Roldan on Run Yourself Happy and Make Money From It

It takes so much time when you’re a coach trying to find your niche because you need to figure out a lot of things before you can identify your avatar client. Carrie Roldan struggled with this part too, until she stopped figuring everything out and just focused on helping people grow their business. Her bestselling book about releasing anxiety and making miracles happen, “Run Yourself Happy” shows how she has designed her business around who she is as the business BFF who gets to enjoy her life and make money from it. She shares her insights about freebie seekers and how she has become a people builder who works her magic on things other people can’t put their finger on.

Thank you to Megan Hall from the Inspired Women Podcast for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the wealth of information that Nicole and her guest share on the podcast. I walk away inspired after every single episode I listen to. Thank you, Nicole.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Carrie Roldan On Run Yourself Happy And Make Money From It

I'm super excited to have my friend, Carrie Roldan, here. We have been hanging out and chatting and just having a grand old time and then overcoming some technical difficulties and finally we are here to talk with you. Hi, Carrie.

Nicole, I'm so glad to be here.

I was asking you about what is Biz BFF because you are just a phenomenal person and as I read in your bio, you just light up the room and you have all this amazing energy. What I love is that you have designed your business around who you are. You get to show up and enjoy your life and make money from it, which I always find so fun, when you talk about. How did you come up with the idea of being a Business BFF rather than being a coach or being a consultant? How did you come up with your title and the realization of what it is that you do that impacts the world in a great way?

The answer is complicated because I probably started as a Business BFF. I started like, ” I just want to help people. I just want to give good advice.” I wanted to be a coach in some capacity and I got in this space of the online coaching realm where they teach you, you got a niche down and you've got to be an expert on one particular thing and even in that one particular thing, then niche even further. I went through all of that. I was floundering for a long time. Probably what started me becoming a Business BFF is in figuring out what the hell I do, I started a show. This was back in the olden days before there was even Facebook Live, podcasting was brand new. There were Google Hangouts on air. I had a Google Hangout on Air show where I would interview people. My only goal was to be of service to them and to help them out, but in talking to them often, I was helpful. I'm real and genuine and I have no stomach for bullshit. I just won't stand forward and I'm going to tell the truth. I started telling the truth to people and being helpful and they were like, “This is amazing. I have a copywriting coach and a marketing coach and blah, blah, blah coach and you have helped me more in the past hour than they've helped me in the past $30,000.” I was like, “That's great to know.”

It still took me a really long time, and I had to get to the moment in my business where I was working way too hard. This isn't even fun anymore. I just want to get paid to talk to people. Honestly, I had called myself a Business BFF a few years back. I had said this is what I really want to be and all of the advice was “People won't pay you for that, don't do it.” It took me a long time to be like, “This is who I am. This is how I can be of the most service to people. This is what everyone needs.” People are investing so much money in so much help. All they really need is someone to love them and care about them and care about the whole person and the business. I have quite a few intuitive gifts to be able to see into their business and see into themselves and be like, “I see that you're doing that, but that's not what you really want,” to tell them the truth. How I became the Business BFF is I stopped trying to figure anything else out. It's been going well.

Let's talk about that journey a little bit because I can relate in some ways and a lot of our audience can where they come in and they're so excited about, “I want to do this.” Especially people who are heart-centered or value-driven, a lot of times people go, “I know I want to do something big. I don't know how and I don't know what that looks like, but I know that's what I'm here for.” Then they start taking the courses and listening to the marketing. I went through this, I was so excited. Then I was very aware that I didn't know the tactical side of things and so I started investing poorly, although, I believe everything is always a good investment. At the end of the day, I learned so much about what I didn't want and that's really helped me get to what I do want. You've been in the space for a long time and you have tried different things and you've partnered with different people. What was it like when you came in as Business BFF and it was like, “This is what I want to do and this is how it is going to be so fun.” Then you started implementing things other people were telling you that would be best for you. At what point did you just say, “Enough of this garbage and I'm doing it my way?”

How far back do you want me to go?

As far back as you feel would be interesting and of value to the audience. The thing is we're all business owners. Something we were talking about is that we all have the same fears and experiences. We're all human and people forget that. Especially in the marketing space, people look at, “This person is saying this and so they have accomplished this,” but they're not letting you know what's going on behind closed doors. I think there're a lot of struggles that my listeners face that my guests also faced but people don't want to talk about it.

BBR 255 | Run Yourself Happy
Run Yourself Happy: There's something powerful about being in the guest seat, which is suddenly you're an expert.

There's something powerful about being in the guest seat, which is suddenly you're an expert. Suddenly, you've made it. I'm going to call BS on that. I'm still making it. I'm further along than I was when I started. My background is I was a high school teacher and cross-country and track coach. Being in that capacity, I started to learn what my gifts were. I coached with my husband. He wasn't my husband yet, but that was a whole different challenge. The reason I'm bringing that up is because we had to learn what parts of the coaching he was good at and that he was going to start to take ownership of and what parts I was going to take ownership of. I learned with these young athletes that I was coaching that it was my job to help them run fast. I recognized, “How many kids are out here on the team? How many are going to run in college? How many are going to go to the Olympics? What's my real job with these hundreds of kids every year? What's my real job with them?” I realized I'm a people builder. My job was to help them to grow into the leaders they could be, to help them use running and athletics to reveal their character.

My gifts in that coaching realm with my husband were all the intangibles. He was really good at the nuts and bolts. With track, it's all about time. If you could put it on a spreadsheet and if you could do the math, he was all about that. I was about the stuff that nobody could put their finger on, but somehow I brought the magic. That's where I started and I did that until my third child was born and then I realized my kids are going to want me at their athletic things, not at somebody else's. I came to the life coaching space. I found life coaching because I felt lost. I had my third kid. I was at home. I've been a runner for so long. I wasn't even sure where I was going with that. I participated in somebody else's life coaching group and I'm like, “This is what I've been doing.” I saw her job and I'm like, “I can do this. This is what I've been doing with my athletes for all these years.” Then you get online, you look on how to do this, and I got certified and I was like, “How do I market?” I was really disappointed by the way that my life coaching certification taught zero about marketing. They're like, “You can charge $30 an hour.” I was like, “Awesome.”

I didn't start out knowing that I was going to do my business mostly online, but all of the sudden I'm like, “I have three kids. When am I going to have time to meet with people? I am going to bring them into my house and be nursing this baby. That's not going to work.” I found an online space around that time and, same as you, started investing and learning some stuff. I learned a ton but I don't want to say I got involved with the wrong people. I can look back and say, “Those are not my people,” but they were the right people at the time. What we need to learn, all of us on our business journey, and what I help people do so well is what feels right. If it doesn't feel right, you don't have to do it. That took me a long time to be able to trust myself. I had great mentors on the journey too.

What comes up for me as you're saying that is in my life, I was working with somebody who is not a right fit for me, but it took a while for me to figure out they weren't a right fit for me. At the beginning I thought, “This is totally the right fit for me,” then I realized they're not. I didn't feel like, “I made a bad investment.” No, because I never would have realized that they weren't the right fit for me if I hadn't gone through it. I had that recently with a client who I had worked with for quite some doing coaching and I love her oodles. She has grown leaps and bounds since we started working together, but sometimes you outgrow your coach or sometimes a coach outgrows you. There's nothing wrong with that. It's being able to honor and appreciate that time that you did. We most recently had a six-month agreement for a program and when it came to the end, I don't know if it was because she didn't want it to end or I don't know what it was, but she started acting differently, forgetting all of the winds and all this stuff. It was almost like how people behave when it's time to break up. It was weird. I had to put it back and say, “I'm not going to take this personally. It's not about me. It's about her journey and where she's at and I absolutely want the best for her and will always care and that's the end of a chapter.”

Coming to realize that has been really powerful for me and I wouldn't know if you would speak about that as well because in looking at the people I've hired along the way, maybe earlier on I would be pissed off because I'm like, “I wasted money.”Then I would say, “Hold up, Nicole. Did I really waste money? No.” I invested money, time, energy, blood, sweat, tears. Even though I'm not moving forward with this thing that I created or with what I had been spending time on or at the website or whatever, I can't be resentful for that because it has gotten me to this next place. So often the things I do never really see the light of day. I've really enjoyed that. I've enjoyed the journey more. I have heard from so many entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, “I invested all this money in the website so I'm going to make it work now even though it's totally wrong.” It totally doesn't encompass who they are, they're struggling to get clients because they're doing the wrong thing for them, but they're committed to seeing it through because they paid money for it. It's something that I have a hard time understanding because it's not how I do things. As Biz BFF, do you see that very frequently where people stick with something because they committed to it and way beyond when it's beneficial to them?

Yeah. That's usually the point that people come to me. They have invested and invested and invested and I would say they're sticking with it because they don't know that they can do it differently. They're sticking with it because, “It's supposed to work and I've spent $10,000 on this program or whatever.” Perhaps it's because I'm no longer pretending to be an expert at one thing or another, my expertise is perspective. People come all the time and people stick with things because they don't want to be quitters and because they know that it “should work” and they often think that there's something wrong with them, like why can't they just figure it out? Sometimes there's just a block. There's a good reason why they can't figure it out. Again, what you need to figure something out, you need a fresh dose of perspective. That's super common. I want to talk to what you said earlier about you invested in things. I invested early on in my business in things that I couldn't afford. I invested out of desperation. I believed the marketing and I hope that less people are marketing this way. If they are, they're certainly not in my sphere, but five years ago or seven years ago, people were marketing in a way that was like, “If this doesn't work for you, it's because you didn't do it right.”

Let’s talk about that kind of marketing. There's a piece of us that gets excited and inspired by that because I'm going to be on every call. I'm going to show up. I'm going to do all the work. I'm going to get the results because they say, “If I just do all this work, I'm going to get the results.” What they're missing is the you behind the work. It's one thing to fill in the blanks, it's the whole another thing to know who you really are at your core, what you stand for, and what you're about. This is going into a different conversation about recognizing that as business owners, we're all leaders. A lot of people want to start a business and they don't see themselves as a leader, but I digress. I was there. I did all the work, I showed up. I've been a teacher's pet my whole life. I'm somebody who's really good at school who doesn't have to try very hard and a lot of people just hated me and I'm sorry. I'm super smart but I'm not the smartest kid there. I'm good at school. Probably because I'm so intuitive, I can pick the right answers on a test. I can write the essay that the teacher is going to like and I don't have to read the book. The reason I'm telling you that is I figured out a way to work the system of school. You show up, you raise your hand, the teacher likes you and then you're successful.

I was doing that in my business and I was getting all the “teachers” to like me, but I wasn't successful. Because my business it turns out relies on not me “doing everything right,” following a blueprint system or formula. Those are words that make me want to gag in business and marketing because I followed your effing blueprint. I either got to a point where I couldn't go any further because I didn't know the answers yet, or I followed your effing blueprint and nothing happened. I was resentful to get back to the beginning. I was pissed that I had invested thousands of dollars. I once invested with a coach. I said, “I don't have the money,” and she said, “What if you give me this amount of money now and then we'll work together and you'll make more money?” I understood that meaning, I don't have to pay her the rest until I make that much money until I get the result. After I worked with her for a month, she was like, “You owe me the rest.” I was like, “There's no results here.” I understand it wasn't her fault. When I work with people, I very much say, “I make no guarantees. Miracles are going to happen for sure, but neither you nor I know what they are yet.”

BBR 255 | Run Yourself Happy
Run Yourself Happy: Miracles are going to happen for sure but neither you nor I know what they are yet.

That's where I was in the beginning and how I grew up in this industry and what caused me. I have done so many things, Nicole. When I started, they said, “Find a niche.” I'm like, “I'm going to be the brand yourself happy person,” because I'm a cheerleader and a coach at heart. You can be happy and running is amazing and it's a huge tool in my own personal life and business. I wrote a book on that and then I got tired of it. There have been so many evolutions of me, and now, I'm at a place where all of that is valuable. It's hugely valuable to have written and publish a book. It's hugely valuable to have launched programs. All of my experience is of value but now I'm okay. I'm totally okay with owning that I'm me and that there is inherent value in me, in having a conversation with me. When people say, “Can I pick your brain?” People used to pick my brain for free. Then I realized this is a lot more than brain picking, and now we're doing energy work and we're doing some stuff here. People pay for this stuff and why wouldn't they pay me?

Do you love the Business Building Rockstars Show? Let us know. I'm looking for loyal listeners who want to shout from the rooftops what the Business Building Rockstars Show means to you. If you'd like to record your thoughts, visit BBRShow.com/fan and you could be heard introducing an upcoming episode. If you are loving what we're doing here on the Business Building Rockstars Show, then join me and my amazing rockstar guests backstage in the BBR Show Listeners Lounge. There you're going to find raw, unedited video interviews with me and my rockstar guests before they are released to the public and you'll also get extra golden nuggets of wisdom that my guests shared that are only available in the listener's lounge. It's totally free to join and you can get access by visiting BBRShow.com/subscribe.

That's such a great point and I am definitely one of those people who get lit up to help people and for years, I would let people pick my brain. I don't know if you've ever felt like this, but even though I'd be all lit up during the time, afterwards I'd be totally be out of energy. It's been a transition. It's been challenging, but now I have people emailing me or messaging me and I respond because that's who I am. Then they'll continue and finally I'm like, “This is something that you can post in the group. I have a free Facebook group.” That's the place. If you're not a client and you're not paying me, then I have lots of opportunities for free. For example, my free Facebook group, which is BusinessBuildingRockstars.com, all you have to do is answer three questions and be a right fit and boom, you're in. You can collaborate and connect with me and with others in that group. I've got the Listeners Lounge, so that's free content. If you're watching this in the Listeners Lounge and you want to communicate with me and Carrie, you can enter a comment below the video and we can respond to that.

I had this the other day and it's somebody I like, but she's not a customer, she's not a client. She's somebody I was starting to build a relationship with, but then I realized like, “This is a one-way street.” She would pick my brain a lot and she would say, “I did this and I have this coach who told me this. Can you look this over? Can you do this?” It's like, “Okay.” Then I would realize she kept coming to me for my coaching, but she wasn't paying me. She was paying other people. I had an email from her the other day and I said, “Congratulations on that. I really don't have time to get on that.” That's weird too. I don't know if you ever get this, but I get a lot of people who I start in relationship with and then they'll message me. I do this too sometimes. I’ll message people that go, “Have you got five minutes?” but those are people who it's a two-way reciprocal relationship. Whereas, I'll have people out of the blue be like, “You got a few minutes for a call?” or they'll call me and I'll miss it, and then I'm like, “I don't. What's up? Messaged me.” Then they're like, “I just want to talk to you.” I'm like, “What about?”

It's been an ongoing challenge and identifying the people who recharge me. There are people, including you who I know that I can call on and be like, “I've got this dilemma. Can I get your advice on this?” I feel like they're happy to help me. There are people who call me and I'm happy to help them. Then there're also people who, and now I'm getting away from the customer part, but even in the relationships with colleagues or people who could be customers, but they're not going to be customers as long as you let them pick your brain.

I'm the same. What I will say about, “Do I get people who want to pick my brains still?” Absolutely. That's part of being a BFF. I was telling you, Nicole, before we knew each other very well, “I have this problem. I fall in love with everybody.” The truth about me is it's so easy for me to be super judgmental when you're not in the room, when I'm not looking you in the eye, when you're just somebody out there. I can be a bitch and it's something I have to recognize in myself. Gabby Bernstein has a book called Judgment Detox, I'm ready to read that. I can be judgmental. It's easy for me to make snap decisions. Also this is something that speaks to that intuitive nature in myself. I've just known things my whole life. I've had knowings about things. There's a really tangible example. I think people will like this story. I was probably sixteen and I was on a run and I was coming back, I was 800 meters from the end of my run. I saw this dude standing by the side of the road where I was. He was standing between two parked cars and I instantly knew to be afraid of this person. Yet, I heard my mother's voice in my head. My mom sounds like Marge Simpson, so she was like, ” Carrie, don't judge.” I was like, “Okay,” so I kept running towards this guy. Luckily, he wasn't going to attack me, but he was naked from the waist down. He flashed me, which was super traumatizing and I was freaked out. I had knowings. That was the first tangible trust-your-intuition, kid. There was probably more before that. Sometimes my judgment is because I have an intuitive knowing. There's this battle in my head.

Once I speak with someone, I'm going to fall in love with them. Part of being highly intuitive is seeing into people and seeing their hearts and seeing what they're really about. Most people are good. Most people are amazing. Most people are in some sort of a struggle, but there's this huge piece of compassion. About the freebie-seekers, nobody is seeking freebies. They're not trying to drain you. They value your opinion, and until you value yourself, which took me a long time, and I don't know how many different people I've heard say this to me, but it still took me getting to an energetic space. I worked with people who helped me get to that energetic space. It was two things. What you're saying about when people are calling you asking for free advice and they're paying somebody else a shit ton of money to give them bad advice, that's frustrating. I started to claim. I think enough people started to say, “Working with you is really valuable. This is really good.” I still am at a place where, “What do I call what I do?” Business BFF, is that a thing? I'm going to claim it. I've called it teammate on the journey coaching. I've called it life coaching for entrepreneurs. I've called it all sorts of things, but ultimately the right people, they show up because they're like, “There's something about you, kid.” They're like, “You helped me.” With the freebie seekers, I still do free consults. I'm evaluating that regularly, like, “Do I need to start charging for that and what do I charge?” I still do. I'll have a free consultation with anybody who can find the time in my calendar, which is getting harder and harder to find. Usually the people who come to those conversations, the reason they're there is because they're like, “What is it like to work with you? I know you're my person.”

It's still to my advantage. What I do a lot of that I'm just now recognizing is, “I need to charge for this. I needed to create a package around this.” It's so fun for me. It's so easy for me and it's so valuable to the person on the other end is people will be like, “Can you look at my website? Can you look at this copy?” I wind up making them a video because it's easier for me and I go through it and they're like, “Holy crap.” I'll finish that thing, going, “I helped them make a lot of money.” It's just stepping into your power. It's more and more. You probably need a little practice of feeling drained and depleted by people before you're ready to stand up for yourself and say, “I can totally do that for you and here's what it costs.” Most people are happy to pay it. The thing is we get afraid, like, “I don't want to ask. I've been in a relationship with this person,” but you and I were talking before and I was like, “I'm putting my stuff together to work with you.” We're friends, I can ask you stuff, but at a certain point, if I need a lot of your time, I understand. I'm sure you're happy to spend five minutes on something, but if I need a favor, that's not who I want to be to you. There's a professional understanding.

That's important too. We talked about building relationships at a higher level with colleagues and people that you really respect and can collaborate with. It is that, “Where's the line? I don't want to cross the line.”Sometimes I'm guilty of not asking for help. I'm great at giving support but not great at asking for support as a favor. I always see it as a favor and I have to constantly be told by people who actually value me and actually love me and actually want to support me and be my friend, a legit friend that “You're not asking for a favor. This is where we're at.” We all have our history and our stories and whatever, but that's how I grew up where I didn't have friends who just did because they wanted to. I didn't have a family that just did because they could. I have done that. When I took on foster kids, I loved buying presents. I've always loved doing things to make other people feel good, so a recovering people pleaser and not having had that experience myself throughout my life now as an adult and as in a position of leadership and meeting other amazing leaders, I regress. I go back to that feeling of, “I owe them something. I can't ask for something just because.” There was all that weird dynamic too.

BBR 255 | Run Yourself Happy
Run Yourself Happy: If the person you want to become asks for what she wants and gets it, then we've got to start behaving like that.

That's common. That is probably specific to women as well. As a society, we're awakening and evolving in this moment. We can all cut ourselves some slack. Speaking of being a leader, one of the things that I'm constantly saying is behave like the person that you want to become. It's so easy for me to say that to a client, and sometimes, it's a harder to look at myself and be like, “Am I behaving like that person that I want to become?” If the person you want to become asks for what she wants and gets it, then we got to start behaving like that girl.

We could go on for a really long time and I love you. I want people to know you, to experience you. How can people take the next step? If they want to continue the conversation with you, if they want to get into the Carrie Roldan world, what's the best way to do that?

If you want to get into my world, the easiest way is to get on my email list and the coolest way to get on my email list is I have this awesome meditation/visualization. What it is is a conversation with your future self. It's your future self who's done all this stuff that you want to do and it's so rad and it's so powerful. I want you to get that. You can get that at CarrieRoldan.com/FutureSelf. Also you can find me on Facebook @CarrieRoldan/BusinessBFF. You can find me on YouTube.I'll have my Carrie Roldan Show Podcast. I'm around. I'm available. For real, if you are somebody who listened to this conversation and went, “I'm your people, Carrie.” You can email me at Carrie@CarrieRoldan.com.

This is a project that I decided to do because my community, the people who are listening and are engaging, I want to give you more value. The way my schedule is I'm recording months in advance. I don't want to make you wait for the good stuff. If you want to get access to these amazing interviews that we're doing, whenever you want on demand, it's totally free and you can go to BBRShow.com.

The experience when you told me this was like, “I was not expecting that.” We're on a call and all of a sudden Carrie is like, “I didn't like you.” I'm like, “Okay.” Then she explained and so I'm like, “Interesting.” I love that she actually will say that. I know there've been times in my life where I've had the wrong vibe about somebody. I'm usually good, but not always and sometimes people surprise me. Do you want to talk about one, why didn't you like me? Two, what inspired you to tell me that you didn't like me? Three, what changed your mind because I think you like me now?

I love you. It's not that I didn't like you. What I said was, “I didn't want to know you.” Everybody kept telling me like, “You need to connect with Nicole Holland. Do you know Nicole Holland?” I'm sure there was an aspect of jealousy. At the time I'm thinking maybe it was your Business Building Rockstars Summit or something but everybody was like, “You need to talk to this lady,” and there's a part of me that's like, “I want to be the person that everybody needs to talk to.” I'm sure there was a little bit of that, but that was not conscious. That's what I was telling you initially. I need to listen to that resistance when the universe like so many people were, “Nicole Holland is great. You should connect with her. She's your people. She's perfect for you.” I was like, ” I'm not going to. I don't want to. I don't want to look at her.” The reason I didn't want to look at you was because you're amazing and I was going to fall in love with you. Maybe I was feeling inferior or who knows where I was? It was a couple years ago. There was a feeling of resentment and that resentment is probably because people were saying, “You’ve got to follow Nicole. You’ve got to do what Nicole's doing,” and there was a little bit of childish foot-stomping like, “No.”

 

Also let's just be real, it was the introduction to each other was in a group that wasn't right for either of us. There were a lot of people who weren't the right kind of people saying, “You need to look at Nicole.” I was like, “No. I'm not going to.” It wasn't until much later when the right kind of person, the thing that put you back on my radar is a mutual friend invited us both to a dinner, and instantly I lit up inside and I didn't know anything more about you. There was nothing more but now I was like, “I've got to know her.” Then I started following you. That's what happens when you open yourself up and because you are so very real. We had most of our interactions on Facebook. I opened myself up to you, fell in love with you as most people do and did what I do, which is I got on your team. I'm like Nicole, “Go, Nicole.” I constantly was excited for you. Genuinely excited, not like some people out there saying stuff, comment on people's stuff and congratulate, like be a good friend as a strategy. I can't do that. I can't be a good friend as a strategy. I decided that I was going to love you and that you're amazing. I saw that we were closer on the same page than I thought and was like “I have to be her friend,” and luckily for me, you had the same feeling.

We create our own reality of course, and anybody that understands the Law of Attraction. As Esther Hicks or Abraham says, “You can't buck somebody else's current, it's too strong.” I don't remember having an opinion about you at the beginning, but I did see you. At first in that group or whatever, I was like, “She seemed so nice and energetic and happy and that’s awesome. That's my people.” Then I saw you were on the team of working with these people who I was realizing we're so not a right fit for me. Then I was like, “Maybe I misread her. Maybe I really don't need to know her.” I knew you existed, but I didn't think any more about you. My initial reaction was that I wanted to. I was like, “This person's awesome,” and then it was like, “Maybe not. Maybe I need to not worry about knowing everybody.” When we were both invited to that dinner, I was super excited to see you on the list. I was like, “This will be great to get to know this person.” I told the person who invited us, I was like, “I don't think I can get there,” because I was flying from Ontario and it was such a short trip and I would've had to come in the day before. I wound up at the end just saying, “I didn't have the bandwidth,” and so I decided not to come in the night before for the dinner. You said something to me like you were bummed that we didn't get to meet there and I was like, “Shoot,” and that started our dialogue and it's been a wild ride since.

Don't you think that's amazing? That's the universe. The universe put us both in that group that neither of us was meant to be in, but maybe we were meant to be there. You are one of many people who I met in that group who I'm so glad that I met. Without naming names, I worked inside the coaching industry for a company that I wasn't 100% aligned with. That's part of all of our journey. It's like, “I did that because I wanted to make a change. I wanted to be of service. I wanted it to be more of what I saw that it could be and should be.” When that ended, it ended beautifully and perfectly but it wasn't until after that weird energy ended that you and I were able to find each other and be in nice energy.

If anybody in our audience wants to continue the conversation, once again, the best place to go is?

You can go CarrieRoldan.com/FutureSelf and then you'll get the future self-visualization and you'll get yourself on my email list.

If you're interested in connecting with Carrie, go ahead and do that. I'm connecting with Carrie. I love Carrie and there may be some cool collaborations coming from us in the next year or so. Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled and until next time, this is Nicole Holland.

 

Resources mentioned:

About Carrie Roldan

BBR 255 | Run Yourself HappyYou know those people who light up a room with their presence? Well, Carrie Roldan is one of them! John Maxwell says that there are two types of people in the world: the lifters (those who uplift others), and the leaners (those who bring people down).And Carrie is 100% Lifter. She is a beautiful, expanded, Divine being who can’t help but encourage,inspire,and uplift. Carrie offers intuitive guidance for entrepreneurs, and also host her very own show, where she has conversations that MATTER to the entrepreneurs body, mind, and business.

And if that weren’t enough, she is an accomplished runner and best-selling author of “Run Yourself Happy; A five step training program, to release anxiety and create space for miracles.” Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and once you’ve met her, you can’t help but want to be a part of her tribe.

 

 


Thanks again to Megan Hall for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

James Muir on the Secret to Closing Sales

BBR 255 | Secret To Closing Sales

Non-business people often think that successful business owners are also great sales people. More often than not, business owners hate sales simply because they know that it is their weakness. Author of “The Perfect Close” James Muir understands this situation very well and shares the secret to closing sales is to either hire people to do the sales for you or you learn how to make The Ideal Advances. You do this by going to a meeting and knowing already what you want to have happen and then you offer your prospects the service for that outcome.

Thank you to Cardiff D. Hall, author of Tide Turners for introducing today’s episode. What he loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is Nicole, first off, is a rockstar herself. The level and the depth of questions that she asks the guests are insightful and make you want to listen a little bit more as you drive or jog or walk or whatever you do to listen to podcast. Her energy is contagious.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

James Muir on the Secret to Closing Sales

I am so excited to welcome James Muir to the Business Building Rockstars Show. How are you doing, James?

I'm super, Nicole. Thanks for having me on.

I have to let my audience know how honored I am to have you here. I have struggled with sales for a very long time and even though I'm getting better and better every day, it's been a challenge to me to sell my own services. Back in the day when I had a corporate training firm, I had no problem with sales because I was selling the company. I was selling the service. I've shifted into a model where I'm selling myself. This has been a challenging path for me to take since I started being an online entrepreneur. I've searched and searched, and I've hired coaches and I've been in programs and I learned all of the sales strategies and tactics and I've yet to find something or I had not found something that felt good to me and felt like I could be me and show up and give value. It led me to a search of all places on audible because one day I had enough, and I went, “I'm too good not to share what I've got and I'm not good enough at “selling” to help the people that I want to help and that's got to change now.”

BBR 255 | Secret To Closing Sales
The Perfect Close: The Secret To Closing Sales – The Best Selling Practices & Techniques For Closing The Deal

I found your book, The Perfect Close and since then I've probably listened to it five or six times every time I'm in the car. I was so excited about finally finding something aligned with who I am and you're amazing at breaking down simply how to serve and sales being a service to people. Then I reached out and I was like, “I got to have you on the show,” and I'm honored to have you here. I’ll turn it over to you to share your thoughts and share with our audience why you decided to write The Perfect Close.

You’re almost exactly the person that the book was written for. How I got in sales is I started as an operations person in a family-owned rev cycle service. It's basically a billing service. I'd often go out with the sales reps as the subject matter expert. When the customer would ask the hard questions, the sales guy wouldn't know the answer, so I'd be the guy to answer that. Then I opened up an office in a remote location and they needed somebody who knew something about the business to sell. I got drafted into that. I'm this technical person in sales and you can only imagine what that's like because I'm very type A. I could be a CPA. I created this process diagram that says, “The customers are going to do this, so I'm going to do this. The customer's going to do this, I'm going to do this.” I would give this to the client and say, “Here you go. This is what we're going to do.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it would go over poorly.

The short version is, I didn't know at that time. I turned to start reading books like you. 90% of the stuff out there is all about persuasion or about manipulation. That is not at all what selling is about. There's this misconception about that and there's a lot of gung-ho salespeople that think that it’s all about adding energy and getting in their face and interrupting people. It really is not that and I'm happy to elaborate on that at some depth. For me, I've got to these points, these conversations with customers when I was alone and I would find myself stuck not knowing what to do.

I remember this one group in Las Vegas that I was with. I'm going through all this stuff and all the people are there and they've got my little flow chart. It was going so well and about an hour into it, I'm like, “This is going to happen. I can tell. This needs to happen.” I knew it was time to tell them, “Let's do something,” but I didn't. I kept on going and it went for almost another 30 minutes or so and then the head honcho in the room, the executive, interrupts me mid-sentence and he turns this piece of paper around with this diagram on it and he goes, “I think we're right here.” It said review agreements. I laughed and got embarrassed. After the meeting was over, I thought, “Even though I knew it was time, why did I not do it? Why didn't I ask?”

I discovered how to do that and then I have shared that with the various teams that I have managed over the years. What I have found is that 50% to 90% of all sales encounters and without the salesperson or the entrepreneur asking for anything, any advanced of any kind. The reason for that is because all of the ways that are being taught are manipulative. The person who's the agent, the entrepreneur, the salesperson, because they're not comfortable with any of those ways, they don't ask at all. That's what happened. They wait for the customer to advance them.

It’s not effective and that’s what I have done for so long. There's a point in time often where I already know they're ready, they're excited and it's like, “Now, I've oversold.” I keep going to a point where I almost talk them out of working with me.

That could happen. The executive told me this after it was all over. He goes, “James, not everybody would have done that for you.” I was grateful for him to have stopped me and say, “I need your stuff, but you got to shut up. You've already been here an hour longer than you're supposed to be.” Hopefully, that helps. The whole point of writing the book was to address that and I ended up working with not just new salespeople, which tend to have this challenge, but also with subject matter experts. These are people that aren't in sales at all. They are basically a domain expert or some kind and they tag along with the sales guy and they're expected to help move the process forward. They almost universally will tell me they despise selling and that they hate being alone when there's no salesperson to cover that part because they don't know what to do. This was like, “Is there a way to advance the sale without being a manipulative, pushy person?” That's what The Perfect Close is.

I was speaking with an entrepreneur who was telling me about how her company is growing and ready to grow bigger, but that she hates sales so much that she needs to find a sales team. She needs to hire other people. This is something super common in my industry, at least. A lot of my audience maybe are relating and nodding their heads going, “I'm the expert. I'm the genius. I'm the amazing transformational person and yet it's so hard. I don't feel good selling.” I recorded an interview with Jeremy Slate and he said that he wound up taking on a partner because he's so bad at selling. There are a lot of sales books and sales trainings are geared towards sales people. What I love about The Perfect Close and how you explained that is that it's great for sales people, but it's so impactful for non-salespeople, but the coach, the author, the speaker, the consultant, the person who is selling their own services and an expertise.

That’s a perception thing. There was only one group of people that are trusted less than salespeople, and that's politicians. Any survey who say, “Who is the least trustworthy person?” It’s salespeople. That's the perception that we go into any encounter. We have to fight that. As entrepreneurs, you get to be a little bit better because you're both the subject matter expert as well as the agent that's doing the selling, but they still know you have something to gain. That makes you a suspect basically. That hesitation, “What would cause me to have to hire another person because I had to pay so badly that I got to have somebody else do that?” That's a mindset issue. If we can address that, then what happens is all the hesitation around helping other people get something that goes away. I'm in healthcare space mostly.

There is a story that was in the news a few years ago and this baby named Kaiba Gionfriddo. This baby was born with a collapsed trachea and it didn't fully manifest itself until he was about six weeks old. Every single day this baby would stop breathing. His parents would have to do CPR on this baby every day to try to make sure that they would keep him breathing and they would take him to his doctors and it was a birth defect. Nobody knows how to solve this problem. You can only imagine as a parent, not knowing any moment that your kid's going to stop breathing. They ended up finding Dr. Green and he's at University of Michigan in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. They were exploring creating these 3D printable biodegradable splints, basically implants that will go inside of a person, but then dissolve. It wasn't FDA approved. He used an emergency provision in the FDA rule set to get approval to use one of these 3D splints. It's very interesting looking. They printed this thing and then they use it as a splint around Kaiba’s trachea. It went from every day not breathing, not knowing when Kaiba’s going to stop breathing, to it saving his life. It's an amazing story.

When we hear these stories we all think, “If I was Dr. Green, I would absolutely save someone's life with a skill like that.” We all think that. What we don't take into account is, “Did you know that there was a sale here?” There was a sale involved in this whole thing. We don't talk about that part of it because there's something about that takes away the magic of the story. That 3D printed process required CT scans and MRI scans in order to get the imaging and the printing process possible. It requires lasers and these special 3D printers that can print this biodegradable material. All of that costs money too. The actual salesperson that was involved with this is Scott Hollister. We don't hear too much about him because it takes away from the magic of the story. This illustrates what selling is. Do we feel like he's a bad person or that he's pushy or anything? No, there are thousands of stories just like this one. We've got to ask ourselves, “Why do we see this sale differently than the way we see other sales?” We see it that way because we can see it most directly connected to the person that benefits. We can see that Kaiba’s life was saved from this but it illustrates perfectly that selling is an act of service and not every solution saves a life like that.

Some feed the hungry or some help us with medications or some help us communicate or travel to distances. There's hundreds of different ways that what we do helps another person. That's the whole point. It’s what selling is. It’s helping a customer move towards a goal. We are the agent or we are the coach that's helping them get from where they are to where they want to be. With that mindset, this hesitation about, “I don't want to ask,” that dissolves because what we're doing this we're trying to help them. In the same way that we would say, “I would absolutely save that child's life if I had Dr. Green's skills.” We’re that same person. We just need to connect the dots that how we help a person is we can't help them unless we coach them a little bit. That's what we need to be as salespeople, a little bit better of a coach. We don't have to be pushy, but at the same time, what makes a coach good is they help you be better than you are.

Do you love the Business Building Rockstars Show? Let us know. I'm looking for loyal listeners who want to shout from the rooftops what the Business Building Rockstars Show means to you. If you'd like to record your thoughts, visit BBRShow.com/fan and you could be heard introducing an upcoming episode. If you are loving what we are doing here on the Business Building Rockstars Show, then join me and my amazing rockstar guests backstage in the BBR Show Listeners Lounge. There you're going to find raw, unedited video interviews with me and my rock star guests before they released to the public and you'll also get extra golden nuggets of wisdom that my guest shared that are only available in the Listener's Lounge. It's totally free to join and you can get access right now by visiting BBRShow.com/subscribe.

Such a good example of that mindset shift and I suspect that some here are probably leaning in now going, “Okay, but how do I convince them?” That goes back to this icky way of selling, of convincing or manipulating or anything like that. You talked extensively in The Perfect Close, which I highly recommend, about advancing the sale, which is much different than what most people experience and expect. I want people to go explore that. I want to make sure we get your magic questions because there are only two questions that you say people need to be able to use in their sales conversations. Can you explain what those two questions are and how we can use them when we know that the person sitting on the other side of the desk or the phone or the computer from us needs what we have because we will save their life in a certain way?

It's important to start out before I share what the questions are, is that there are a lot of little steps or a lot of little sales on the way to the big sale. That's a simple concept, but basically people don't immediately turn on or off and get something. For very small items, they do. If you're going to buy about a pack of gum maybe. If you're buying anything that's above $200, there's more thought process that goes into it. If we're the agent, we’re the entrepreneurial, we're going to go have a meeting with somebody, it's important when we go into any meeting to have a little bit of an idea of what we wanted to happen. What do we want the outcome to be? A good practice is to think, “What would be the best thing that could happen?” We'll call that the ideal advance. What if it turns out that Nicole is not ready for that? Then we want a couple of alternatives that would still keep the ball moving, but maybe not necessarily be the biggest one. I call those alternate advances.

We're using the word ‘advance’, which was coined by a man named Neil Rackham. An advance is nothing more than moving yourself forward in a little way. There was nothing complicated about it. It's moving yourself forward in a little way. If you know what you want to happen, what's your ideal advance, then all you need is these two questions. There are zero confrontation. There's no pressure whatsoever on you or the person you're talking to and it's about 95% effective and so basically, you can't get rejected.

The first question is, “Does it make sense for us to X?” The X is going to be whatever your ideal advance is. If Nicole wants me to come look at her business operations or her marketing and have me look at her processes, then I might say, “Nicole, does it make sense for us to schedule a time for me to come assess your marketing operations?” Then there are only one or two things she can say. She's either going to say, “Yeah, that does make sense,” or she's going to say, “No, it doesn't make sense.” It was one of two things. If she said, “Yeah, it does make sense,” then I'm going to say, “Let's get our calendar out. We're going to schedule it.” On the other hand if she says, “No,” then we're going to use question number two. There are several different variations of this. The most basic one is we're going to throw the ball back to her. We're going to say, “What do you think is a good next step then?” What I can tell you, and I've been on hundreds of rides along with salespeople, is what will happen in 90% of the case. The customer will suggest a very logical next step for where they're at right now. Maybe we misread where they're at in their buyer's journey. That's okay. This accommodates that. We don't have to be a psychic. We'll ask, “Does it make sense for us to X?” If they say, “No,” then, “What do you think is a good next step yet?” 90% of the time, they'll suggest the next step for you and then you take that and move forward. Those are the two basics and those are some variations. That's the basic two questions. Does it make sense to X and what do you think is a good next step as a fallback?

BBR 255 | Secret To Closing Sales
Secret To Closing Sales: Sometimes the people that we're selling to, they're not really familiar with our product or our solution.

A very good upgrade is sometimes the people that we're selling to, they're not really familiar with our product or our solution. They don't buy it very often. In some cases, maybe once in a lifetime. It helps us add value to the conversation if we share with them what is a common process to get there. For example, I might say, “Nicole, at this stage a lot of our other clients will have us come out and do an assessment to see what kind of optimization we can do. It doesn't make sense for us to schedule an assessment.” What I've done there is called the suggestion. We're suggesting what the logical next step is. They don't have to think so hard about it. You can do that at the beginning when you do your first question, but you can also do that when you use the fallback question. I say, “Nicole, does make sense for us to schedule an assessment?” You say, “No.” Then I say, “Other clients at this stage will sometimes do this other thing. Does it make sense for us to do that?” What you're doing is you're helping them a little bit understand what's typically involved in the buying process.

That is very helpful if they don't buy what you're selling very often. I find the more sophisticated your solution, the less likely it is that they're going to have any experience at all. You're adding value. They could say yes or no to the next one. Your other clients at this stage typically do X. Does it make sense to do that? If they say, “No,” then you've got an option. You could ask it again or you could throw it back to them and say, “What do you think is a good next step?” You can see that we start at what we think is the most ideal place for them to be, but if they're not ready for that, we're going to fall back to another one. You could do the flip of this, too, which is very cool. If I ask you, “Does it make sense for us to do an assessment?” You go, “Yeah, absolutely.” I go, “Let's schedule that.” I can say, “Sometimes clients at this stage will also want to do this other thing. Do you want to do that too?” If they say, “Yeah, sure,” then I can even add another one. I can say, “Sometimes they also do this Z thing too. Do you want to do that?”

This happened to me one time at a group in Arizona. I go down there and this was IT stuff. We thought we were presented to the wrong group of people and we say, “Does it make sense for us to schedule to this other group of people?” We thought, “That’s who needed to see it.” The guy says, “Yeah, absolutely.” We're like, “Okay.” I look at my list. The next thing on my list, my alternative, was to get our technical teams to talk. I said, “Does it make sense for us to have our two technical teams talk to each other to see how much of your existing equipment we can use?”He goes, “Yeah, that's a great idea.” I'm like, “All right. We're doing pretty good.” I looked down, I got one more thing on my list, which is talk about a conversion and I said, “Does it make sense for us to get some of your data to see if we can convert it?” He goes, “Yes, absolutely.” I'm spent. I got my ideal advance, I got my two alternative advances and then at the end of this one, around the fallback, you throw them the ball back. You say, “What do you think is the next step?” On the add-on, what you do at the end you say, “Are there any other logical steps that we should be taking right now?” That's what you say. If I said this to this guy and he goes, “Our legal people are slow. Is there any chance we could get a copy of your agreement?” I would've never dreamed in 100 years that I would've been able to walk into that meeting where we thought we were presenting to the wrong people and give them a contract. Probably if I had tried it at the wrong time from his perspective, that would look pushy.

The cool thing about The Perfect Close is it paces it to whatever they're ready for. If our ideal advance is a little too much, then we fallback to something or throw them the ball and if they're ready to go, then we keep piling on because the important thing is that we want to pace it. It's when we start to push them farther than they're ready for that it starts to feel like pressure or pushy to the customer. When we are trying to take them farther along the path than where they're ready, that's when it starts to look like. This process avoids that because we're basically getting their consent all the way through. The customer is driving the whole process. Those are a couple of the alternatives. There's a couple more, but I don't want it to hijack all your time with different variations.

Oftentimes, we offer an advance where they tell us what that logical next step is and we have agreement. Now, what? Something I learned from you was that sending over or me doing the work then for them, send your proposal. There's nothing that they have to do. Now, it's on me. Now, I'm in a situation where I'm waiting for them to do something. You positioned it a little bit differently where they have to do something. Talk a little bit about how that works.

Advances are super important. One of the things that they do very well is when we ask them to do something. We’re going to put a little bit of a hurdle there. Like if I ask you, “I have an eight-question survey I'd like you to fill out and then send back to me. Would you be willing to fill out the survey?” That is a little bit of effort. Here we are talking about advances, but it's important to know the difference between what an advance is and this other thing that's called a continuation. I didn't invent these terms. These are invented by Neil Rackham, who's the guy that coined the phrase. A continuation, the definition of a continuation is where the sale will continue on, but no progress is made. I spent a little time diving into how can you tell if the thing that happened is an advance or a continuation? It's a big problem. I've had sales guys that I manage that were basically doing all this work for the customer. The customer was putting in no effort at all. He's working like a dog trying to do everything and gain their favor. The customer has no skin in the game. In this sense, as professionals, the only thing we have is our time. That's it. We convert time into money. It's super important that we know where to invest it. When we ask the customer for a small advance, it's a lot like throwing a person at basketball. If they throw me the ball back and they exert a little effort, then I know they want to play ball. If I throw them the ball and they let it drop, I'm not going to keep throwing them basketball. That's not a good use of my time.

The advance is important in more than one way. In addition to telling us the next little step that's going to move the sale forward. It also is a little test so that we can devote our time. The Perfect Close is probably 90% to 95% effective if you do all this stuff. Yet, I've had people on shows or in workshops say, “What about that last 5%?” Here's what I'll say about that. If we get in front of a person and we've been this facilitative and they can't come up with a single reason, then what does that tell us about the opportunity that we're working? We need that last 5% to help us know how to invest our time. Some clients will move really fast, some will move slow. The Perfect Close helps us get there but that last 5%, that's telling us, “This is a time-suck. This is not going to turn out to be anything good.” We're not going to get any satisfaction out of it both monetarily, but also from an accomplishment perspective. If they're not willing to accept our help, then no help can be given. That's the important thing about advances. All we have as professional is our time. It helps us gauge who we should be working with.

Could you give us a couple of examples? For example, if somebody is in a conversation and the customer has identified, “Yes, they have this problem,” because we didn't even talk about it, but much of your methodology involves adding value and asking the questions and understanding their needs. If we get to a point where they've identified that we have something that they want, that they will benefit from, can you give an example of how that continuation would go if they're not ready for sharing their financials or to get a contract or something like that? Can you role play a little bit?

Once you understand what an advance is or what a continuation is, the problem disappears because you know to ask for a logical next step that's an advance. People get confused because sometimes they think, “I had lunch with these guys,” and they think that's an advance. If during lunch, the customer agrees to some commitment that moves the process for like, “I need to introduce you to my boss,” that's an advance. The test of an advance is does it require action or doesn't require energy? If it doesn't require those two things or is very low on those two things, then it's not an advance.

If they watch a webinar, they're not really committing to anything. It's definitely engagement. There's some interest or they wouldn't have spent some time watching it, but it's not an advance because it doesn't involve a commitment and the energy level is super low. On the other hand, let's say I'm going to come visit you next week and talk about your sales process and you say, “I put together this 30-page document about my sales process.” That is a lot of effort. We use that effort to decide whether it's an advance or whether it's not. Things like, “Did I have lunch?”If something happened on lunch, but meeting with them by itself is not an advance. If they say, “I liked what I saw,” that is nothing. It doesn't require any energy. I've had guys where we have a product to demo and they want to see it. The customer has asked five times to see it and they think they're demoing it and it's moving the process forward. If a customer's not doing anything, it's really not. It's okay to do the demo, but we want to end the process with a logical advance of some kind.

What are some of those questions that we can ask them? We've had the meal they say they're going to introduce us, then do we wait until they introduce us or is there something in a follow-up to get that action or that follow through? If they say they want a demo, what would that thing be? Or we're demoing it, are there some questions that we can ask? If the customer isn't already engaged to a point where they're putting together their 30-page report or they're not throwing the basketball back but they still seem interested, are there some questions that we can ask to get them to take action?

All of chapter eight in the book is about developing all of the possible advances that you might have. There is no one answer that fits every single person. If they have a client that's interested but it's not advancing, they should ask this question because it's contextual. It depends on the product or the solution. There are some common things. In chapter eight, we do a brainstorm of all the little minor steps that we might take. Before I go to have lunch with you, I'm going to pick three of those out. I'm going to say, “This is the best thing that could happen.” If that doesn't happen, I'd be happy if this happened or if this happened. I'm going to have that in my phone or a notepad or whatever. When I'm with them, I might say, “Does it make sense for me to meet your executive or CEO, or does it make sense for us to schedule a demo?” If they say, “Yes,” we've got an advance. Our lunch is productive. If they say, “No,” then you could say, “What do you think is a good next step?”If they give us something, we've got an advance. The worst case scenario is I say, “What's a good next step?” and they just sit there. They're like, “Hmmm?” That probably tells us something about the quality of the opportunity that we're working.

A tough medicine that is hard for salespeople to embrace is we're far better working with an ideal customer. That's the match for our persona or some people call them avatars, but we've got a definition of what the ideal customer is. We're better off going after one of those than to continue to waste time on the low probability prospect. That's tough medicine because it is a lot fun to hang out with a customer and talk to them than it is to go out and find a brand new one. The truth is, focusing on your ideal prospect is a super high leverage strategy. If we get a customer, we said, “What do you think is a good next step?”and they can't come up with anything, what they really told us is they're not ready. Let's put them into our queue. It doesn't mean we're going to forget about them forever, but we're going to let the emails and things like that take care of them while we go find somebody that has a more urgent.

Can you speak a little bit about that because we all want to always be working with our ideal people and to move the needle forward with our ideal people? If we realize that this is not our ideal person or maybe it is, but it's not the right time and we can put them into the email sequence, do you have any high value recommendations for what that email sequence or what ongoing follow-up that doesn't take a lot of time or energy could be?

I don’t how far along they are in their thinking about the buyer's journey. What you need to do is we need to match our messaging to where they're at in the process. There are six stages in my world. There's awareness where they're wondering, “Do I really have a problem or not?” Before that, they don't even have that, then they're wondering after that. The next stage is they're defining their problem. “How big is this really? Is this something I got to do something about.” Then there are options. They say, “How can I solve this?” Solving it might involve your product but it might involve something different that's not your product. They'll solve it any way they can do it. Then there's the evaluate solutions, which is what we usually think about, “Why are you better than some other solution?” People are pretty good about that stage. Once they’ve decided, “I'm going to do this,” they justify it. They think, ” I'm about to spend a lot of money here, should I really do this?” Then after that, they start thinking, “I'm going to do it.” Then they start thinking about, “What's the best deal I could get?” That's the order that they go in.

BBR 255 | Secret To Closing Sales
Secret To Closing Sales: The golden rule of messaging is to meet the customer where they're at.

The problem with this particular scenario that we're talking about is that they're probably not really sure that we got one or two problems. They're not really aware that they have a problem or they're not sure the problem is big enough to keep moving. If we're going to craft our messaging that's going to go to them, we need to be focusing our message, not on the we're the best solution because that's not where they're at. The golden rule of messaging is to meet the customer where they're at. They're at in this awareness stage where they're still trying to figure out what they really have an issue with.50% of all sales are lost to no decision. It tells us that the customer was never fully convinced that they had a problem that was big enough worth solving.

Pick any industry that's the number one competitor. Their number one competitor is not somebody who also does what you do. It's not that person. The number one competitor is no decision. A customer is not certain that they have a problem we're solving. When we're crafting our messages, there are three things you can think about. There's why change, why now and why you. Really the awareness stage it's about why change and why now. Change is why should I do something different and why is it urgent? Why can’t I wait a year to do this? We need to help them think through that. Once you explore your area, what you're doing, where you're adding service, if you can articulate to them what it is they're really missing out on, if they don't move forward, they'll embrace it, but we do a crappy job of that on the whole. Most of the time as marketers, as salespeople, we're not articulating very well why is it that they have challenge and why they should do it now as opposed to all the other possibilities that they could do right now. I don't pretend that that's not hard work. It is. That's where the energy has to be devoted. If you're trying to take someone that's at that stage and move them forward into the process to where they start thinking, “I need to do something about this.” We moved into the next stage and now we can have the rest of our conversation.

This was a fabulous conversation and I hope that everyone, if this is something that you can identify, this is something you need help with, definitely get the book. What did you say 50%or how many percent?

In some industries, it's as high as 70% of all decisions are lost to no decision.

For me, that's what it's been. It's no decision and it's me going, “I don't want to bug them,” but it's me recognizing that there was something wrong in the journey. I recognized that without being able to articulate it in the past and I have a sense that a number of the entrepreneurs can relate to that. It's not even supposed to move forward, it's not going to move forward, but you don't know why. I love that you've talked about that.

There's a whole bunch of new information that came out in the last six months about what is the ideal way to craft a message to a client or a prospect that is most likely to cause them to act now. There's no message that will cause them to act now, but what we do know now in the last six months is we know which message process is the best. We're better than we knew six months ago. We know how we should be constructing that message to get them to act now. It doesn't mean everyone will, but we do know which one creates the most traction.

Let people know your final parting thoughts, words of wisdom and how they can get more from you in addition to getting the book, but to get on your list. You have so many valuable resources that you share and support people in amazing ways. I'd love to turn it over to you for final thoughts and also how they can continue the conversation.

They're welcome to go to the website and download it. There's a lot of stuff there for them to do. All of that's free. You don't have to buy the book or anything to get it. Just go download it. For those people who are listening on the go, that's at PureMuir.com/Resources. I would circle back to what we said at the very beginning is how to think about selling. Whenever we're trying to take on some new or some kind of challenge, we all love to have a coach that helps us move forward at our own pace and The Perfect Close helps you do that. The key is to give a little bit of thought as to what the steps are that will help get the customer there. Those are the advances that we're going to suggest. We don't always know what the exact pace is, but that perception helps us coach them optimally is understanding that.

Our clients are engaging us precisely because they want to make a positive change. If they could do it without us, they wouldn't even be talking to us. They're expecting us to be the coach. If they could do it, they would have already done it by now. They want us to guide them through all those little steps that it takes to help them achieve their goals. It's really what selling is. It's not about persuasion, it's not about manipulation, it's about serving, it's about coaching, it's about leadership really when you get right down to it. Most of us could do a little bit better job of coaching and serving and leading the clients that we're working with. That is my challenge to entrepreneurs, to salespeople, to executives is be a better coach, be a better problem solver, be a better teacher, be a better leader so we can serve our customers better.

Thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure and I appreciate you coming and sharing your wisdom.

My pleasure. I'm happy to come back anytime.

 

Resources mentioned:

About James Muir

BBR 255 | Secret To Closing SalesJames Muir is a best-selling author, professional sales trainer, speaker and coach. He has an extensive background in healthcare where he has sold-to and spoken for the largest names in technology and healthcare including HCA, Tenet, Catholic Healthcare, Banner, Dell, IBM and others.

James is the author of the Best-Selling book The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales that shows professionals a clear and simple approach to increase closed opportunities and accelerate sales to the highest levels while remaining genuinely authentic.

 


Thanks again to Cardiff D. Hall for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Summer Felix of The Get Genius Podcast on Mommies in Business, What Does Balance in Home and Work Look Like?

If you were an entrepreneur first before you became a mother, you’d know that the struggle is real to keep balance inside the home and in the office. Summer Felix had her first child and had to run a business with her husband. She had always dreamed of being a mother and knew that it was the one task that will always be challenging. With four kids to take care of, Summer still doesn’t know what balance looks like, but believes it is more of a feeling rather than something you can physically see. She shares how the Entrepreneur’s Calendar helped her develop a level of commitment to her schedules to generate revenue and get tasks done.

Thank you to Cardiff D. Hall, author of Tide Turners, for introducing today’s episode. What he loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is that the level and the depth of questions that Nicole asks the guests are insightful and make you want to listen a little bit more as you drive or jog or walk or whatever you do, to listen to podcast. Her energy is contagious.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Summer Felix of The Get Genius Podcast on Mommies in Business, What Does Balance in Home and Work Look Like?

Summer Felix, thank you so much for joining me again on the Business Building Rockstars Show. The last time you were here for a special bonus edition to highlight one of the things that you were doing, which is the Healing Addiction Summit. I'm really excited to have you back again with us to actually dive in to your own personal story and your own personal journey as an entrepreneur. Welcome.

Thank you so much.

Let's start out going all the way back to the beginning. When you think about your life, where you started from when you were really little, a lot of kids think about they want to fly, they want to be Superman or they want to do these things that as adults we say, “That's not possible generally.” Do you remember what you really wanted to be when you were a smallest possible?

The first thing I wanted to be when I was the smallest possible was a mom. That was the first thing I think because my mom is so amazing to me, and so I wanted to have that myself. I was always fascinated with babies and kids. I loved babysitting and when I saw a woman who was pregnant, I was like, “I can't wait for that to be me one day.”That's the first career. It's kind of a career really. I went through a lot of different phases. I wanted to teach. I wanted to be a party planner. I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer. I had so many different things, but the one that stuck for a really long time was I wanted to be a writer. Storytelling was everything. I saw movies with my parents all the time. I had both of my parents every day after school. It wasn't like dad came home late. He was an entrepreneur as well. My mom would take me to school. My Dad would pick me up from school and then they were both there with me all the time.

A lot of the times during the week, we'd go and see movies. We did lots of road trips together and we listened to books on tape. Stories, movies, all of that was always a discussion for us. I started to just love characters and how you could totally influence and inspire people with stories, whether they were real or made up. I wrote a play in college. I wanted to write books. I wanted to write screenplays and eventually, that did evolve into copywriting, which really is storytelling and writing my own books and being a ghostwriter to tell other people's stories. Writing, telling a story.

You became a mom.

I did, a mom and a stepmom.

How many children do you have?

We have four. Two of that came from me, two of that came to me.

I am so curious about the mom thing because I can actually relate. It's funny because I'm not a mom. I've been a caregiver, I've been a foster mom, but I've never been a mom and definitely had a very different upbringing from you. I remember always seeing a baby, always having a kid, turned out they just weren’t mine. Did that stick with you always? As you grew up and you had a career and you became an entrepreneur, did you still always feel that pull to be a mother?

I was very fortunate to have two amazing parents and an upbringing that was just so beautiful, fun, filled with what I needed. I wasn't spoiled. I was an only child, so most people are like, “You were spoiled.” I was spoiled with attention, but it wasn't spoiled. It was awesome. I was never spoiled with getting whatever I wanted. I had lots of friends that got all the video games. They got all the real Cabbage Patch dolls and real Nikes. I got the mock ones. My parents could actually afford all of those things, but they were like, “No, you don't need. You can get the cheaper version of the Cabbage Patch doll. You can get these brand of tennis shoes that no one's ever heard of before.” They wanted to keep me very grounded and appreciation was always a really big thing.

Growing up I did experience, through my friends, other lifestyles, other family settings that were troubled. Lots of divorced parents. I saw lots of addiction with friends that then those friends turned into having problems with addiction. The biggest thing is this overwhelming compassion for children always came from that. Maybe it's because there's this part of me that mourns for people who didn't get to have what I had, and it sucks. I feel like every human should get to have that, especially just entering into this world. Then you become an adult and then you make your own choices. If I could have a wish in the world, it's that everybody could at least get that loving, cared for start. Yes, it did. Being a parent is extremely important. It's awesome. It's scary a lot of the times. It's scariest when they're babies, it's scary as they go off to school, it's scary watching them become teenagers, watching them as teenagers. There's a lot, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Were you an entrepreneur by the time you had your first child or were you a mom first?

Yes, entrepreneur and had a business with my husband at the time. We were entrepreneurs. I was in our offices sitting there breastfeeding and working at the same time. He was with me, my son, all the kinds of toys and everything in the office and then I would work from home as well. It was definitely the, “I'm going to do both.” I think I was like two weeks later back in the office.

How did you find from that beginning stage as a new mom and then as you had your second child and now you have also incorporated more children, now being a mom of four, how has it been for you as an entrepreneur throughout the journey? Have you found any tricks of the trade that might be of value to everyone who are mompreneurs? They are working, and they have children and sometimes balancing it is challenging.

I don't even know exactly what balance really looks like. It's more of a feeling, so it's different for everyone, but I will say that it's absolutely challenging. For me, there are some parts that you go, “It's easier to be an entrepreneur because I share custody with my children's father,” and so there's time when I can really focus and have this career. My daughter was yet to be born when this whole divorce process happened. It was really tough and yet at the same time, it was like, “We've got this business together. We're going to sell this business, then I've got to figure out what I'm going to do.” It was like, “They were so little, so they were mostly with me.” As they got older, I started to have a little bit more time. I could travel more. The times that they weren't with me, I could go to different networking groups and really start to step out. I was lucky that I had a really good support team with my family. If there were certain opportunities that came up and I had my kids, they were there to help.

As they get older and now having two stepchildren, there's a whole shit ton to handle all the time. Our calendar is ridiculous. There's the work calendar, the things that you're doing to grow the business and then there's the personal calendar that my husband and I have that's just insane because there are four kids with multiple different activities because they're talented. Our oldest plays the guitar. He plays Lacrosse. He does water polo. Our two middle children are into martial arts. There's Lacrosse, there's cheerleading, there's piano, there's all kinds of stuff. Our youngest, my daughter who's into the different dance, the voice lessons, Girl Scouts. It's like, “How do you manage this?” Everything has to be scheduled for me. I have my assistant put into the calendar what my ideal schedule looks like. When I'm not traveling, and these are the days that I have kids, this is what I want it to look like. I want to be done by this time, so that my focus is on the kids.

I have every single day dedicated to certain tasks. This will be the day that I can do podcasts and meetings. This will be the day that I need to just focus on getting set up for the week. Mondays is like, “I'm going to be at home. I'm going to catch up on emails. I'm going to get everything set up so that I can have a really productive week. I'm going to go over with my business partner, what are the three main things that we have to get done this week? Some people don't like this, but I am such a list person, so I have in the calendar and then based on that day, I have everything tasks out for that day. Down to the workout, down to, “This is the time I'm picking up the kids. This is the time I'm taking my vitamins. This is the time I'm catching up with friends. Create an Instagram story for this.” Whatever it is that I have to do, it's all tasked out. That's how I keep up and manage.

That also includes scheduling in the time with our kids. We like to watch one to two documentaries a month with our kids and have a discussion about it. Everything has to be scheduled because even outside of kids’ activities and meetings and things that my husband and I have, there's our alone time and date time. Then there's alone time that we want to have with each individual kid. They have their stuff that they want to do with their friends outside of all of their obligations. Scheduling, I don't know if that sounds daunting, but it's awesome because for me, when you actually schedule in that time that's date night or weekend away together or, “Today, I'm not working at all. I'm going to go sit by the pool and I'm just going to listen to a good book or I'm going to sit with my friends.” Whatever it is, it’s scheduled out and you can't allow anybody to interfere with that.

Do you love the Business Building Rockstars Show? Then let us know. I'm looking for loyal listeners who want to shout from the rooftops what the Business Building Rockstars Show means to you. If you'd like to record your thoughts, visit BBRShow.com/Fan and you could be heard introducing an upcoming episode. If you are loving what we are doing here on the Business Building Rockstars Show, then join me and my amazing rockstar guests backstage in the BBR Show Listener’s Lounge. There you're going to find raw, unedited video interviews with me and my rock star guests before they release to the public and you'll also get extra golden nuggets of wisdom that my guest shared that are only available in the Listener's Lounge. It's totally free to join and you can get access right now by visiting BBRShow.com/Subscribe.

How did you develop this level of commitment to your schedule? Is this something that evolved over time or is this something that you knew, “This is how I'm going to function best,” and you've brought everybody else along for the ride? How did you come up with a schedule that works for you?

I took a lot from Strategic Coach, which is a business coaching group. I've been in just over two years now. Dan created the entrepreneurs calendar or timesheet. They really help you break down what are the things that actually generate revenue for your business and what are the things that are just tasks that need to get done. What can you delegate and what is it that you need to do yourself? He calls it buffer days and focus days. On the buffer days, it's really setting you up so then on your focus days, those days that you're actually generating revenue and doing things to grow your business, you don't have any of those distractions. You might do. He'll say, “You might have 20% buffer activities, but 80% of that day is focus.”

BBR 253 | Mommies In Business
Mommies In Business: On the buffer days, it's setting you up so then on your focus days, those days that you're actually generating revenue and doing things to grow your business.

I do that with personal life as well. I've put altogether like “Laundry, this and that.” That just need to get off the plate, so that I don't have to think about it and now I can be productive within other areas of family time spent with kids. Then I do the same with work. What are the emails and things I need to get done scheduled for the week, run through the week with my assistant, what does that need to look like? Then now I can focus on such and such meetings. Things will pop up but if you can get 80% of that stuff, if you can have those days 80% focus or 80% on what you want it to be, then I feel good about that. I love being able to be spontaneous, but I need to know that things are in order. It’s like a scheduled or organized spontaneity.

I also plan out my calendar for the ideal and then sometimes I move things around and let things go. If I'm doing that too much, I realized it's time to renegotiate my calendar. I did this and as I sat down and went, “What are these long-term things that I've blocked out on my calendar to do and why am I not doing them? Are they just not a right fit right now? How can I renegotiate what my needs are and getting them at first?” I go in and then I get changing around. I'm very jealous of what you've got going on there.

One thing we do as entrepreneurs where you have so many ideas all of the time and you do have to first spend the time, another thing I learned from Strategic Coach, and do an impact filter, which is really like, “What does this look like? What does this idea look like if it's actually executed and successful?” You reverse engineer. What happens if you do it? What happens if you don't do it? Who are the people that are going to help you execute on this? Those will be the first things that I do. One thing that I think is super helpful and I hope to everyone might be really helpful, on my phone, I have my little notes and I always write down ideas.

What I've done is I made a spreadsheet and I thought, “How much time will it take for each of these?” The ideas I actually want to execute on and how much time do we think that that's going to take and what's the priority level? I send that over to my assistant. She has access to my calendar and she has the timeframe of when this should be scheduled. She'll schedule it in to make sure that it happens. Then I feel like, “It feels like a weight is lifted because I feel like that idea didn't just go out into the universe somewhere and to be forgotten, to never be looked at again.” By the time I get to it in time, it's scheduled. I might look at it and go, “I'm going to do a little impact filter on it. It sounded cool at the time, but it's actually not going to be worth it.” I don't know if that's helpful, but I love that because then, I feel like I've never lost anything.

Do you have any tools that you use? What kind of calendar and anything that helps other than your human resource of your assistant, do you have any tech tools that you use to help keep things on the go?

A lot of lot of things are in Google Drive, but I'm a big fan of Slack and I'm a big fan of Trello. Having boards and tasks, it just keeps things very organized. Probably in the businesses that Eric and I have, everything is managed on Trello. We have Slack and then whatever we need to put on Google Drive or Dropbox to access assets. I love Trello. Everybody’s onboard with, “Here's where we're at. Now, we're done with this. Put it over there.”

Let's talk about what you do in these days. You've got these businesses with Eric. Talk to me about what's going on.

The business that we've had together for almost nine years now is The Draw Shop. It's known for whiteboard animation videos, but we do all kinds of animation. There's cartooning, 2D, and infographics. There are all kinds of fun stuff that we do. We're known for whiteboard. That's usually what people come to us for and then we'll do other stuff for them. We have such an amazing team and we have now for a few years. About two years ago, because it's managed so well, Erik and I, we are still overseeing it, but we have the time and the ability to start two other businesses. Two things we're really passionate about.

The first one that we started, it's called Eden and it's an app that's launching and we've been working on it for two years. The intention is to get people to do good in the world and do good for themselves. What's the very best version of themselves that they can be and that's done through challenges? A lot of times we absorb so much content and then you're lost with what to do with it. The idea of that is to take all of these amazing content that's out there, for example, Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, all these people that have such great amazing tools and books and content and putting them into really actionable, easy to take action on challenges. Just really break it down step-by-step so that it's not overwhelming.

Many people start on a path and then they stop because it feels so overwhelming. It can be anything. It can be business-related, family-related, relationships, health, fitness, all of that. The idea is that you earn badges with each challenge that is accomplished and then your led into the next challenge on that path. It’s like you're developing this life resume within the app and those badges also, you're incentivized by them because they are worth either money or whatever the publisher decides that those badges are worth. That's something we've been really passionate about. We had two versions that we built. We were so new to the whole app world and didn't know anything. We failed a couple times. That's part of the whole learning curve. Midway through both the developments, we went to the real experts on how do we do this. We really got it right this time. That's that business and then the other one is CLEAR Health Technologies.

With the Eden app, you have the publisher. For example, like Tony Robbins, his stuff is in there. Do they have to have a program from Brendon Burchard or is there something inside of the app?

No, you might be a publisher yourself and you want to publish your own content. You might be somebody who is just a fan of Tony Robbins and Unleash the Power Within or Awaken the Giant Within, whatever it is, and you might make a real mini challenge and put your own group, your team together to accomplish that. At the same time, Tony Robbins can go and put all of his content into multiple different challenges. You can then join that challenge and bring on team members or you can create a team and all of you can do these different challenges together.

You, as an individual, who is a user of the app can create your own challenges with your own team and you can also choose to participate in challenges created by other publishers.

You would log on and it would ask you all of your different interests, similar to Pinterest. I'm interested in all these types of things in fitness, finance, whatever it is, and then based on that, it will show you different teams you might want to join and also the different challenges that exist in those different fields and then you can pick those. It assigns each day, “Here are the things that you're going to be doing.”When you're earning points and earning rewards and then there's some that you're doing, you want to create really good habits. You might have somebody talking about their morning routine. Many influencers that we follow have their morning routine that they do. You might want to say, “I want to participate in that every single day.”It will allow you to do that and then you earn badges every day that you do it.

If people want to learn about Eden, where can they get it from?

We had a site up. We're actually just in development. It's EdenApp.io, but right now, we took that site down because we're doing a whole bunch of rebuilding.

Then the third business?

We spoke about this, which was our Healing Addiction Summit that we had, and the business is called CLEAR Health Technologies. The goal of that business is to end addiction relapse with the use of technology. We are working with NIDA right now even the National Institute of Health. We're putting together a contest and it's a million-dollar prize to come up with the technology that predicts relapse before it happens. In all of the research that we've been doing, getting, seeing, “Is there a technology that already exists, can this actually happen?”

We did prove through our two years of research that yes, we can do this and it's out there. We have all of that in the materials for the potential solvers that want to enroll in the contest. In doing all of that, we developed an even deeper understanding of what's happening with the opioid epidemic, with addiction, with the way the people's experience with various treatment centers and experts that we've spoken with. We decided to put together a summit where we could bring all of these experts together and really offer support to those suffering from addiction themselves or those whose loved ones who they are the supporters of those who are suffering with addiction.

BBR 253 | Mommies In Business
Mommies In Business: The goal is to change the language, change how things are being done and actually really help people.

It was a really successful online event and because of that, there's the demand for more and more. We're now going to be launching this out every quarter with new content. We will have our membership site that is online, which is Healing Addiction. That's all being built right now, but that will be HealingAddiction.com and we're putting all of that together because the demand for this kind of support is incredible. We were floored with the people that were reaching out to us. People that were sharing their stories that told us, “I've never told anybody this.”It was incredible. The goal there is to really change the language, change how things are being done and actually really help people.

When somebody is considering membership, who is the right member for this program?

The target is those who are really seeking help.

Are we talking about folks who are struggling with addiction, folks who support addiction?

It’s a lot of the supporters. Definitely those struggling with it, and for those people wanting to get help. A lot of it is for those that have a loved one, a spouse, a brother or family member or a friend who are suffering, who was basically at that point of, “We've tried everything and we don't know what to do.” Those people need a ton of support. That will be the audience. It is those that are going through it themselves, some of them who actually have been in recovery for years and years. You need that ongoing support. It's a very holistic approach in terms of mental health, physical health, what are things that you can be doing, habits that you can be doing every single day. Where can you find support? Let me try to understand my brain and what's actually happening and how can I intervene with that. What kind of support do I need in my physical support, right here, outside of just online?

Summer, what else is on, because you also have projects on top of all this. Is there a winding down or a winding up?

It's almost like the busier you are, the more you get done. My mom would always say that, “You want something done? Give it to a busy person.” Yes, recently married, which is awesome but again, we were together for nine years, almost ten years now. It’s a change in terms of it feels different, but like normal operations are the same. We'd already been like a family. The podcast is still going. That's the Get Genius Podcast. It's awesome. There are talks with some other people and doing some other podcasts. We will be doing a podcast for Healing Addiction. There's always stuff going on. You definitely do have to pick and choose because I like to go all-in with what I'm doing, so the scheduling and having that focus time for those things is really important. Trust me, there's a whole bunch of other ideas and things brewing that are scheduled in the calendar for later.

You mentioned a lot of people have that morning routine. What do you do to decompress and spend time just with yourself to recharge and rejuvenate?

I've tried so many different morning routines because I love routine. I love all those things and then there's just the few that always sticks. For me, I do meditate. The thing with meditating is that on mornings when it's like there are kids getting them ready for school, all of that, it's hard to get it done in the morning so I'll usually do an afternoon meditation. I was raised on transcendental meditation, so it's something that I've done forever. I do that, and I'd love to be able to do it twice a day. That’s just a choice, but I do it at least once a day. As far as routines, one practice that I really love and started doing years ago when I met the creator at a Genius Network Event, is the Five-Minute Journal. That's just the waking up. What are the three things that you're grateful for? The very first thing in the morning is answering those questions. Three things that I'm grateful for, what would be amazing that could happen today, and I go really big and bold with those. When you say, “I am strong,” your affirmation.

At the end of the day, you do the recap. What three amazing things that happened? What are the three things I would've done differently? That's definitely part of my routine. Other than that, I wake up in the morning, have a glass of water, kiss all my family members and say, “Good morning, let's make it an awesome day.” I have my coffee, and it's the regular stuff. I take my vitamins, my brain pills, all that good stuff. Every morning, I have a call with my business partner and we talk about the day and what each of us are going to accomplish, where we are at for the week, anything that needs attention. It's pretty much like a 30-minute call of getting all of that out and being on the same page, and a workout. I try to workout at least four times a week.

Thank you for sharing that with us. This has been hugely awesome. Even just the takeaways and how deep you went into calendaring, the struggles that entrepreneurs have is keeping it all together. Those are hugely valuable. I appreciate your story as well. Is there anything else you'd like to share with everyone? Any final words of wisdom you'd like to share with everyone? Any final takeaways that you want to leave us with?

If anything did resonate with you, any of my little tips and tricks I learned from somebody else and implemented them right away. If it did resonate with you, if you think it can help you, I would say, today, do something to implement it.

If people want to continue the conversation with you, the best way to do that is?

You can email me at Summer@TheDrawShop.com. I'm also in social media, as Summer Felix-Mulder is how you can find me on social media.

Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you.

Everybody tune in to Get Genius Podcast. It’s another great podcast. Thanks for being here, Summer.

Thank you so much.

Resources mentioned:

About Summer Felix

BBR 253 | Mommies In BusinessSummer Felix-Mulder is a serial entrepreneur and author dedicated to making the world a better place. Summer has been in the marketing arena for decades, holds creative degrees from Pepperdine University and loves writing, momming (is that a verb yet?), and all things marketing and storytelling. At The Draw Shop, attention-holding whiteboard videos are made for the world’s best minds and companies. She is also the CEO and co-founder of Eden, a challenged based app and CLEAR Health Technologies, whose mission is to end addiction relapse.

 


Thanks again to Cardiff D. Hall for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Steve Sims on Being Valuable to People, Make an Effort and Resonate

A lot of young people run from something, but when Steve Sims was still working as brick layer for his dad’s construction company, he was already running toward something. He learned that connecting to affluent people was his path and that it was going to take a lot of effort and trusting his gut. When he founded Bluefish, he was able to show up crystal clear. He developed a filtering system that tells him which people to talk to so he can resonate with them and do tons of great things. For him, it’s not about looking good and smart but rather being valuable to people.

Thank you to Tess Hansel from Dry Swan Bladder Control for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the variety of guests and their genuine desire to share their expertise. I also love how Nicole asks the right questions and manages to uncover those precious golden nuggets of knowledge that make all the difference when it comes to building a business online. BBRS rocks.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Steve Sims on Being Valuable to People, Make an Effort and Resonate

Welcome back to the Business Building Rockstars show, Steve Sims. It's so awesome to have you here.

It's a pleasure to be here.

I gave everyone your high-level overview. Anybody who was with us for the Business Building Rockstars Summit 2017 got to know you there. For those folks who have not had the pleasure yet, can you bring us up to speed first on what is it that you're doing day-to-day right now in your business?

I'm doing a lot with SteveDSims, which is consulting and helping people brand, market, and communicate. I'm also doing a lot of speaking gigs through there and I'm also running what arrogantly is the world's leading concierge firm, Bluefish. I'm doing everything from sending people down to the Titanic to getting them to run their business better.

BBR 252 | Being Valuable to People
Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen

 You gave so much value during the Business Building Rockstars Summit 2017. Within that session, there were so many actionable takeaways. We talked about the how of what you do for people to have a step-by-step playbook, which is Bluefishing, the book. What I'd love to do is dig into who Steve D. Sims is and how you got to where you are. Can you take us back as far back as you can remember? What did you want to be when you were really young? When you grew up, what did you want to be before you were told what you had to be?

I don't think I was told. It was a period where we just knew. We've seen a lot of changes over the last years and they happen at a massive rate. The speed of evolution, the speed of dissection, the speed of change quadruples every three seconds now. It’s just ridiculous. I grew up in the ‘70s and the ‘80s.Basically, the war wasn't too far away from my grandparents. I was in a situation where my dad owned a small construction firm. It was never spoken, it was never confirmed, but it was very well-known that I would finish school and then I would work on the building site. It was the era that you've got an apprenticeship or you went into a company, and you worked your way up the ranks. Part of the reason for that is because I was ignorant to any other opportunities. I was ignorant to any other choice. Now we're in a situation we’re in a planet where we've got too much choice, we're overloaded. Me and my wife were talking about it. We only knew about how the other half lives if we read it in a magazine in a hair dresser’s or in a bottle or something like that. We only knew about it because we'd seen it on a glossy magazine. Nowadays, you think, “I wonder what was,” and bang, you're on your tablet, your iPhone and you've got all the information. We went from a period of having no information and I was ignorant to that style of life to actually being overloaded by it. It was a period where I ignorantly just did what I was told instinctively was going to happen.

Did you ever have bedtime stories as a child? Did you have any like, “I want to be,” not in a realistic way, not as you were getting older and realized like this is the next step, but before that. When you were just really little and playful and you could be anything, like you could fly if you wanted to.

I was irritated. Like most entrepreneurs, we get aggravated and irritated. I remember Joe Polish saying to me that he is aggravated always just to make pills. I didn't know anything over that period. We watched some movies, we had bedtime stories, we heard about different things, but I didn't know what a Ferrari bloody looked like. I didn’t certainly live in an area where they were running down our street. We had no way of even searching them unless you gave me a car magazine. The one thing I was aware of was not fitting. I remember how something would happen and I would look at it and I would go, “That's not finished,” and all the other kids will be like, “It is.” I'll be like, “No, it's not. There's so much more we can do with this.” I just remember being feared. I remember when we’d make a little camp at the back of the garages and you deal with these boxes and these crates and you'd make a little fort, and I'll be like, “Hang on a minute. We could do that,” and they're like, “No. That’s good enough.” I'll be like, “No, we can do this.” I was constantly aware that from an early stage looking back, my standards were different.

What I was willing to settle on was far of a higher standard than all the rest. I couldn't understand and I was irritated because this would obviously lose me friends as well. I notice a lot of entrepreneurs, we talk about it, we’re mingling around friends and then you can't tolerate someone because they’re not doing it. The other people can settle and therefore they've got twenty friends. You can't settle, so you've got two. I constantly was aware as I was growing up that my mind works differently. I wasn't able to settle. I quite often have to dumb down and I'm talking about big life from East London. For me to dumb down, but it was that mentality that I had to learn how to settle to survive, but then this would aggravate me, pissed me off, and nine times out of ten, I'll get in trouble with it. Like all entrepreneurs, we were bouncing through fireballs until we found out where we were supposed to be.

You then wound up working for your father. You were a bricklayer. How did you get inspired to shift that? Like at what point did you say, “There is something else on the other side and I'm going to go explore it.”

No. I never had it. I had the invitation. A lot of people run to something or they run from something. I found I ran from things a lot now. Never from responsibility but always from something that wasn't right. I remember working on my dad's building sign going, “Hang on a minute. This is my life. I've got to get up at [5:00] every morning. I've got to travel. I basically get spat on. I'm going to get dirt on me. I'm going to get smashed up by the bricks. Bricklaying in London was a tough gig. I remember one day clear as a bell the code of laborer, you've got the brick layers on the scaffolding laying bricks and then you've got the laborers that we're bringing the bricks and the cement up to these brick layers. One of these days, the laborer hadn't turned up so my dad said, “You're doing it,” so I was doing it. I went downstairs, I've got a pile of bricks, came up the ladder. As I stepped onto the scaffolding, I saw down the scaffold and there was my dad, my cousin, my uncle, my granddad. The only one missing was my mom. Everyone in my family tree from my cousin who was a little bit older than me to my granddad who was in his 70s was on this bloody building. I saw my family tree as clear as day. I saw my lifeline in front of me. I remember standing there and getting yelled at because I just stood still because I've been hit with a pile of bricks, pardon the pun.

I remember going into the trailer for tea time when I had at my break, and saying to my granddad, “Is this what you wanted to do with your life?”Pardon my French, but he turned around and he was like, “Fuck, no,” a big old Irish guy. I say, “I'm just not sure this is what I want to do with my life.” He said, “You need to quit today.” I was like, “But I'm not going to have any money and stuff all day.” He said, “If you don’t quit today, tomorrow this is this is you,” and pointing to himself, so I quit. My father had motivated me. My mom had motivated me and I'm like, “Hang on a minute. What do I do now? I've got to find something else.” I tried loads of different things, driving trucks, delivering cakes, cake sales, showman, salesman, call centers. I've tried so many different things trying to find out where this page could fit knowing that one said was in there, I would know. That's what I counted on doing and it got me from London to Hong Kong. I just bounced around like a pinball trying to find out where I could slide into. It wasn't through intelligence, it was through the knowledge that I didn't fit where I was. No one could half jump in the water. It was the case of if this doesn't fit, I'm gone. I had that kind of effect.

 BBR 252 | Being Valuable to People
Being Valuable to People: It wasn't through intelligence. It was through the knowledge that I didn't fit where I was.

I love that your grandfather was the one who was the catalyst or the mirror to you to say, “Don't become me.”

I've learned most of my things in my life through quotes. I remember one that said, “Experience is something you get just shortly after you needed it most.” The good thing about speaking to people that have been in business and the less we face that, the good thing about speaking with people is you can benefit from their experience. I often thought, if I had been sat with my cousin at that tea break or my dad, I'd had never got that nugget. That nugget cleared me out at that job that afternoon.

For those who don't know your story, I highly recommend you pickup Bluefishing because you've got quite the journey. Let's go from Hong Kong to LA where you went next, or how did you land after Hong Kong?

I went to Hong Kong, Thailand, Geneva, Palm Beach, and now I live in Los Angeles.

Are you an expert in what you do, but struggle to get the results you want in your business? Are things taking longer than you expected them to and costing more than you expected? If you feel like you're stuck on a plateau, understand that what got you here is not going to get you further. You need an Expert Business Roadmap, and my good friend Danny Iny wants to gift it to you. In the past, tickets to Danny's three day in-person Expert Business Training sold for up to $1,000, but he's inviting my BBR Show audience to get yours for free right now. LIFT happens April 19th to the 21st in Beautiful Montreal, Canada and you can get all of the details by visiting BBRShow.com/Lift.

In Los Angeles, was Bluefish the start of it? What did you do when you got to LA?

It was Bluefish all along. I started Bluefish in Hong Kong. What I wanted to do was I made a very conscious decision. When I realized that I am a very basic, ignorant, Irish brick layer and that's never changed, but now I'm working with Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the Pope so it's gotten me places. It's quite a line I've had to be using it. That would be a hell of a cocktail party. What I did was I remember being in Hong Kong with no job and realizing that my life wants to be and of course, now the grass is greener. I remember looking at all these affluent guys you were like in their smart suits and their watches. I was addicted to expensive watches at the time and they looked great. I was working on the door of a nightclub. I thought the only way to be able to get into that world is to know people in that world. There’s no point in associating with poor people because they can't afford you. For me to be able to connect with these affluent people, I needed to be of value.

As I was a door on a nightclub, I knew about all the nightclubs. I started telling these people the best clubs were each night. I became an article. I became of value. That value grew, and people are like, “You know about nightclubs in Hong Kong but do you know anything about Monaco? Do you anything about London? Do you know about New York?” My experience and my Rolodex of contacts grew. While I was doing Bluefish in Hong Kong, it just grew and grew. Then I was in Switzerland doing it, and started doing in Monaco and London, then in Palm Beach. I was working for Michael Milken and Donald Trump from Mar-a-Lago. I was doing all these and it just grew. Bluefish started in the late ‘90s and it has now gotten to me quite satisfactorily sitting here in LA and I recently, I was walking the white carpet with Sir Elton John into his Oscar parties. It's gotten me around a bit. It's been a long journey to be an overnight success.

Let's talk about how the name came up. This was in Hong Kong because people think, they probably have ideas. This is interesting when people go, “I bet the story about this name is this or this must mean this Buefishing.” “What's that?” How did you come up with the name Bluefish?

I apply filters on everything I do. One of the biggest problems in the planet is people. I wanted to filter the people that got into my clubs, into my parties. What I would do is I would first of all invite only affluent people, because again, if you invite poor into a bar, they can't afford the drinks. I would only invite affluent people in. Then my filter was to give them a silly term and it would be a silly little password that they would have to say to get into the party. We had things like, “This is where the party is, this is what time it is, this is the password.” The password would be things like name two of the Teletubbies and this one got a lot of people name the lion out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or the final one was finished this sentence, one fish, two fish, red fish. People would come to us and would be standing in the door of this club or this yacht or this penthouse or something like this. They would lean in and we brought the captains of industry walking up and they’d be like Tinky, Winky, Po and we’d be like, “In you go.” We felt that if someone of that stature can still have a giggle with something, those are the people we want to have a laugh with. The pretentious are those who would come up and go, “I can't recall.” We'd be like, “There's no party for you, mate. I don't know what you're talking about. Can you please move along,” and we'll let the next person in. Of course, a lot of people used to come up and they used to go Bluefish because one fish, two fish, red fish.

The funny thing was once we start building up a community and we started to get well-known, we still didn't have a company name. We actually set up this company name because we needed a company bank account because we were getting sponsorship, we were getting ticket sales, we were getting partnerships and affiliates. When we set up this company and put a phone number at it, people would call us and go, “Is that that the Bluefish company?”By that time, we’d already set up a company called Trianon. We were like, “No, this is Trianon.” They'd be like, “Sorry.” It took about six days before we realized that people wanted to call us Bluefish so we gave the people what they wanted.

Can we talk a little bit about and this might be just who you are, but the way that you are and the way that you show up is so unique to the way other people show up. Something that I personally have contemplated and been challenged with, my own personal challenging myself and I know that many of my listeners can relate to this. I was just having a conversation with a friend about this that sometimes we create things or we have an idea or an inspiration to do something. Then we start collaborating with other people or we open it up for other people to give us feedback. It winds up that at the end of the day, we settle sometimes for things that aren't actually what we wanted in the first place. What I love so much about you, but one of the things I love about you is how you seem to bring it back to, “No. These are the rules. This is the exclusivity. This is what I'm doing, and anybody else gets turned away.” Was that something that always came naturally to you or did you have to suss things out to figure out how to stand your ground on that? Part two is what would you recommend other people do if they're looking to emulate you in that way?

I don’t mind people emulating. I don't want anyone replicating. I want you to always think about this. I was an ignorant lay-low Irish boy in England. I class myself an educated man now, but school, I have nothing to do with that. I was an uneducated lump, as simple as that. Everything I ever did was primitive. I've discovered that there's nothing clearer than being primitive. I've continued that way all the way up for 51 years now. I've found that for me to be of value in a relationship, it took effort. I didn't want to waste or I didn't recognize wasting any of that effort on making sure that my head cover is okay or my tattoos weren't showing or I took out my piercings. Anytime you spend any effort on you being someone who you want the other person to think you are, that's a math question that Elon couldn't bloody answer. I don't understand why someone does it. We are all unique. We are all different. If you turn up as you, you're now left with 100% effort to do what you do. If you look at f the great people out there, the Elons, the Steve Jobs, the Richard Bransons, they don't look like anybody else but there are loads of people that look like them. No one did anything great that did it by following others. They became the person to follow.

 BBR 252 | Being Valuable to People
Being Valuable to People: We are all unique. We are all different. If you turn off as you, you're left with 100% effort to do what you do.

I've had periods in my life where I have second guessed and double doubted and tried to change my image a little bit to conform, but I noticed one thing and this I hope will be strong to everyone out there, my stomach is smarter than my head. When you look at your head, you go, “What shoes, car, wallet?” You calculate all these things. Your stomach doesn't do that. It gives you tingles if it's not very primitive as they were. Trust your gut. Whenever I would talk to someone, if I found that person was a little bit funny and maybe the suit was wearing them rather than vice versa, I've got a funny little feeling in my stomach that there was something a little bit off here, I'd walk away. My whole point about showing up as me as crystal clear as I can be, it allows my stomach to be a better filter and I can talk to someone and I could know very quickly can I resonate with them. If I can resonate with them, I can lock and load and we could do a ton of stuff. If I'm trying to be someone, smarter, better looking, more intelligent then there's too much effort going in and I'm going to just basically disrupt my stomach's gauge. I hope that makes sense.

For me it made so much sense and I think it made sense for everyone as well. I'm going to take you one step further if you will. Steve D. Sims has come a long way, overnight success that was decades in the making. I think at this point, when we get to the other side of whatever it is, it's easy for us to talk about this is how it is and this is how I got here, but sometimes we forget or we gloss over those parts where we really had to think about it. Going back to those times where you did try to accommodate other people more than expecting them to accommodate you and where you had the gut feeling like, “Eh?”Did you ever go and do it anyways? If so, do you have a takeaway other than that high level of trust your gut because that's just the smart thing to do, but the actual, you're in a situation that doesn't feel good. How do you get out of it? Do you literally walk away, ignore the person and close the door, or are there some steps professionally, I'm talking about to ease out of something that you've started getting into and go, “This isn't the right fit for me.”

There are a lot of questions in there. Let’s try and break them down. For a start, you're saying about the overnight success. I never take it for granted because the second you take it for granted, you stop enjoying what you've become. I was walking down the white carpet with Elton John. I was doing exactly that. Elton John every year has a big, A-List celebrity Oscar party and this shift for the first time ever, I was asked to turn up. I've got photographs with him on the white carpet at the beginning because I become a part of the staple attendees of this event and I couldn't believe it. I'm like, “Oh my God.” I'm like a giggly little kid. I'm walking down that there were people in that event because I am enabled in the gain to this event. Now, that's great. People look at it and they see the Instagram postings, but I told everyone that just because there's a quite Instagram picture of me will come down to ten-foot carpet don't forget the miles that I crawled to get to walk down that carpet. I had to pay my phone bill. Every time I pay my phone bill, every time I pay a bill, I'll go, “I remember the days where I had a phone up and asked if I could just pay $10 towards that because I’ll wait until it got to the red. I even got my water shut off because I never had enough cash.

I remember those every time and you should. I'm a great believer that if you haven't been screwed over, broke, peed on, had your coffee stolen, had people rip you off saying, “Everything that you’ve done was not worth it. If you haven't had all of that trauma in your life, wait. It's coming. That's what entrepreneurs get. We get cracked on, we get laughed on, and it’s stupid until he is genius. Elon musk publicly was laughed at by NASA until NASA was his largest client. Every single personality, every single successful entrepreneur, whether it be Walt Disney, Ford, they’ve been broke, screwed over, ripped off, sued on a regular basis. It’s the strong that survive. It’s that moment that you realize that the failures, the mistakes, the trouble that you are in at my moment doesn't define you, but if it refines you. I remember many times in my life, the reason I can stood here now, comfortable with who I am, crystal clear and transparent about what I do, who I am, and what you’re getting is because I've made a ton of mistakes over my life in getting to here.

There was a very, very dark period in my life which is going to sound absolutely stupid, but I was actually working with a phenomenal London jeweler that was part of the Ferrari Formula 1 team. I remember going to one of these parties in Monaco, I bought a Ferrari because, “Successful people buy for Ferraris.” I bought a Ferrari, I had a suit on, I had all my earrings out and there was a picture of me leaning up against his little Ferrari that I had at the time when I was living in Switzerland. I remember getting that picture and not being the kind of like, “I've made it. I got a Ferrari and I'm in Monaco.” It was a case of, “Who's that?” I suddenly realized that there was a picture in front of me that wasn't me. I was not in that event and openly say, “I went to Monaco twice. The first time, I wasn't there.” This shell, this persona of this person was and I didn't get to relax. I didn't get to interact with people as Steve Sims. I was never some other who played trying to be all big and fancy. I've learned all those lessons through dark periods in my life and thankfully looked to it and I said, “Hang on. Does that make me happy?” “No.” “Then stop doing it.” I'm a great believer and you should remember all those times you fell over because you pay for college. You pay for private school. When you fall over and it costs you $10,000, you just paid for that education. Don't go, “I've got some times in my life that I don't want to talk about it.” I go, “I am where I am now because I fucked up along the way and I know what went wrong, and you very rarely make the same mistake twice.” I hope that answered the questions.

 BBR 252 | Being Valuable to People
Being Valuable to People: I'm a great believer you should remember all those times you fell over.

It was fabulous. For those folks who are listening on iTunes or iHeartRadio or Stitcher, wherever you guys are tuning in from, you are not looking at our video, which you can find in the listener's lounge. It's free to subscribe. You can go to BBRShow.com and you'll get access to this and all the other video interviews that I've done and you get to get to actually sneak peek. These video interviews that I do, come out generally months before the audio interviews and this is one you want to see. Steve, can you tell us where you are currently coming to us from what's behind you?

When I was I London, I was this big thick-headed guy in a black t-shirt who used to ride around on a motorcycle. I'm 51 years old now. I'm still a big thick-headed in a black t-shirt who stood in a garage full of motorcycles. I don't have a car. I ride around in two wheels all the time. I'm doing this for my garage in Los Angeles with a bunch of motorcycles in the back.

Yes. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I feel like those motorcycles each mean something to you. They're not just tools for transportation or am I wrong?

No. For me, each motorcycle, what I've got in here at the moment, six, each bike represents a different experience. I can go at 160 mile an hour on my race bike and it’s exciting. I can go 75 mile an hour on my Norton Commando and it’s exhilarating. Each one is a different temperature, a different feeling, a different exposure, different experience. For me, motorcycle is an experience from all senses. Everything's going. You don't get it in a car. I'm fully engaged in what I'm doing when I'm on one of these bikes and they do. My eldest one is 1975, my newest one is 2018. I like all different range of bikes. In addition to working then because you've got these three companies that are keeping you busy plus the book, tour plus the press and everything, how do you enjoy your downtime? Obviously you've got your bikes, they each have a different experience, a different story, but what else are you doing these days to just really keep it real and be you and enjoy your life outside of work?

I don’t know if I have an outside of work. Like all entrepreneurs, we don’t work 9 to 5, we work until when the job is done. I'm a great believer, I hate things that are stale. I hate things that are stagnant. For me, I need to challenge myself. I need to go to a restaurant and try something I haven't tried before. Try a drink, try an appetizer. When I'm here at home, I'll try different radio station. I'll be working on some things and the sun would come out and I'll be like, “Let's jump on a bike.” I rotate my bike. When I go out for light, I leave the bike outside the garbage. I take one from the back and I pull it forward and I replace it. The next time I go out it's a different position. It’s a different sound, it’s a different feel, it’s a different vibe. I'm all about trying new things whether I'm challenged because a client wants to go and shut down a museum in Florence or I'm challenged because I got a client that's got a new widget coming out and he doesn't know how to brand it. I like to be challenged and that's what excites me. Once I can do that, then I could also be with my family as me and I can barbecue and we can drink coffee on a Sunday morning. I'm quite a home buddy. I've got stunning wife, partner, friend, everything. I'm a very lucky born individual in that side. I need to be challenged and that's my life. I don't think any entrepreneur has a divide between that personal life and their business life. If you do, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

I want to talk about one more thing and that is business number three, SteveDSims. You've been for a long time exclusively working with the wealthy and maybe not famous, but want to be hanging out with famous people. You've been doing seemingly miraculous things, making people's dreams come true. Since you've become more public, more people are knowing about you and wanting to work with you in different capacities. How has that evolved and what are you doing these days for the everyday man or now, the gamut of who you work with, who is that and how are you supporting them in this new way?

In the old days, I used to do a lot of consulting for luxury brands and major events. Since the book came out, my consulting has also spread out now and I'm speaking into more entrepreneurial markets. I'm getting to people. I own a car leasing company. I'm not trying to release my own line of earrings. I'm now trying to agree to consult in business. I'm now coming in and going, “How do you attract a client? How is your communication with the client?” I believe that if everyone’s got a super strength or superpower, mine is communication solely because most people have become bad at it. The worse they get, the better I look. I'm trying to get them into how to build up relationships, how do I understand and know the why on relationships, how to have continuity in a message. I've gone from working with some of the biggest jewelry brands, events, airlines, and car manufacturers to working with print presses, jewelries, solopreneurs, consultants and motivational speakers. Again, same challenges, different platform.

If people want to learn more about that, what's the best way for them to do so?

It's very easy. If you go to SteveDSims.com, they can see my stunningly attractive good looks. If that doesn't scare them, they can peruse through what I've been up to and read some of the media, subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, all the usual social stuff. On there is even my consult page where they get a chance to book a 30-minute call with me.

Also Bluefishing is available on Amazon and everywhere?

Absolutely everywhere. It just got picked up to be distributed and translated it into Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin. Those are going to be really interested in audio books, which I doubt I’ll be doing.

Congratulations. I'm glad you mentioned the audio book because that's how I first consumed the book was audio because I just love your voice. I love your accent. That’s great. It’s like our personal coaching session with Steve D. Sims on audio. Do you have any final words of wisdom? Anything you want people to take away?

My Dad was a bigger, thicker version of me. I remember him walking down the road one day and we weren't talking to each other. We weren’t looking at each other. We weren't holding hands. We were doing nothing of that. I remember him just putting his hand on my shoulder as we were walking, still looking ahead and he said to me, “Son, no one ever drowned by falling in the water. They drown by staying there.” Then he took his hand off my shoulder and carried on walking. I remember as a little sixteen-year-old looking up and going, “What the hell was that?” Then years later, I realize that it is not what defines you, it’s what will find you that matters. Anyone that's seen some shit, get up, dust yourself down, and just learn something.

Thank you so much for being here, Steve.

It's a pleasure. Thanks.

 

Resources mentioned:

About Steve Sims

BBR 252 | Being Valuable to PeopleAs the founder of Bluefish, one of the top personal concierge services, and an expert marketer within the luxury industry, Steve has been quoted in various publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, London’s Sunday Times, South China Morning Post and many more. He has been on TV and has been a speaker at a variety of networks, groups and associations as well as the Pentagon and Harvard – twice!

Want to sing with your favorite rock star, be serenaded by Andre Boceli, walk the red carpet at A List Oscar parties, get married in the Vatican, Dive to the wreck of the Titanic – these are just a few highlights of what Steve provides for his clients. He makes the impossible, possible.

An entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, Steve is well regarded within the luxury world for his innovation and down-to-earth personality. Known for his honesty, integrity and doing things “his way,” Steve creates experiences for his clients that they could never have imagined being possible.

 


Thanks to Danny Iny of Lift for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Arik Levy on Smart Package Delivery, Making the Market Safe and Automated

Business owners oftentimes change their model when they start to lose money. This is a good way to tell if you are doing something wrong and you need to make a shift in the business. Arik Levy did this with his laundry locker business, but he also listened to customers who asked him if he could solve their package problem. He founded Luxer One in response to that and is now the leading package management technology company. Arik shares that when you get a vision for entrepreneurship, it’s important not to look at your full time job as the thing that hinders you from starting your own business, but as the first step that will make your transition flow smoother.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Arik Levy on Smart Package Delivery, Making the Market Safe and Automated

On this episode, I'm joined by Arik Levy. Welcome, Arik.

I appreciate your time and excited to be here.

For those folks who don't know what a laundry locker is or delivery locker, we all know what the word “locker” means, but for folks who maybe haven't experienced these before, can you start off telling our listeners what is this locker we're talking about?

You talked about two different products that we have and two different businesses that I've started. The first one I started with a company called Laundry Locker. I started that back in 2005, almost thirteen years ago, where we put lockers in buildings for dry cleaning and wash and fold. It’s a gym locker type looking thing where you would hang your clothes in there and put your dirty clothes in. We come around and we'd pick them up. We service them, put them back in the locker, and you pick it up at your convenience. The whole concept of the locker started back then with me. It was a very simple way for you to drop stuff off whenever you want and the dry cleaner to be able to pick it up at their convenience, and drop it off again. It’s a very seamless transaction where it's unattended by both parties, but very secure on both of your schedules.

BBR 254 | Smart Package Delivery
Smart Package Delivery: We service them, put them back in the locker, and you pick it up at your convenience.

About four years ago, we parlayed that into the package world. You can imagine these laundry lockers, one of the major places that we’re placing them was into apartment buildings, so large apartment buildings where people live, and they need to get their dry cleaning done. That's how we started the business. Luxer One, which is our package lockers are similar lockers. They're much more advanced and a much more technologically sophisticated platform, but in essence they allow the same thing. They allow somebody to drop stuff off, so usually that's a carrier like FedEx or UPS or an Amazon driver coming to a building, dropping off the package in our locker. It's secure, it's accountable, and then the recipient receives a notification that says, “Your package is ready.” They go down to the lockers at their convenience. They scan their access code at the lockers, it pops open, they pick up their package, and they're on their way.

How was it that you discovered that there was this package management problem that you wanted to solve?

The opportunity came to us from the properties that we had our laundry lockers in. Not only that, we also sell these laundry lockers through a lot of different partners all over the globe. We've got about 75 different companies that are doing something very similar to Laundry Locker through our software platform called Drop Locker. They came to us as well as the apartment building saying, “We used to get four or five packages a day. Now, we're getting 50 or 100 packages a day. This is a full-time job. We need a solution.” That’s how we decided to build Luxer One to solve their problem.

Going back to the Laundry Locker, back to the beginning when you first decided to start this, why did you care? Why did you think this is a problem that I'm seeing and I'm the guy that's going to solve it?

You're talking about the entrepreneurial journey a little bit there, but for me there was two factors in deciding to build my own company. One was that I'd always tell myself, “If I ever come up with a good idea, I want to give it a shot. I want to prove that I can do this.”For me, that was a lot of the reason behind it. It was the thrill and the excitement and improving myself that I could build a business and grow something. The concept came to me because I was living in San Francisco and I was driving about an hour and a half to work every day. I'd leave my house at [6:00] AM and I'll get home around [7:00] PM.

Even though there was a dry cleaner in my building, I could never get my dry cleaning done. Everybody I know had piles of clothes and piles of dry clean. It was just like, “The dry cleaners always closed. This stinks.”I tried some delivery services because those have been around for years, and that was not convenient either. I said, “I wish I could put it somewhere secure. They can come pick it up, clean it, put it back, and I'll pick it up when I get home at [8:00] PM.”That was the impetus for Laundry Locker. I said, “That's a great idea. Let me give it a try.”

How'd you get started? Did you go down to your dry cleaner downstairs and propose that? How did you wind up starting it?

It's been awhile now, but there's a couple of pieces to it. First was the lockers and the software. That was probably where most of the work was around.“Let me go see if I can build these custom lockers and source them and how they're going to work with the lock. Let me build the software and the technology to do that.”Fortunately, I'd worked in a consumer products company and my background is on software development side. I was able to do a lot of that myself or work with some team members that were able to do that for me, and so we built the product. The hardest part was getting the landlords willing to put these into the buildings and willing to let you market it to their customers. I knew in the beginning, we'd have three or four loads of laundry and I'd figure that piece out.

We got the lockers into the buildings and I started marketing them. Every morning, I would drive around and check my lockers to see if I had an order. I felt like a fisherman. You go check your locker, you pick up a couple of orders, and you run over to the dry cleaner across the street and say, “Could I get a same day service on this?” I bring four or five loads a day and pretty quickly. She’s like, “How do I get some better commercial rates?” I started with the laundromat across the street and then started going direct to a wholesaler. Within about three years, we became the largest dry cleaner in San Francisco. We built our own facility and do all our own processing now.

You, at the beginning, were doing the delivery. You were doing the driving. You were doing all of it.

I was doing everything. That was a fun couple of months.

You said within three years you became the largest. What did it look like at the beginning? Once you had the concept, you built the technology, you had some lockers, you’re in the mode of driving and picking up packages. When you were starting out, were there ever any roadblocks that you hit that made you question, “Should I even keep going?”If so, what were those reasons that you did keep going and didn't give up?

I don't know if I'd call it a roadblock, but it was definitely one of those times. A month or two after I started the business, my dad had come out to visit me from the East Coast and said, “Show me what you built here. This is great. We're going to go around and pick up some laundry.” We jumped in my car and we went. At that time, I probably had about ten locations. I would start the route in the morning at [7:00] AM and we'd go to the ten locations to pickup any laundry that we had. We went out and probably picked up four bags of laundry. My dad's an accountant so he starts doing the math and goes, “I appreciate what you’re doing here, but this is going to be tough to make money.” I said, “We're getting traction. People are starting to use the service. We've got people. There's something here. There’s a vision here.”

He was very supportive but it was definitely one of those times where a third party saw actively what you're doing and said, “Is this going to work?”There was plenty of naysayers in the early days. There was a lot of people equally who are super excited about it and felt the pain and why this is a great idea. Other people just go, “That's not a great idea.”A lot of it has to do with your frame of mind and what you're used to. If you live in an apartment building and you work long hours and you can't get your dry cleaning done, you’re like, “This is a great idea.” If you live at home and you've got a washer and dryer and you don't wear dry cleaning clothes, you're like, “Who's going to use this?” It definitely resonated at that time in San Francisco. It was all about being at the right place at the right time.

It's been a long time now. Thirteen years is a long time. That’s great that dad was like, “This isn't making finances.”Did you have a job at that time or were you just doing this because you are going morning until night?

I was just doing this. It was pretty easy. Stepping back, I ran operations for this consumer products company. I had a pretty important role at the time. I came up with this idea and spoke to the CEO and said, “I want to go build my own company. It's going to take me a while to do this, like six months.” And she was incredibly supportive and said, “That's a great idea. Why don't you do that. As long as it doesn't affect your job, I'm fine with that.” She was an entrepreneur as well so she gave me a six-month runway to build out the concept and get the company and all the fundamentals in place. It wasn't until I left that company that I started Laundry Locker. When I left that company is when I first started placing my first lockers and going out there and starting to market it and put my boots on the ground. At that point in time, I didn't have a job. The little I had saved was what I was living on. It definitely changes your financial position very quickly.

Definitely sacrifices have to be made then at that point in lifestyle for the bigger vision. That's amazing that you approached her. She was super supportive. I imagine that for her, that was useful information as well so she could start looking to replace you rather than having to fill the position quickly. That transition for the both of you, I imagine, was a nice thing.

It worked out well. I'm still reflecting on people that worked for me now. If someone came to me and said, “This is what I plan on doing,” I'd be very supportive of it and say, “As long as it doesn't affect your job here, how can I help you? I appreciate you giving me the time.” I had a pretty big role there and allowing someone to fill that role and transition it over and such. It worked out well.

That's something that I like to mention to the audience and some of my clients when we work together. When people are looking to leave corporate and their comfortable and secure job and they have this vision of entrepreneurship, sometimes they get in their head that it's an either/or. They have to keep it secret and do it on the side and then put in their two weeks or four weeks and then that's it. They don't necessarily think, “My company might be okay with this.”Maybe it's worth having that conversation. Maybe looking at the job itself is a way to fund their initial startup.

You need to be careful too. It's helpful to have that buy-in. Fortunately, we weren't competing with their company in any way, shape, or form, even if you're using their computers. I have my own laptop to do this stuff on. You just got to be careful to make sure that you're not using any of their resources to help you build your business because they could come after you, especially if you don't have a great relationship with them.

I'd say if it's not a great relationship, you probably wouldn't want to have that competition. That's something I see a lot. People who get to learn about entrepreneurship and they have this desire to be entrepreneurs sometimes get caught up in the idea that having a job is bad, having a job is stopping you from your dreams. If you love your job, if you like what you're doing, if you have a good rapport there, then it's not. It's actually funding the business oftentimes in the beginning so that you can have that transition. It sounds like everything was pretty easy. You didn't have many barriers to entry. It was an idea and concept. You had the resources, you had the knowledge, and you just went for it. Were there any mindset hurdles or anything that came up that would be of value to my audience, how you overcame?

There's always a lot of struggles that you face on a day-to-day basis when you're running your own company. The scariest one is always money. I didn't have a lot of money and started with the little I'd saved in the six months that I decided I was going to do this. At least I try to not think about the bad times and focus on the goods and the positives and where we are today. There's always people telling you no. I would sit there on Craigslist calling apartment buildings and ads on apartment buildings to try and get my locker into buildings. Some would say no and customers would write bad reviews about you. That's the worst as a business owner. I'll never write a one-star review on anyone because of the impact. I don't think people realize, when they don't own their own business, what a one-star review means to the person who put their heart and soul into everything that's going on there.

BBR 254 | Smart Package Delivery
Smart Package Delivery: It's a lot of putting your head down and grinding it out and being willing to do everything.

There's definitely plenty of adversity and plenty of challenges and competition that's coming into our space and issues here and there. For the most part, it's a lot of putting your head down and grinding it out and being willing to do everything. I started by doing those deliveries and pickups myself. I press clothes and wash laundry and did anything it took to get that stuff done. When you have one or two employees and one of them calls in sick or quits on you, you're doing the job and also trying to hire somebody. That's part of what happens. Every entrepreneur that I talked to struggles with those things. The bigger you get, the more insulated you were able to get from those things and protect yourself and get redundancy and such. It's not easy in any business. Any business you look at from the outside and you go, “That's easy, I could do that.”Then you peel back the layers and you go, “There’s a lot more to it than I thought.”

I don't know if it's the same, but for me, you never know what you don't know. I can hear things all day long, but until I have an experience, I don't understand them. On one hand I could say, “I could prepare for this,” but I can't. I've yet to be able to prepare for something. The awareness is good, but when I go through something, I'm like, “That's what they were talking about.” With each stage of my business, as I grow, I am getting better and better about learning how to navigate those pivot points and those situations.

For example, I was talking with one of my mentors and we were talking about the difference in going from teaching people how to do something to teaching people how to think about something. That's something that a lot of entrepreneurs and I know. At least go through those little pivots where you can be told and taught how to think something. Until you get to a certain point, you're like, “Now this makes sense. Now I understand about who I'm surrounding myself with and who I can lean on. I understand what happens when somebody leaves. I understand why maybe I wasn't the best leader for these employees.”Do you know what I mean?

At this point in time, I've been doing this for a long time. It's about thirteen years. This is my third business. We're all spin offs of the same concept. It's the third time I've built something from nothing into substantial businesses, which is what we're doing over here at Luxer One. I never quite understood the difference between an experienced entrepreneur and a first-time entrepreneur. It's amazing how many mistakes you make your first time and how well you're able to learn from those, and how much better you are down the road. I am in a group called EO and on a monthly basis I meet with a handful of about ten other entrepreneurs. We sit there all day and talk about the challenges that we struggle with and how are we doing.

A lot of it is around sharing your experiences, like someone says, “I need to fire a senior person in my company.” If you don't have a support group like that, if you don't have somebody that you can talk to, and for us, if someone shares that, we'll be like, “Let me tell you about a story when I fired my head of sales,” or something like that. It's about having those at-bats, that repetition. A lot of it comes with time and a lot of it comes with the network that you surround yourself with and the people that you talk to and how you're able to get that guidance and that coaching to help you become a better CEO, a better leader, and a better entrepreneur.

Are there any tips that you can give specifically to our audience regardless of what stage they're at in their business, whether they're just starting out or whether they're much further along? I don't know if it's how to recognize or when to recognize it's time to make some changes. Have you gone through any stages that you can think of that are like, “It's time to make some changes.”When you recognize that, how do you make those changes? How do you move forward?

The time when you realize you need to make some changes is when you start running out of money. Usually, money is always the easiest determining factor. The hope is that you can get ahead of that. Today, it is the driver in business. It's the fuel that keeps us going. If your money's going up, you're probably doing the right thing. You need to be looking forward and saying, “Is this going to be the right thing long-term? Where's the market going? Am I going to tap out here? What other markets do I need to open up? How fast do I want to keep that money going up?” If it’s going down, you're probably doing something wrong or there's some influences that are steering things in the wrong direction. How do you correct for those? How do you find some other market opportunities? How do you change your pricing? How do you do the different things that help you control that. That’s the easiest way.

BBR 254 | Smart Package Delivery
Smart Package Delivery: The time when you realize you need to make some changes is when you start running out of money.

Another great way is customer feedback. Customer feedback is priceless. It's hard to swallow those bad reviews or somebody says something negative to you and tells you why your product stinks or how you ruined their life. Hopefully, you can take those and learn from them and say, “What did this person say that is true and does resonate, and why did they experience that? How can I improve what I'm building?”Any advice or any feedback people give you, you got to take it with a grain of salt sometimes, but you also hopefully can listen to it and see what's behind that. It can help you become better.

You've got this great, strong foothold. Tell me more about where Luxer One’s at now.

Luxer One started with lockers and apartment buildings. We have over 1,300 buildings that have lockers. Over a million packages a month are delivered through them. Like I was saying, “What are the next market opportunities? We're heading in the right direction. How do we make sure we capitalize on this and leverage what we have?”We've started to get pretty aggressively into retail space. We’re working with several of the largest retailers in the country.

We're putting lockers into their locations for buy online, pickup, and store. We’re doing some great stuff with office buildings. We're involved in universities and mail centers, and a lot of different areas where we're starting to apply the Luxer One technology to solving this challenge of how do I conveniently place something in a locker and how can people conveniently pick it up on their timeline. It's working out well. There's a ton of different markets that we can solve with this.

You're not in San Francisco anymore?

I relocated out of San Francisco about three years ago and started this business up in Sacramento. It's about an hour and a half outside of San Francisco which is where I'm headquartered, but we have our walkers all over the country in every major market.

I'm not an expert in your field, but in a bit of research that I did, I feel like you were very innovative, and you were ahead of the curve. It seems like now, there's a lot of other people wanting to get a piece of that pie, which is something that a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are innovative face. How do you stand out and how are you positioning yourself as different from your competition?

Innovation and technology can only get you so far. We definitely consider ourselves a technology company. We are always innovating. We're always thinking about what's the next product, what's the product that's two, three, five years down the road. What we're working on today is stuff that we plan on launching two or three years from now. There's a lot of that. A lot of it is also how do you look at your competitors as potential opportunities as opposed to threats. How do you partner with them? How do you sell through them? How do you pivot your business if someone's doing better than you are? Maybe there's a way that you can partner with them. There's things that you're doing better than they are, so you license technology. That's what we did at Laundry Locker.

We had a lot of people who want to get into a locker business and started coming at us. We said, “Why don't we sell our software to these guys? We can become a software business instead of trying to do the laundry ourselves.”It’s been successful for us. It's why you see a locker type laundry solution in 50 markets throughout the world. You have to be willing to change. You have to be willing to adapt. You have to be willing to pivot.

When you look at your competition as opposed to hating them and trying to fight them, what can you look at that they're doing that’s well? What are they not doing well? How can you partner with themof my sales guys is incredible. He'll walk up to any competitor at a trade show who's given us the evil eye and be like, “How you doing? Nice to meet you. Talk to me about what you're doing,” and we're friends with them now. How do you change that dynamic?

We’re all trying to solve the same problem or have different ways of going after the same thing, but you don't have to consider them your enemy. The best thing you can do is reach out to your friends or your enemies or your competition. Get to know them because where you are today, I can guarantee, your market's going to be different two or three years from now. You're going to cross paths with those people left and right. If they don't like you, it's not going to get you anywhere.

Thank you so much. Where can my audience go to continue the conversation with you?

Thank you, Nicole. You can hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. LuxerOne.com is our website.

Thank you and have a great day.

Thank you. Take care.

Resources mentioned:

About Arik Levy

BBR 254 | Smart Package DeliveryArik Levy noticed that residents, carriers, and properties were all trying to receive packages efficiently and safely, but no one had quite figured out how to make it work. On a mission to make package delivery more secure and automated, Arik founded Luxer One package lockers. Today, Luxer One is the leading package management technology company, offering smart package delivery lockers to apartment buildings, retailers, and corporate campuses.

 

Mitch Russo of Your First Thousand Clients on Living a Results Breakthrough-Oriented Lifestyle

BBR 251 | Results Breakthrough

A lot of people who are aiming for success think getting there is all about getting, taking, and accumulating. Mitch Russo shares that having a results breakthrough lifestyle can be had through giving. He basically lives a life of gratitude and the one thing he does every morning before anything else is to ask himself, “Who can I help today?” We’re all here for a reason, and whether you know that reason or not, we’re truly meant to help others find and do what they're truly meant to do. When you step out and start to give, that is where you can find your calling.

Thank you to Chris Badgett from LifterLMS for introducing today’s episode. What he loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is Nicole's ability to interview great guests, getting great ideas out of them, but even more importantly, she really drills in and gets those actionable nuggets of wisdom. Every time he listened to the show, he has a takeaway that he can go take action on immediately.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Mitch Russo of Your First Thousand Clients on Living a Results Breakthrough-Oriented Lifestyle

Welcome, Mitch Russo, to the Business Building Rockstars Show. I'm super stoked to have you with me here.

Thanks, Nicole. It’s great to be with you.

I've given our audience a high level overview through your bio, but why don't you bring us up to speed and talk a little bit about what it is you're doing right now to serve and support your people?

The story starts with an event in my life over 40 years ago. I was a troubled teen. I ended up with a drug problem in high school and became so severe that my folks decided to put me into a rehab facility to get better. I'm very glad that they did. I emerged a healthy, strong, and very focused young man. I went off to conquer the world at seventeen, but it was a place that was very dark for me for a long time. Fast forward through all the things that I've done, about a year ago I had this idea. It was basically a problem that I needed to solve for myself and a problem I knew everybody else had, too, which is how can we finish the courses and programs that we purchased with the hope and idea of completing some day? I have a spreadsheet on my hard drive that's a little embarrassing about all the list of all the courses and programs that I bought but never finished. I had this moment where I remembered solving these problem years ago that I had forgotten about. The solution came when I was the CEO of Business Breakthroughs with Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins. We built an Accountability Coaching Program and we charged CEOs $1,800 a month to be part of it. We met with them 30 minutes per week for four weeks a month and we ask them five questions and for the most part. CEOs loved it. We were able to keep our CEO clients accountable. We're able to keep those people who bought our programs in the program and working it just by keeping them accountable.

BBR 251 | Results Breakthrough
Results Breakthrough: We're able to keep those people who bought our programs in the program and working it just by keeping them accountable.

With that memory, I had the realization that I could build a software platform that would allow me to match people in the same program and get them to pair up as accountability partners. That was an exciting idea when I had it. I noodled it for several weeks and sometimes the universe brings us what we need at the right time when we need it. As this idea was infecting me big time, I couldn't sleep. I'm always thinking about it. How can I build this? What could this be like? What would the experience be like? I ended up getting a call from a friend of mine who happens to be one of the top interface designers in the UK. We worked together many years ago, and he called almost out of the blue and we got talking. I shared with him the idea and he got inspired by it and said, “Let me design the interface for you.” I said, “I know you're expensive.” He goes, “It'll be worth it. Don't worry.” I held my breath and I told him, “Yes.” He went off and he designed this interface. It was fun because we got to work on the phone and on Skype a lot together for a little while. I believe we came up with something that was incredibly perfect and wonderful. I had an interface idea, a design, and a program flow, but I didn't know where I was going to get it built. Again, the universe comes in with solutions just as you need them. I ended up getting introduced to somebody who basically said to me, “We have a team of programmers that are done with us but they're so good I want to put them in the hands of somebody who really needs them.” I said, “I know somebody who could really use them right now.” We got busy and we spent a year in development. The process became so innovative that we ended up filing patents on it as well. What has resulted is something called ResultsBreakthrough.com and this is basically like Match.com for entrepreneurs.

You go on, you create your profile just like you would for Match.com, and you set up exactly what you were looking for in terms of a partner. You select the programs that you purchased or want help with. The next thing you do is you execute a search. When you do the search and you find somebody who also has the same programs, you then invite them to connect. This is very exciting because now two people who bought the same program, who have the same goals and objectives, get to work together weekly or as much as they want and are able to finally get the programs that they're working on done. That’s the genesis of the idea. It's evolved quite a bit. We've built question libraries in there now. If you have a program and you'd like to have accountability for your program, you could put all of your accountability questions right from your curriculum directly inside of Results Breakthrough network so that when you invite your students in, you can then pair them up and they can get started. As a course provider, if you do this, they're going to have higher completion rates than if you just let them off on their own. That's the big idea. That's what I've been working on steadily for the last year.

Do you know how many courses do you currently have indexed?

There are about 30 courses and we're adding several per week. We recently added a full suite of courses from individual authors. We have Charles Berge’s new courses in there and they're fantastic. All the modules have accountability questions for all of that. I've also been chatting with some of the big names in our industry. I don't think I can reveal who they are, but you know them all and they're all very excited about getting involved.

One of the things that whenever I take on coaching clients is I want to know what their digital assets are. How many people wind up hiring a qualified coach for their business after they've purchased so many digital programs and so many products that they've never completed? They've not had success with it. They get frustrated. It sits on the digital shelf. I like to have it on an excel spreadsheet too but I honestly didn't know that when I started doing it. It took me a while to go back and like, “I can't believe how many thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent on this information,” and that's all it is. It’s information because I haven't had that transformational experience. I love that you're stopping this from happening for courses that are new that people are getting into. You're reviving all this information people have purchased and giving them an opportunity to go through it again from a different space with a partner and get the most out of it. It's so cool because most of the clients that I've ever worked with have not had a written spreadsheet of their library.

We're helping people recover the money that they spent. In a more artistic way of saying it, recover the dreams that they had and the goals that they set when they bought those programs.

I wound up getting into Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy and loved it. I still haven't gone through everything, but I'm so glad I did. I highly recommend the program. I probably bought copywriting programs that just never clicked for me. Ray’s program is so thorough. I imagine I probably have gotten a lot more out of that if I had a buddy that was going through it with me. I'm the kind of person who even if I would show up for the coaching calls, the webinar-style group calls, there's very limited time. Sometimes I didn't feel comfortable asking a question with so many people there. I'm excited about what you've got going on. From a course creator's standpoint, can I ask you a few questions?

Absolutely.

We've got a lot of listeners who are course creators and maybe one of the concerns I can imagine people having it is, “If I put all of my data into your system, how am I going to stop people from saying they're in the program and getting access to my stuff without paying for it?

First of all, they're not getting access to your training inside my program. They're getting access to the accountability questions for each module. The accountability question might be, “Did you watch video number one?” The second question might be, “Did you complete the four exercises in video number one?” They're not getting what I would call intellectual property. They're getting to see the questions. I also want to share something else with you. When I first presented this, the very first weekend it came live, I happened to be at a mastermind and I stood up and I did a five-minute demo for everybody. A man walks up to me right away and he says, “I run a mastermind for 55 people and we charge$22,000 per person. I just want to buy a year for every person in the mastermind.” I said, “Great.” We started chatting after the session was over and I walked him through the software. He saw where he could put the questions and he said, “I have one concern.” I said, “What's that?” He goes, “I don't want other people to see my questions.” I said, “Because you're coming in as a partner, I'm going to give you a feature that says lock my questions so that your students can unlock them when they get inside the Results Breakthrough Network.” He said, “That's all I needed to hear. I'm in.” What we do is we have two prices. We have a monthly and a yearly price for consumers who come in, and then we have a wholesale price for people who run courses and programs so that they can sign up everybody in the program for a very little amount of money.

That's like as a value add to the course creator. I did not realize that. It’s very interesting.

There are two ways that we offer this to program and course creators. One way is you can buy a seat for everybody and it's roughly $25 a month per person. If you're selling a $2,000 or $3,000 product and you allocate 10% of that for accountability because you know that double or triple the number of people are going to complete, it's worth it. That's fine. Or you and I can work together to create a promotion for your members so that they could buy their own seat inside of basically your accountability channel on the Results Breakthrough Network and they pay for it themselves. By the way, if they pay for it themselves, my company has set up to pay an affiliate commission to everybody who does that with me.

BBR 251 | Results Breakthrough
Results Breakthrough: It doesn't require that we know the reason, but we're here for a reason.

If folks have courses that they want to get the value from, that they have not yet completed, they can visit ResultsBreakthrough.com. You have a free trial, don’t you?

We do. I'm going to announce the free trial. I generally don't do this, but because you're so special and you have such a great show, I wanted to let everyone know that if you go to ResultsBreakthrough.com and you click any of the red buttons on that screen, you'll get to a page where if you scroll down to the bottom, you'll see three boxes, monthly, yearly pricing, and a try it now for free button. If you try it now for free, you'll be able to create your profile, but you won't be able to search for partners. For you, Nicole, I'm going to give everybody 30 days of full access. All you’ve got to do is use the group code WINNER. If you do that, you could set up your profile. You could start searching for partners and you can have sessions for up to 30 days and see if you like it.

We're just going to take a quick break for a word from our sponsor and we'll be right back with more from Mitch Russo.

Are you an expert in what you do, but struggle to get the results you want in your business? Are things taking longer than you expected them to and costing more than you expected. If you feel like you're stuck on a plateau, understand that what got you here is not going to get you further. You need an Expert Business Roadmap and my good friend, Danny Iny, wants to gift it to you. In the past, tickets to Danny's three-day in-person Expert Business Training sold for up to $1,000, but he's inviting my BBR Show audience to get yours for free right now. Lift happens April 19th to the 21st in Beautiful Montreal, Canada and you can get all the details by visiting BBRShow.com/lift.

This is the opposite of how we normally do the show. Normally, we talk about the products and stuff at the end. I'm very excited and definitely when you told me about it, I was super stoked. If my listeners don't already know you, Mitch, if they haven't already experienced your show, if they haven't already experienced working with you, something they may not know is how extremely generous you are. You're such a valuable resource and you're always looking at how you can help people, make life easier for them and connect people. I remember right after we recorded for your podcast, you were asking me about my production and how I do my show notes and stuff like that. You said, “Look at this,” and you showed me what's going on with yours. You told me about your marketing guy who is your producer and you're like, “Let me connect you if you want to connect.” Within 24 hours, he became my marketing guy. I don't think I realized how interesting and valuable it was to interview people right from the beginning and to get to know about experts and to help them use my platform to reach more people who they could help. What took me a while to figure out was how to also just in a one-on-one way provide resources to people, to just not let it be, “Let me help you get your word out,” but take that next step to say, “What are you looking for right now? What are you working on? How could I support you?” “How can I support you?” is a very general question to be able to ask people what their needs are and be able to then introduce them or give them tips or strategies or anything like that. Can you talk a little bit about how you do that? If it's intentional, if it's just natural, like how did this evolve or have you always done it?

There's a feature I didn't tell you about inside the ResultsBreakthrough.com system. There's a box on your profile that if you check it and agree to be a ten-minute mentor, it's a voluntary program, and if you checked that box through a third party, through charitable organization, we will set you up with an inner city high school kid who would love to be connected to an adult who's non-judgmental and could listen and share what their life is in the world that they live in. When I told you about my troubles with drugs, I had this feeling, “What would have happened if I would've had a ten-minute mentor, an adult that I could've shared my life with and the troubles that I went through as a high school kid? Maybe I wouldn't have turned to putting a needle in my arm.”

Part of what I decided to do with this business was to turn it into a way to help a lot more people in a much bigger way, which became my mission. It started with a great idea to make a program to help a lot of people become accountability partners and it's evolving into something that potentially can help. My goal is 10,000 high school kids all over the country, and that's just the beginning. For me, when I meet somebody new, one of the first things I want to know is, “Who can I connect you to?” I could say, “How can I help you?” That's a general question. I like to ask, “Who can I connect you to?” because I have a vast network of people that I know and they're all like you and me. We're so open to sharing what we know and who we know if it could help another person. Immediately when we talked, you connect me to somebody else who ended up on my podcast, who now I'm helping promote her programs, etc. That's the way the world works. To me it's just the natural way that allows me to feel like I'm participating in life. Does that make sense?

It makes a lot of sense. Something you just said, I just want to touch on. You said, “That's how the world works.” A lot of people don't realize that because that's how the world works but I would venture a guess that the majority of people don't recognize that. They get stuck in the drama of the news and all the bad things happening and all the unfortunate, horrible situations and these are things that people talk about and people perpetuate because they're talking about it. I hear about different crimes and things and people speculating on what the perpetrator was going through and what the victim was going through. Having been in law enforcement, it's hard for me to listen because number one, it's never what people who have no connection to the actual situation seem to think based on the media, and number two is why are we having this conversation? We can focus on what we do want. We can focus on being the people who we want to see more of in the world. The more I think we focus on that, the more that is our reality. When you and I were just in San Diego, it was like we were surrounded by all these incredible people who are all of that mindset. Who can I introduce you to? I was introduced and positioned like a rockstar to so many people who have groups and audiences that are far more like at a far higher level than I've even been reaching out to. People were introducing me to these people and saying, “Nicole is the expert on podcast guesting.” We need her at our mastermind. We need her to come and teach our people and like many of these people, they're down for your kind of people.

I've had people go, “I've got 50 members who would love to hire you.” I'm like, “What?” Instantly, literally in the course of the week, I have all these contracts coming in that I never could have foreseen or tried to get but for being generous and for being open to the relationships and for being willing to connect and willing to share points of view like the person that I connected you with for your show. I sat down and spent over an hour with that person giving her every bit of my expertise that I could, answering all our questions which is now integrated into her program. A lot of people would say, “I'm not giving away my trade secrets or I'm not sharing this.” You share with the right people. You don't share with slime balls. You don't share with people who are out there to take. You share with like-minded people who want to be mentors, who want to support hand up philosophies. What are your thoughts on that?

In order to get, you have to give. That's a very simple way of saying it. I don't give to get. I already have. My position is I feel abundant in my life. I feel lucky to be where I am every day in my life, living in this beautiful life that I live in. It might be temporary; tomorrow it all might end but today and every day, I wake up with a feeling of, “I'm thrilled to be here today. Who can I help today?” I keep a journal. One of the questions I write down almost every morning is, “Who can I help today? Who can I connect with another person who needs their help today?”

I love that, “Who can I help today?” to start your day.

In fact, it's one of my accountability questions in my own program with my own accountability coach. “Did I help at least ten people last week?” It's on my list. It's there because it's important to me. I won't lie, it makes me feel good. It's that simple. If I help another person, I feel good. I particularly feel great if they got enormous value from the time that they spent with me.

I just wrote that down. That's going into my morning routine. Who can I help today? It's such a different position than most people take and so I love it. Are we going to talk about mindset some more now? Should we go there?

Sure.

Let's go back in time to when you were CEO with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes, can you tell me a little bit about how you wound up there in the first place?

I started a software company. When I built that software company, I had this sales guy calling me named Chet Holmes. He was a pesky, persistent guy. He did not let up. He just had decided that I had to be one of his clients. As a result he just kept coming at me and I kept saying, “No” or I would say, “That's not good enough. You have to do better on your pricing, etc.” Until eventually, it must've been a year, a year and a half or so, I finally bought. When I bought and worked with him and got into the magazines that he advertised in, it basically changed my company. The timing was right. It boosted our revenue by almost 40% just by running magazine advertising in the journals that he created. We became great friends. He would travel all over the place and we would always arrange to meet whenever he traveled to the East Coast. I would fly out to New York to hang out with him. He'd fly into Boston. Whenever it was, we would always meet. As the company grew and grew and I sold the company, we still stayed friends. I even brought him in as a sales trainer to Sage when I was running Sage.

All throughout the years after that, we spoke every week. We would debate faith and philosophy and life and time, and all the great conversations that good friends have. One day, he asked me, “I'm having some difficulty with something going on at my company. Can you step in and help me?” I said, “Of course. That's what friends are for. I would do that with you hardly without a doubt, without hesitation.” I stepped in. I helped him with the problem. At that point, I said, “Your problem is solved. I hope it was worthwhile for you,” and he goes, “Where do you think you're going?” I said, “I told you, your problem is solved.” He goes, “No. You're staying. I want you to be part of the company now.” I said, “Really?” He said, “Yep. You’ve got to stay.” I accepted a position to work with Chet, just helping him out. Eventually, a few months later he promoted me to be the president of the company. I said, “Yes.” Then we began negotiations with Tony Robbins. It was in that conversation, and these conversations with Tony happened every Thursday night, and we would talk for months on Thursday nights to try and figure out a structure that would work for the three of us to form a company together, and we did and that became Business Breakthroughs International. That became one of the highlights of my life working with Chet and Tony. Having Tony Robbins as a business coach and mentor for five solid years was an amazing experience, one I'll never forget and one that Tony and I are still friends to this day, so I always appreciate him.

BBR 251 | Results Breakthrough
Results Breakthrough: Having Tony Robbins as a business coach and mentor for five solid years was an amazing experience.

That's so wonderful. I love the story. I love that you just shared it. It is the same journey we've been talking about just being open to those opportunities. I'm impressed that Chet was persistent for a year and a half. He didn't take no for an answer, although that says a lot about you too for being so patient. That must also speak to who he is and how he delivers, coming from a space of value and knowing that what he has to offer you is going to make a difference and an impact in your business.

Chet was known for his pig-headed discipline. You might call it his tagline. Before he passed away, he shared that story many times. Here's the way Chet would have told you if he were sitting here right next to me, he wouldn't have thought of himself as being necessarily overly persistent or bugging me to try and get me to sell. The way you would phrase that is he says, “Mitch, I have a moral obligation to bring you into this publication because I know it's going to work for you. I know what you will get from it. I know that I will affect you and the all the families that work for you. That's why I do this. That's why I will not give up until we work together.” That is the philosophy of his life and that is the philosophy that I try to live as well, which is to understand and know that if you have something that is so wonderful and so powerful, not because you think so but because you've seen the transformation that what you do has in others, then you have a moral obligation to close that sale, to get that client because you can change your lives. If you don't then boo-hoo for you because you're the one who blew it, not them. You're the one who loses out. They'll lose out too but you just lost out. Stay focused on why and how, what you do benefits that other person. That's what I mean by having a moral obligation.

So many entrepreneurs struggle with sales, struggle with taking that stand and going the course. Most people take no for an answer. It's something that I'm always challenged with and continue to be challenged with. I'm going to go back to this interview time and again. I'm emotional right now. It’s just such a beautiful place to end the very seemingly short interview and just honoring Chet’s legacy. Any final words of wisdom for you before we leave everyone with some more ways they can reach out to you?

I don't know if I have so much wisdom to impart because I basically have gratitude. I just want to say that every one of us, you, me, we're all here for a reason. It doesn't require that we know the reason, but we're here for a reason. Stop trying to run around and say, “I can't find my reason. I’ve got to figure out why I'm here.” Forget that. You're here because you're here. The best way to search for and find what you're truly meant to do is to help others find and do what they're truly meant to do, and that potentially can be and where you find your calling.

We can go to ResultsBreakthrough.com and try for free the software by entering all caps, the code WINNER at the bottom. Do you want to share about the podcast or anything else that you're up to that people can find you and listen to more of your sage advice?

You can go to MitchRusso.com and the name of my podcast is Your First Thousand Clients. This is a show focused entirely on helping people get to a thousand clients and beyond. It's that simple. We bring people on, smart people, generous people like you who have gotten to a thousand clients and beyond, and we try to understand and unpack their wisdom as to how they did it so that you could do it, too. It's called R&D, rip off and deploy.

Mitch, thank you so much for being here with us.

It’s my pleasure, Nicole.

Resources mentioned:

About Mitch Russo

BBR 251 | Results BreakthroughMeet Mitch Russo, who started a software company in his garage, sold it for 8 figures and then went on to work directly with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes to build a $25M business together. Mitch wrote a book called “The Invisible Organization – How Ingenious CEOs are Creating Thriving, Virtual Companies and he’s here with us today with a whole new mission!

 


Thanks to Danny Iny of Lift for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Lou Diamond of Thrive LOUD on How to Connect and Thrive to Generate Success

BBR 250 | Thrive LOUD

Every sales transaction starts with a connection, and that connection can either make or break a business deal. Lou Diamond shares his fail-proof tips for helping your company succeed and thrive. His depth of experiences has helped him shape a method of coaching and consulting that helps you develop best practices and skills to connect and thrive, and then transpose those skills into a leadership style that creates a better experience for your company or business. He delivers on the premise that great leaders are master connectors and the best of what sales can be is determined on how well you can connect.

Thank you to Megan Hall of The Inspired Women Podcast for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the wealth of information that Nicole and her guest share on the podcast. She walks away inspired after every single episode she listened to.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Lou Diamond of Thrive LOUD on How to Connect and Thrive to Generate Success

I'm super excited to have one of my favorite people, Lou Diamond from Thrive LOUD. How is it going?

I'm so excited to be here. This is going to be fun. Glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

What are you doing now? How are you serving, supporting people today in the highest and best way that you do?

We're doing lots of things. I love to work with the most amazing people and companies and make them even more amazing. I do that through my company, Thrive, where we are helping people to connect, to thrive, and in some cases, thrive loud. In a lot of these cases, I'm coaching and consulting top leaders, top performers to make them even more incredible. We have a whole philosophy on how we do that, which is we help them strengthen what I call the connecting core. We go through each one of those nozzles in whether I speak to a large audience, conference, event, doing some group workshops, or one-on-one, that's the focus of what I've been on.

The podcast show has helped launch into a total different direction, but it’s also helping me connect to the listeners with all these amazing people that are thriving each and every day. Pairing that all together, this whole connecting to thrive is what Lou was all about. It's been unbelievable, the companies and the people we've been working with; entrepreneurs, amazing professionals, seasoned, serious executives as well who are digging down and figuring out how they can do a better job of connecting. We always talk about the power of connection is what helps grow your business. Sales is a speed bump along the way of what you're trying to achieve. I've set much bigger goals and those connections are the way that I'm focused on helping people achieve them.

You’re so great at teaching about those, and you’ve got a book about it. You can check out Master the Art of Connecting. I was working with some students in my Rockstar Ready Academy, and this was the exact thing we were talking about. It’s not the sale necessarily to be focused on. That's where a lot of people go wrong is they focus on the marketing to sell their stuff. Whereas if you're looking at the relationships that you can build, you may have a lead or a connection to somebody who is not a right fit for you as a client, but who could be a great collaborator, a referral partner or a friend. When you come from a place of curiosity and exploration about, “Who is this person? How can I serve them?” Not necessarily sell them, even though sales is a way of service. So much more can be accomplished in such a smaller amount of timing.

BBR 250 | Thrive LOUD
Master the Art of Connecting

I do this for salespeople and the ones who have sales in their title. You're not actually selling. You're helping someone to buy and that's the way that you have to think, “What can you do to improve that person's world?”Whether that is your client that is trying to grow their business, whether you have an offering that you know will be additive to the world of the person you're trying to connect to. I always make it about the connection, and the sale will come. The sale will come time and time again when you have a strong connection, and that's who you want to do business with. Nicole and I are close connection. We help each other with our own businesses and we're always trying to figure out how to help one another grow whether it's recommending guests for the show, for our client services, or for what we do.

We're always trying to figure out, “How can I make Nicole's world better?” That's what I'm thinking about. In the same sense, that is exactly what it's about. If we got out of the way about worrying about, “I got to make this number. I got to close this deal. We got to get this thing signed.”If you focus on how you need to be, and then how you want to connect with your target, then they're naturally going to want to flow and connect to you. That's where the magic happens. You don't have to worry so much about the sale, you have to worry about the connection that you have in maintaining that each and every day.

Some of the challenges of running a podcast show is not so much about the actual content and the guests, and you get the great stuff that goes on. There's all these little nuances and things that you will have. For instance, different recording mediums. My website was hacked several weeks ago, and now we've updated it. I've moved over to a different service provider, which is doing a great job. I re-changed the URL of my company as well, so that everything is more in-line with Thrive LOUD. Those are the advice that we need from people who are going through that same pain, and that's a strong connection that we have. The reason why she is the business rockstar is because she volunteers her brilliance to you. You're able to take it in and you don't even have to go anywhere else. If Nicole says, “It's right,” because she's done the research, she's done the study, and she's worked with all these different folks to help figure it out, I don't need to go anywhere else. That's the type of connection that the two of us have.

This can lead into a question I have about what’s the super ‘why’. I’m at this pivoting point with who I’m serving. I’m serving clients with larger businesses, brick and mortars, corporate, who are in a different space and the people who I have been working with historically. It's a fun transition, but it's also one time where I need to pull a lot of stuff together. As an online entrepreneur, I've gotten comfortable with people in my industry knowing who I am and not having to “sell myself”, not having to say, “I'm so great at this.”I'm pivoting into a new arena. It's like, “I got to gather up the things that let other people talk about me.”

I've been gathering up all these testimonials. We talked about this even in your podcast where you interviewed me about how everybody is like, “Nicole’s the catalyst. Don’t hire Nicole if you want somebody to tell you you're doing the right thing because she doesn't pull any punches. She'll tell you what to do, and she'll tell you where the gap, and she'll tell you how to fix it.”It's hard to hear, and I love that you say that, and I appreciate that. I know that about myself, but for so much of my life, that was seen as a bad thing. Kids are often told, young adults are told, “Don't be too loud. Don't be too loud or pushy, you don't have to be right.”Much of my life was about making me not right.

It’s the way my brain works, and my gifts and skills. I could see where people had gaps or had always to be conscientious about not letting people know what I saw, and so it's always been a really weird thing. Shifting, it's nice to be working with people like you whether we're in relationship as colleagues and friends, mastermind partners, clients, or even with my mentors. There's a lot of stuff that I help them with. It's something that from a personal standpoint, I'm not 100% comfortable and always say, “Did you know this? Here's something I see that can be fixed.”Thank you, I appreciate that you're pushing my boundaries.

You make connections as you grow as a professional. A lot of the people that I deal with, these are top performers who are selling and then all of a sudden they're given the responsibility that they now have to manage and lead others. How you connect in the role of a leader isn't that much different from the way you connect with clients, sometimes the advice on knowing what you need to strengthen in that connecting core as a leader, you need to seek other leaders and get their advice. That's why we have our network of people like ourselves and other top professionals that we can go to, and in those instances we'll be able to be almost like the student.

We're learning how to absorb that information and then figure aout how you can transpose that in a leadership style. What I've always said about connecting, “The best of what sales can be is how great you can connect.” It's the same as it applies to the way you lead. Great leaders are master connectors, and they need to connect with the people that they are leading and taking them to the next level. What we're doing is leaders are building the next level of a master connectors as well.

For today's episode, I'm sponsoring it myself. With that, I want to share with you about my one-day business breakthrough intensive. Let's face it, no matter what stage of business that we're at, there are always areas that could use a little bit of outside perspective. Without which, they hold us back from our goals. That's why the most successful people in the world have people that they turn to in order to optimize their resources and get unstuck fast. I'm Nicole Holland, host of the Business Building Rockstars Show, and this is one of the things I love doing for clients. It’s helping them get really clear on the underlying issue that is manifesting all kinds of funky stuff in their life, so that they can get more productive, more profitable, and more joyful as quickly as possible, so they don't have to spend time trying to figure it all out.

I have a unique way of honing in really fast on what's going on, and spitting out a complete roadmap, step-by-step to get out of that stuff, that sticky stuff, that gunk that's holding them back. Whether it's processes, lead generation, conversion, or any number of things, that is one of my innate gifts and how I serve my clients at my highest and best. If you would like more information about the one-day breakthrough, visit BBRShow.com/ODB for more information. If you decide to join us, you can use coupon code BBR Show to take a whole $100 off of the tuition.

Let's talk about how this all started. How did you come to this? You weren't always thriving loudly, even though you are a successful leader. Can you take us back a little bit?

I have had a very successful career and it has varied and waved into different roles. I never knew that the main thing that I do, which is helping people thrive, was where it would all lead to. Truth be told, I started off in my dad's jewelry store. I was opening up and managing it for summers and holidays. I probably learned more in a store that was 60 feet long and nine feet wide and had tons of customers and how to interact with people. That's where I learned a lot of my people selling skills. Go sell jewelry in a block where there were probably fifteen jewelry stores or something that is not necessarily a need. You need to figure out that it isn't just about the item. It's going to be about the relationship that you have. I worked in consulting and professional services. I then headed up sales of a large company called Organic, which is still around today as part of the Omnicom family. I worked on Wall Street for a very long time.

I had an institutional role helping in the fixed income products area. In that, I recognize that I was limiting myself because I wasn't tapping into what I love to do best. I loved working in all of those roles, whether consulting, whether doing the work with clients and connecting with them. What I recognize is I wanted to help other people do it. The way that I connected with clients was not this typical Wall Street way of doing it. A lot of people can be very aggressive. There were some people who were disingenuous in the way that they would connect to people, and I recognize that what I did was a little different. I sought out a business coach that helped get me on track to figure out what I wanted to do next. I'd been doing well; I was very successful, very happy with it, but I was not happy. Not being happy is not a good thing. Someone who I interviewed in a podcast show had a great quote. They said, “Happiness is an inside job. You have to work on yourself really to figure out how to make yourself happy and take yourself to the next level.”

I did that with a coach, but then I recognized that what I love doing was connecting with others. That made me excited and watching them grow and connect from that. Watching them close more business, watching their startup companies launched to new levels. A client I've been added an almost $11million in sales to their business, which was a 20% jump in their revenue growth after I had been working them for a year. They know that you would have that type of impact and helping them do that. The expertise I had as an individual growing up on my own journey has made me focus on, “That's what I'm able to do the best, and that's what I love doing for companies and it's so exciting to see.” One of my favorite phone calls was to this company that I'd worked with. I gave a keynote address at this company event and I didn't get to meet everybody at this company, but there were a lot of people there.

One of the sales people who was in that conference sent me an email. They said he closed his biggest deal he's ever done it that company, and he used a lot of the tools of the connecting core to help establish that relationship. What I was so excited about was one, that I connected with him. Two, that it was what I sent back to him made it even better. I go, “I'm so excited that you've done this. Let's take it to the next level.”He got more excited about that because that's the type of thing that I'm always looking to do. You can use your connections to extend your growth, but you could also use them on yourself to continue to push yourself on who you need to help out and who you want to grow with.

BBR 250 | Thrive LOUD
Thrive LOUD: You can use your connections to extend your growth, but you could also use them on yourself to continue to push yourself on who you need to help out and who you want to grow with.

What are you most excited about today? What are you working on that’s great? What's the next evolution or what are you working on today?

I'm doing a lot more speaking and a lot more keynotes. I adopted a lot of my message, the way that I've done in a way that's a little bit more interactive and more fun, which makes it cool. I get large audiences to do lots of things, which was always challenging. I took a lot of what I did in workshops and added it that way. Thrive LOUD has blown up. It's ridiculous. We joke about the number of guests that I had. It was getting to the point that if I didn't increase the number of shows per week. If I interviewed you today, you're weren't going on until the fall and we're in the winter. I’m like, “That's just wrong.”We added more shows, which is great. We created a little bit more content in there and then something unbelievable happens. There's a new show that I'm actually getting involved with, which is pretty cool. A lot of the thriving companies that I’ve been dealing with are around a big topic here on our planet, and I say that specifically, in being more green.

Thrive has some green colors in our logos, which was pretty cool. I was approached by this group called Green Matters, and we're launching a new show called Greenbacks. Me and this absolutely amazing co-host, Nathalie Molina Niño, who is the head of Brava Investments, are partnering together and we are tackling and doing almost like a car chat, car talk with some unbelievable leaders in sustainability, in business growth. Green isn't just people wrapping themselves around a tree with the bulldozer coming and protecting themselves or making sure you don't burn the forest. This is a trillion-dollar business that we're dealing with.

A lot of these companies, we want to check how valid their growth is, where the opportunities are, and how people have transform their businesses to focus on sustainability. It is a huge revenue bucket that's out there and people are doing amazing things with it. This new show is launching. It's not just a podcast show. It's also going to be video on a YouTube channel, which is really cool. We're filming in YouTube Studios here in New York City and it's pretty awesome. More speaking, more events, and there's lots of things happening in the Thrive LOUD world.

On this show, we usually get into a journey and stories. We're hopping all over the place. One of the things that is cool about how you're running your business is you work with a lot of young people. Speaking of sustainability, I'm a huge advocate for helping young people have a hand up. Not a handout, but a hand up, and helping them see the insides. I know that when I was a kid, I was always looking for those opportunities.

My drive led me to having some great mentors at a very early age, which led me to working in professional sports and entertainment at a very early age. One of the things that I know you're skilled at and gifted at is working with interns and helping others get involved with interns. Can you speak a little bit about how you came upon this intern idea or community or how to build your business using interns, and then the process that people could adopt if they want to follow in your footsteps?

I am the biggest advocate of, “If you are not good at something, you get somebody that is way better at it to do it for you.”One of the things that was absolutely prevalent, as I was building the brand of Thrive LOUD and Thrive, and myself as Lou, was that a lot of the things that we use in social media, I didn't have that much adeptness with. This was even before the podcast program came out.. I went to Cornell University and I'm very involved with the communications department at Cornell. I went up and I spoke at a class called Media Communications. Great class, unbelievable abilities of how people are using media technologies in business. What I ended up doing was recognizing these interns can help out with lots of activities, marketing activities, social media.

As the podcast show was created, I also recognized I had additional audio editor, montages, marketing tools with things that I wasn't as familiar with. As Instagram has become more popular, I learned how to use stories on Instagram. The interns we're not only helping me, but they were adept at running it and taking it to a whole new level. From all the marketing activities that have gone on, I give as much of that responsibilities and give a creative freedom to college students and people who graduated college. A lot of them have come to me at different stages of their career where they're trying to learn a little bit about that. Some of it’s an internship and in some cases, I've had people work for me over the summer.

Thrive is a small business. We have about five or six people, but these interns add a tremendous amount of value. I also love it because since I'm a communications major and on a podcast show, my interns are getting a lot of airtime. When we introduce a show, they're doing all the intros. They're actually on with me as we talk about a certain episode that they may have edited, so they can add some value to the content. It's a great experience and I am the biggest fan of this medium. I have three interns every semester, so we're cycling through tons of great people.

They're getting unbelievable experience and the best part is that all of the people that have interned with Thrive are getting jobs, whether it's they're younger in their early college years and they're getting summer jobs afterwards or full-time employment afterwards through the connections that they've had in this experience. In many instances, they're getting jobs at companies that I have done business with. I'm using my interns as a great fodder for that. I'm hoping to get to a place that I start taking some of these interns and keep them because they're so good, but they're so amazing at what they do.

I've shared this idea with other people in businesses like me. The nice guys on business podcast have taken a couple of interns and love that idea. You were an event and had a college student come and help you from Quinnipiac University. This is a great way to get exposure at an early age to some amazing senior level people and they were looking to do it, and they do an amazing job. I'm the biggest fan of using interns as much as you can, but most importantly, giving them real tasks, real responsibility, and accountability. They will not only deliver, they will thrive.

Much of my career was working with youth, and I'm always looking for opportunities that are win-win. I believe that the more we mentor, the more we support, the more we teach, the more those people can go on and do great things as they grow, and they get to grow in a faster way. One of the things that I ran up against was when I went to the local university here. It seemed like it was a big undertaking to get an intern, and I wasn't clear on what to do. Would you mind sharing any of those of first steps if somebody is saying, “This makes a lot of sense, but where do I start? What do I do?”

I had a great connection within the heads of the departments that make the most sense. You and I are in a communication space. Public relations space is another area, so that could be within the business or marketing departments. When I tell you that the faculty of these programs love the support from the outside in any way they can, they do. They have very little time to go do it, so it is a little proactiveness to reach out and find those people. Based on the universities that you go through, you can identify who those key people are and reach out to them. They will look to you and say, “This is something that I need.”Trust me, they're the best channel into the students. You can ask them to speak in class, they would love that. Find the appropriate topic that you can connect with the most. You and I have specific niches that make sense.

If your audience are listening and there's something that they would like to do, find the avenue within the universities that make the most sense. Universities, in the spirit of connection and what we've been talking about on this program, are looking to connect to the business world as much as they can. Not only to get jobs for their soon-to-be graduate students, whether they're undergraduate students or graduate. They're looking to be able to bring the two worlds together so that the study of the books and the things that they're learning has practical value in the real world where it does and it doesn't. That's the type of stuff that we can help connect for them. Be an advocate for your local university, and don't be afraid to go tap into whatever levels you can and ask as high as you can because you will get through there. They are looking for help always.

I do want to give a special shout-out to Gabby Perrone. She helped me out in New York. She came along and joined me at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, NRF 2018. Gabby was great, and it was in that way, not an official internship, I had put something out on Facebook to my friends and to my community and said, “I'm coming to New York City and I need help with this event. Does anybody know an intern-esque kind of person who would love to come behind the scenes and get into the press room and get to have some experience there?” I was amazed that I had more people say ‘yes’ than I could manage even that it was a weekend and it was during a winter break and all this stuff.

Being willing to ask and also knowing how you're willing to compensate them, and something that you taught me is that experience is more powerful than the money. That was a shift for me because I'm used to working with assistants who are looking at how much am I going to get for this rather than how much am I going to get for this. When I was young, I couldn't have cared less about money. I wanted experience. I wanted to meet important people. I knew that going as Steve Sidekick to the Washington Bullets, I got to sit right behind the bench, right behind Mark Gallery and Rex Chapman. I got to walk on the court. I got to get to know the community relations director. I got to spend time in these negotiations and meetings with these people.

It was that prestige and there was that experience. The first time I did that I was fifteen, I was very young. I'm 42 now and I still remember what it felt like to walk onto the basketball court and the smell of sweat. Sometimes we forget, at least I had, that there are people out there, who want to hustle and want to experience. It's not about the money. It's about the experience. The more we can teach and give them the opportunity to have that role, that's not just, “You're here, just do this. Go grab coffee,” but to include them in the experience is pretty powerful.

For those that are thinking, “You don't necessarily need a university formal type of internship program. You can do it ad hoc initially to see what works.” The university is the most natural funnel for it to the point that you had. It wasn't a formalized thing. You were trying to find somebody to help. There's plenty of people out there. Start off with that and figure out what works best, and then see if it's something that works for you and do not even set a limit. Break open your mind on limiting beliefs on what your interns can do for you because they will always amaze you with what they can do, especially if you get that go-getter type attitude you're talking.

BBR 250 | Thrive LOUD
Thrive LOUD: Break open your mind on limiting beliefs on what your interns can do for you because they will always amaze you.

I have an email in my inbox where I saw the first few words there where the girl said, “YES, I'm totally in.” I have something that I want to implement in terms of building a bot and doing some pretty, crazy, fun stuff, but I don't have the time. I was looking for awhile, “Who can I hire to do this?” Then I came across this girl that I had interviewed for a position and I wound up not being able to hire her, but I liked her. I had that sense that she was a go-getter. I made her an offer essentially that we have an agreement for how long she puts in and what she does. I'll put her through the training, and I will support her and mentor her to build a business around this for herself so she's not looking for jobs anymore.

I made that proposal and told her to think about it, speak with her family, and consider it. I got an email saying “Yes, I'm totally in.” I haven't read the rest of it, but it's exciting because it's such a win-win. She wants to build something for her family, and that’s somewhere that I can help. Thank you for sharing about your internship program and how you've done it. I'm going to turn it over to you. Any final words of wisdom, anything you want to leave our audience with, and then we'll talk about where people connect and be a part of the Thrive LOUD community.

I sign off all my shows, “Be brief, be bright, be gone.” This is a message. It’s more about the fact that we want to get our message with a smart point, and then leave it with that. There are a lot of tasks you have to do, whether you're an entrepreneur. You are that business rockstar and you're trying to figure out what the next level is. Try not to overthink too much. Try to keep your focus each day on limited things that are tactical. If you try to take on too much at one time, we know what happens. It's almost like you don't do a quality job in all the things you need to get done. That type of way that you need to communicate with people. Brief, bright, gone. Don't be long-winded. Try to keep your emails short. Try to keep your points to the point. People know that we're busy, we got a lot of things to do. The more on top of it that we are, the more that your connections will appreciate it.

To get more from Lou Diamond, where can people go?

Pretty much everywhere on social media, just hit @ThriveLoud, you will find me. It's on from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In addition, you go to ThriveLoud.com, you will see everything that we do at Thrive. Most notably, if you are interested in having me speak at your company, you can go to LouDiamond.net.

The podcast, go into Apple or any of your podcast players and look Thrive LOUD.

Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond and you go to ThriveLoud.com, you will see the podcast link right there as well and get to see great episodes.

I had a lot of fun with you and I always have fun with you. You're an amazing host and you have amazing guests, so it's a pleasure to listen. If people enjoy the show, check out Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond.

We've only improved upon our conversation in this episode. This was good. We covered a lot of good stuff, some fun things. We have two very cool voices. For those in the special group that you have going on, you got to see us in action in what is the BBR headquarters and Thrive LOUD madness.

I've been talking about the Listener’s Lounge. It's not there yet. I haven't done the ad for it, but we are working behind the scenes. It’s a membership area. There's no cost for the audience and you get the unedited videos of all of the interviews before they're even released on airwaves. It's a little value add and a way that my listeners can get more involved in the community.

I will get my rockstar interns to help promote this special group, and we'll send it out as a special message through social media, which they do a great job of. Once you have the instructions and release on how to get to do it, the way that people would have gotten here might be some of the people that help support it. That sound in line with what you want to do?

If you're in the Listener's Lounge, my plan is that there's going to be comments section below, so let us know, “Did you come from Lou’s amazing interns or how did you get here?” I want to know that in the comments section below. Come on over to BBRShow.com. I don't have the exact link right now, but if you search Listener’s Lounge, you'll find out at BBRShow.com how to get into our secret portal.

It's been awesome being on here and an honor because it’s a show I’m a fan of. Just to be here and be amongst many amazing people that have come on there is cool. Thank you for having me.

Been a pleasure. Thanks so much for being here, Lou.

Resources mentioned:

About Lou Diamond

Lou is a Speaker, Coach, Consultant, Bestselling Author & Motivator. He was a top producer for firms such as Accenture, Deloitte, Omnicom, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, leading teams to achieve record revenues year after year. Lou founded THRIVE, a leading consulting and coaching company focused on making the most incredible leaders and top performers CONNECT to THRIVE Most recently, he launched ThriveLOUD, a weekly podcast dedicated to inspiring people to reach their peak potential in every facet of their life.

 


Thanks to Megan Hall of The Inspired Women Podcast for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

 

Ari Meisel of the Less Doing Podcast on Mastering Productivity

BBR 249 | Less Doing

The easiest and best way to keep your business stay on track when you feel lost is to back track and think about what you did and how you did it. Ari Meisel learned this from the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial journey that eventually lead him to discover the Less Doing method of productivity. This method essentially helps you work smarter instead of harder and still get optimal results. Ari has become a productivity master who helps his clients identify the bottlenecks in their businesses and move on to the next phase. Learn how he uses restriction to force innovation on entrepreneurs.

Thank you to Lou Diamond of Thrive LOUD for introducing today's episode. What he loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is it has spectacular guests, unbelievable lessons but most importantly, it has the best podcast host on the planet, Nicole Holland. He highly recommends you listen, enjoy and sit back in every episode. He says take everything in because BBR rocks.

If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.

Listen to the podcast here:

Ari Meisel of the Less Doing Podcast on Mastering Productivity

I'm super excited to be having Ari Meisel with me to chat about the good, the bad, and the ugly of his journey. There are lots of ups and downs, but they started with the downs. These are things that a lot of people won't talk about. A lot of people don't want to talk about the times that things are difficult and the things that are challenging. They like to paint this rosy picture of having it all together. I'm inspired by Ari, and I'm inspired by what he's done. Even though he was a successful entrepreneur before that, things have gone up and down, and now he's killing it. Welcome to the show.

Thank you very much for having me.

Can you let us know a little bit that might not be in your bio? 

I have a company called Less Doing, which is like Less Doing, More Living. We teach people how to optimize, automate, and outsource everything so that they can be more effective. Through coaching programs and business consulting, I work with entrepreneurs who have opportunity and access of what their infrastructural support to set up systems and processes that empower teams to make themselves more replaceable.

Who are your ideal clients? At what point are people coming to you and being served at the highest level? 

I have programs that go all the way from free up until many thousands of dollars for a day of consulting. We work with a growth company for the most part, so six figures to seven figures, seven figures to eight, and then eight and beyond. I know that covers everybody, but those subsets, when they're making that transition, is one of the challenging parts. A lot of times, what will grow a business to a certain point is the same thing that will keep it down and prevent you from moving onto the next phase. The most common things I see that we're dealing with companies that are between a hundred thousand and a million in revenue. Those companies are dealing with trying to up their level of the leads that they're getting and the ones that are converting, and then putting systems and processes in place to get a team doing what the entrepreneur does well.

BBR 249 | Less Doing
Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier

You help them identify those bottlenecks where things are stuck, and then automate or outsource the system that will get them through that And it's like, “That's done. What's the next bottleneck?” 

We chip away. I always think of the Michelangelo quote about the David and the block of marble that they have to chip away the excess. A lot of times, everything that they need is there and what they're doing is good, but there's things that are getting in the way, so I remove obstacles and headaches.

Let's go back in time, I believe to around 2006. I'd love for you to let us know where you are at in your life, what you were doing and how things came to a halt and that pivot point. 

I was working in construction in upstate New York, in Binghamton. I was working long hours. I built this big project there. When I was 23, I was in $3 million in debt and had been living this really unhealthy lifestyle. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Crohn's is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract and it's very painful, very debilitating, and not very well understood, certainly not at the time. I got really, really sick and went from working eighteen hours a day to barely being able to do an hour of work a day. Through a long process of self-tracking, self-experimentation, I was able to get off my meds and eventually go on to compete in IRONMAN France and recognize along the way that stress was a big component of what was going on in my life and the illness. My response to that was to create this new system of productivity to get more done and at the heart of it, regain some control because I do believe that control is the antidote to stress.

Can we dig into that a little bit more? A lot of people don't want to talk about things that are not rosy and shiny. Especially in our world today, the messaging and the gurus and the pictures and all of that image stuff never tells the whole story. A lot of times, people feel like they're the only ones going through stuff. Even though everybody isn't necessarily diagnosed with Crohn's, there's things that are happening that feel oftentimes insurmountable and it takes a shift or a revelation or some kind of awareness in order to realize, “This is the thing that's going to launch me to the next step.”When you were sick with Crohn's, you weren't like, “I got something going on, and now I'm going to be more productive and get less stressed.” That was a process or no? 

Yes, it definitely was a process. It wasn’t an immediate process either. I got sicker and sicker over the course of several months and I was sick for a couple years. A lot of times, it's a restriction that really forces innovation. What a lot of entrepreneurs don't realize is as overwhelmed as they might feel or they have a sense of they don't have time to get things done, the truth is that they're not making it a priority. They're putting it off until their body or their mind or their team or their bank account tells them they have to.

One of the big things that I teach people when we’re teaching productivity is to set artificially restrictive limits on yourself. An example would be that the average American spends $173 a week on food. Maybe that's you, maybe it isn't, but what if you were to say, “If I only had $100 a week to spend on food, what would I change? What would I give up? What will I add? What change would that require?” A lot of people don't take the time to do that in their personal lives, much less their businesses. It's easy to be like, “I'm going to hire more people.” It's like, “What if I couldn't hire more people and I had to get this done with some other system?”To me, restrictions force innovation.

Can we talk about some restrictions? I have worked with a lot of people who have lots of different hats they wear. They’re a parent, they’re a spouse, they're a business owner. Some of them are still working in corporate and doing things on the side. They're trying to write a book, they’re a podcaster. They have all these different roles that they're playing, and sometimes, it feels like they can't get a hold on any of them to show up fully and completely, and they feel really spread too thin. Personally, I go through bouts of this every once in a while, until I'm like, “You can get a hold on this.”It takes awareness, and sometimes people don't realize how to restrict things. Can you talk about a couple of other examples about how you help specifically business owners to put those artificially restrictive points in there? 

It's sneakily built into the whole framework that we teach, which is optimize, automate, outsource. The problem with outsourcing is that people do it first. If you're taking an inefficient problem that you hate doing and it's a crappy task and you give it to somebody else who has even less context for it, you're setting them up for failure and you as well, and then more frustration. That's when people are like, “I tried outsourcing once but I don't want to ever do it again.”That's a problem. It's so inherent to most people to throw more bodies at the problem. How could we rearrange this puzzle essentially so that we get the result we want? A lot of times, what that leads to is people asking the question of, “What is the actual result that we do want?”

Sometimes, we're not clear on that. Vision is extremely important as entrepreneur to be able to express that not only to your team and your clients and your customers, but also to people that you would delegate it to. It's inherent in the process, but you can do some very basic tracking. If you track somebody, you install an app on their computer and it'll tell you that they spent seventeen hours on email this week and you ask them, “What if you only spend an hour a day on email? What would happen?” Set that limit. It works.

There's something called the liberty paradox, which is the idea of positive and negative freedom. Everyone talks about how they want freedom. They want freedom when they're in a9 to 5 job, they want freedom to be with their family and retire. Freedom from something would be a negative freedom. Freedom from the 9 to 5, freedom from the grind, whatever you want to call it. Ideally, you want to get to a place where you have freedom to do something, so you're going towards the thing you have freedom. The problem in that gap is that too many options leads to less freedom because we get into this analysis-paralysis situation. There's a video I saw on YouTube and this guy was at a grocery store in Minneapolis and he was marveling at how many frozen pizza options there were. It was like a hundred-foot-long freezer of probably a hundred different brands, and a lot of people would actually spend a significant amount of their time in the supermarket trying to figure that out, and that's a bad thing. Giving ourselves these limits is huge.

The freedom to, rather than freedom from. This shows up in so many different things where people want things, but it's that they're wanting from a space of not having, rather than wanting from a space of the results they're actively working towards. What is the result we really want? Unless we can answer that in everything we do, then there's inefficiency. What are some of your key things that you teach about that? About how to close the gap from inefficient to productive or efficient? How is it that once we realize, “I’ve been looking for freedom from, I realize I'm looking for freedom to. I'm going to go back to that vision.”It’s like, “This vision is so great. Now what?”How do you decipher which one thing to work on at a time, or do you not advocate for one thing at a time?

BBR 249 | Less Doing
Less Doing: Freedom from something would be a negative freedom.

As an individual, yes; but as an organization, definitely not. Maybe that sounds obvious to some people but it's not because a lot of people will say, “We’re doing this part” When people talk about an organization that moves slowly, that's the problem, but they're not officially dividing that up or effectively dividing that up. In closing that gap, one of the things is that you want to make the process more efficient. There's going to be a lot of things that are general process that you go through on a regular basis. The one-off stuff is different. In a lot of ways, if you get into this mindset of OAO or whatever system you want, but you get into a mindset of, “We're going to do this in this way and we're going to go through the processes.” You started thinking that way as the “one-offs” come up.

A lot of times, when somebody is like, “This only happens once every three months.” It's usually wrong if you start tracking and identifying what that is. I had a webinar and somebody said, “I'm on call a lot for my job and so I don't know when the time is going to be.” I said, “Have you ever tracked two or three weeks of what on-call looks like and when you're getting called in for things?”He said, “No.” I said, “There's a pattern of some sort that you might be able to plan around to the best of your ability. Once you've identified a pattern, you might be able to preempt some of that stuff from happening.”That's a big thing. Everyone who's saying to themselves like, “I don't have time to stop and look” then you're going to get hit by a bus and then your company is going to stop working.

For this episode, I’m actually sponsoring it myself. With that, I want to share with you about my one-day business breakthrough intensive. Let’s face it, no matter what stage of business that we’re at, there are always areas that could use a little bit of outside perspective. Without which, they hold us back from our goals. That’s why the most successful people in the world have people that they turn to in order to optimize their resources and get unstuck fast. I’m Nicole Holland, host of the Business Building Rockstars Show.

This is one of the things I love doing for clients is helping them get really clear on the underlying issue that is manifesting all kinds of funky stuff in their life so that they can get more productive, more profitable and more joyful as quickly as possible so they don’t have to spend time trying to figure it all out. I have a unique way of honing in really fast on what’s going on, and spitting out a complete road map, step by step to get out of that sticky stuff. That gum that’s just holding them back. Whether it’s processes or lead generation or conversion or any number of things, that is one of my innate gifts and how I serve my clients at my highest and best.

If you would like more information about the one-day breakthrough, visit BBRShow.com/ODB. If you decide to join us, you can use coupon code BBRShow to take a whole $100 off of the tuition. That URL to get all the details about my one-day business breakthrough intensive can be found at BBRShow.com/ODB.

It's one of the things that comes up when I'm working with clients so frequently, where it's like, “Let's start tracking this and here's what you need to do.”I would love to know how you recommend. What I do with my clients is I help them have a spreadsheet. We track, and it is that resistance of, “Do I have to really write down everything? Do you want to know where you're wasting time?”It's a short period of time that you put in that effort, and it brings so much awareness. Every time after they've done it they're like, “I didn't even realize.” You can't solve a problem if you don't know the root of it. If you don't know why is this inefficient or ineffective and what are you doing that's wasting that time or energy or resource, then you can't find something better. 

A lot of people tend to come to you with the solution rather than the problem. Great example of that is at least once a week, if not more, somebody says to me, “What's the best CRM these days?”I always say, “Why do you need a CRM for?”Most people are like, ” I was at a conference and I saw this thing. Everybody in my industry is using Salesforce.” If you get down to it, it’s like, “What are you going to use it for?”“I'd follow up with prospects.””We can do that with your email so you don’t need CRM.”They come with the solution, and not identify what the problem is, what they're trying to achieve.

When you go to an expert with the solution, and you want them to tell you how to do it or you want them to answer which one's best, they cannot know that without some discovery. That discovery is a collaborative process. You can't say, “Here I am, here's my problem. Can you fix it or can you give me that advice?”When people say, “I tried outsourcing and it didn't work so I'm not doing that.”If you didn't do it effectively with the right underlying information and the data before you attempted to outsource, then it's not going to work. I don't think most people recognize that. 

When someone says, “I don't have time to stop and do this, it's not a priority.”If somebody put a gun to your head, then you would do it. It's about motivation and what matters. It’s the same thing for anything. If you say, “I don't have time to work out, it's not a priority.” That's okay. It may not be a priority, but it's not that you don’t have time.

When you are working with folks, what do you recommend timeline on how long they should be tracking things? Are we talking a week, are we talking a month, are we talking a year? 

There's very little that you can get from a week, but there's some things that you can do in a day. There's some things that you want to track forever, but they don't require much effort on your part. It's if something pops out from the norm. You could map a process in ten minutes or maybe it takes a couple of days. I know it's not a very specific answer, but it's usually shorter than you think.

Do you have any tools or resources that you recommend for starting tracking? How do you recommend people do that? 

If it's a process that you want to document, then I would say Process Street is a good tool for that. It won't do it for you, but it'll help you organize it in a good fashion. If you want to figure out how you're using your computer, which I think is valuable, Timing app is great on a Mac. There's benefits to tracking your sleep. Anything that you do starts to bring some awareness. One of my favorites, which is quick and dirty, is taking a picture of what you eat and not doing calories or macros or anything like that. I have an automation set up that will send that to me three hours later as a picture and say, “How do you feel?”It's incredible awareness because a lot of times if you're feeling funky or out of it, look back in the last three hours of what you ate and who you met with. That might be very eye opening for you.

Can we dig into this, that who you met with? There are definitely people or situations that we encounter on a regular basis in our business that give us energy and make us feel better. Then on the opposite side of the spectrum, take energy from us and deplete us. Sometimes I’ll get into a space where I'm like, “I don't even know what I'm doing.” My brain is so cloudy, I need to step away from the desk and stop. I’ve had encounters with some of those situations or folks that I feel exhausted afterwards. 

If you feel that at a specific time of the day, then that’s possibly a different thing, but your boss or a coworker or a family member could be a drain on you. It doesn't mean you have to avoid that person, but if you know that going in, like you might smile before walking into a room or you might meditate before you go on stage. If you can think of it that way, “I'm going to meet with somebody who is an energy suck, so let me prepare for them in advance.”

Do you have any recommendations or ideas about how to even decipher if this is somebody who I still want to spend time with even though they're an energy suck, or is it somebody that I can find an automation or a way to serve them and to support them where I don't have to spend that time with them? I’m asking because this is something that I started implementing, and it's still a process. I'm not perfect at it, but awareness is so important.

I've found ways that people come to me and want things from me that don't feel good to me, and I was, for a long time, serving them and giving it to them without considering how that made me feel after. I've set up some systems like canned responses that I can automate or delegate or outsourced as well to other people, or that I can resolve in a couple seconds in a way that I feel good about it and they feel served hopefully. If they don't, I don't take that on.

BBR 249 | Less Doing
Less Doing: You have to take the mindset that you control your communication.

You have to take the mindset that you control your communication. You have the ability to do that. A lot of people take it, and there's a whole psychological thing about that. They did it years and years ago, but there was a study with dogs where some were getting electric shocks, and some would avoid it and others would give in to it. A lot people do that. It's like, “That's part of my life and how it is.”No, it's not. You can start to control to some extent. You're like a polarizer, so that you get it the way that you want. If you have an annoying client, then they don't get to call you on the phone. They have to work with you through email. A lot of people are more okay with that than you'd think, because if they want to work with you in the way that you work most effectively, then they have to allow that.

When you are working with a client, and maybe you aren't doing that because you've built the business up in such a way, but what do you recommend when people have taken on clients that they recognized after the fact this was a bad match. They're not at a point where they're like, “I'm going to fire this client.” It's not that bad, but it's just a wrong personality, or the expectations weren't clearly laid out. People suffer through it rather than establishing new boundaries. What are your thoughts on that? 

People have to be okay with firing clients. It's the right thing to do to protect the integrity of what you're trying to do. If you are strapped for cash and you need to make the money, then you have to make the money, and you got to do it. Sometimes, we have to wade through a lot of snow to get to the cabin. It's not that it’s not supposed to be hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. It's not about getting rid of anything that we don't like doing. It depends on the situation, but if you are in that situation, you should politely as possible explain that you're not necessarily serving their needs the best that somebody else might be able to. The best thing is if you can offer another solution, another provider for example, that even might be a competitor, but it's the right thing to do for everybody.

Do you have any other tips on the actual process of firing a client? How do you identify that? What are those things to look for before you make that decision? What's the process going forward once you make that decision? 

Some of the tracking is important for that because you may not realize how much time a client is sucking from you. With the tracking, you'll be able to identify the 80/20 stuff, which clients are really benefiting you and that aren't. That's the first part to figure it out.

Tracking from the beginning of your contract with them? 

If you didn't, then you can start now. If you do a three-day time study of how you're doing things and you find that 40%of your time is being spent with one client, and then you look at, “Is that client producing 40%of your income?” It doesn't work. The first thing I would say is you want to be as asynchronous as possible. This is a new concept for some people, but email is technically an asynchronous tool, whereas the video call is a synchronous tool. A lot of people think that they have to be synchronous with most of their communication, and it's absolutely not the case. For me, for example, I do business coaching and consulting and I coach a lot of individuals and I have a mastermind program that many of them are in.

Most masterminds that I know of and most coaches will offer unlimited texting or something while they're in a program. I don't do that because it's not scalable and it would frustrate the crap out of me, so I use a tool called Voxer. Voxer is a walkie-talkie for your iPhone or your Android. People can send a voice message to you whenever they want, and you can listen to it whenever you want and respond whenever you want. They get unlimited Voxer access to me and that's fine because with asynchronous communication, you can listen and digest and respond when you want and they can do the same. Everyone that I work with loves that. If you have a client that won't do that for some reason, you have to understand why. That makes them not a good fit. If you're a designer, you got to get on calls with clients sometimes. You have to be synchronous for certain things, but not everything.

You're serving and supporting them at a very, very high level, but it's on your time and it's within your boundaries. I think boundaries are something that we often, especially in the earlier stages of business, let down a lot and don't hold because we don't want to upset somebody, or we want their business or we need their business. 

This does depend on your reputation and how good you are in what you do. If you are good at what you do, and you believe in what you're doing, you know your stuff, then your reputation is no longer on the table for grabs. That's why a feedback session that you do, and you should do lots of feedback and learn from it, but the feedback is for how the client interact with your program. For me, I know that my program produces results. It's not going to be that everybody that we meet will be a right fit for it. We want to be a little higher or bring in people who are the right fit but understanding that the feedback is something for you to learn from. They're the ones that are getting the feedback. Your reputation is not on the table.

That’s something that far too many people concern themselves with. It's a quote that I learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer many years ago, “Your reputation is none of your business. Your character is your business. What other people say about you when you leave the room, that's their business. It's a reflection on them and, and not you.”If you take that on, your circumstances are dictating your situation. 

 

It’s something known as correspondence bias. If you're ever in a car and somebody cuts you off, most people assume that the person doing it is a jerk, but they could have been taking somebody to the hospital. We tend to associate how somebody is in a particular instance to their character in general. It's called correspondence bias.

You have a podcast of your own and you have lots of stuff going on. You've got Facebook community. I want to make sure that the audience know where they can go to connect with you and get support in the different ways that you do serve. 

They can go to LessDoing.com to find out everything that we do. We have a podcast, it’s Less Doing Podcast, several books. We also have a community on Facebook called the Less Doing Labs. It's a free community and there is almost a thousand people in it. You can get lots of great guidance. I do a call there every month, it's a coaching call. We have several different programs we offer. In the near future we've got a few events coming. We do three events a year. Everything is at LessDoing.com.

Thank you so much for being here. Any final words of wisdom? 

If something doesn't feel right, try to bring some awareness to what you're doing and how you've been doing in the last couple hours. It’s simple, but it's not easy. It is more eye-opening than you might think.

Thank you so much. 

Thank you.

Resources mentioned:

About Ari Meisel

Ari Meisel is an entrepreneur, author, CEO, real estate developer, green building consultant, and productivity expert. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Several years ago, Ari encountered and ultimately overcame severe personal roadblocks and that journey transformed his life. His discoveries about personal and professional productivity have improved the lives of thousands of individuals and businesses. His proprietary process, the Less Doing More System, is the foundation of his company Less Doing which offers individuals and enterprises road-tested methods to optimize, automate, and outsource everything. The goal is to learn how to work smarter, instead of harder.

 


Thanks to Lou Diamond of Thrive LOUD for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.