Deciding to take the stage to give a talk can be incredibly scary but Tricia Brouk knows just how to calm those fears and have you speaking like a pro!
In this episode, Tricia shares how she leverages her unique style and diverse background in theatre, film, and television production to teach you how to overcome your fear of public speaking.
Refusing to become a starving artist and determined to make her own dreams a reality, Tricia began her business building journey with zero overhead and doing things on her terms from an early age.
Tricia Brouk is an award-winning director, writer for theater, film and television.
In addition to her work in the entertainment industry, she applies her expertise to the art of public speaking.
She’s the executive producer of TEDx Lincoln Square and has choreographed Black Box on ABC, The Affair on Showtime, Rescue Me on Fox, and John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes, where she was awarded a Golden Thumb Award from Roger Ebert. The series she directed, Sublets, won Best Comedy at the Vancouver Web-Festival.
The documentary short she directed and produced This Dinner is Full, was official selection at The New York Women in Film and Television Short Festival, as well as the NYC Independent Film Festival.
She also hosts The Big Talk a podcast on iTunes, where interviews people who talk for a living.
Nicole: It's my pleasure having you on the show today! My audience heard your bio and it was a lot of this film, directorial and choreography stuff, which is amazing.I wonder if you can just give us a little overview of what you're doing on a day to day basis to help entrepreneurs and business owners grow their message, positioning and businesses.
Tricia: Absolutely. Well, I think when you're an entrepreneur and you have an important message to share (which is why you became an entrepreneur) the best way to create credibility for yourself is to have a keynote or a signature talk.
If I can help entrepreneurs craft and deliver a talk that is from the heart, it will organically drive business to you. I help them identify what their idea is. I help them craft that talk so that it's not a sales pitch necessarily, and then I help them perform it so that they are vibrant and captivating and authentic from a stage.
Awesome. How did you wind up getting into this area and into entrepreneurship in general?
I do. I moved to New York City when I was 20 years old to pursue a career in concert dance and I had zero interest in being a starving artist.
I did not think that was sexy at all! I thought, how can I make money, on my terms and not be waiting tables because that's hard on the body. As a dancer, the last thing you want to do is be on your feet all day after class.
I realized that if I could create a scenario where I had zero overhead but I was still working on the same things that made sense to me with the body, that might align.
I started an in home personal training company called Brouk Moves. I was working with people in their homes. I had zero overhead. They bought all the equipment and it was going really, really well. I was able to pursue my career in dance and still make a living and but be able to not live the life of a starving artist.
Then I realized, I'm starting to go on tour now, so how do I make money while I'm on tour making money? That's where I started bringing in consultants. Now 27 years later, I have a fitness company that is a well oiled machine and we provide in home personal training to busy New Yorkers.
In order to continue to grow and stay competitive in a very saturated personal training market in New York City, I've now added personal chef services. That is what has kept me unique and fresh compared to all the other personal training companies. I've always worked for myself and I've always known what it means to scale and to be able to make money so that I can stay an artist.
Now cut to two years ago I was doing my thing in showbiz, making movies, producing theater, film, television while my fitness company was chugging along and Petra Kolber, who's an incredible speaker and author, approached me to coach her Tedx Syracuse.
She'd seen my shows. She knew my work as a director and I said, that sounds amazing. I love Ted talks. I worked with her. It was awesome. She nailed it, her talk was amazing and that was the end of it in my mind.
Then she planted this little seed. Your approach is different from other coaches. You should really think about doing this as a side gig. Then I started thinking about it and as I do, I say yes to everything because you just never know what's going to and if I make a mistake I'll just figure it out as they go along.
I started the Big Talk and I before I knew it, I had these handful of speakers who had these amazing messages and I had no place to put them. The next organic step was to put on my own show and what that meant was applying to get my Tedx License.
Four months later I had my business. I had my clients and I applied for Tedx and three months later I was granted my license and four months later I put on my first Tedx Lincoln Square in New York City.
That's how this business started. Later I was introduced to John Lee Dumas and he talked me into doing three podcasts on how I do this and what my processes.
Well, 200 podcasts later, I have shared my expertise, I've had other guests, I've interviewed Tedx organizers, Tedx speakers, and I absolutely love being able to help speakers identify they're very important message and share it with the world. That's where I'm at today as far as an entrepreneur goes!
Amazing. Why did you keep going with the podcast? You didn't need to keep going, but for some reason you have. What was your motivation for that?
I love talking to my guests. They are so inspiring and so fascinating and I learned so much from those 30 minutes that we spend together. That is why I keep doing it and I know that my listeners are gonna learn so much too.
They're going to get so much value by just dropping in with us for 30 minutes and hearing about other people's struggles with public speaking, other people's nerves, how they deal with nerves, how they deal with whether or not to write a book first or a talk first, in which order they should do it.
If I can provide the secret sauce, if I can pull the curtain back to what it means to do a Tedx or to be a Tedx organizer, I want to do that because people are afraid to take that leap to public speaking.
People feel like death is more palatable than public speaking and if there's any way that I can teach them that they can do it, I want to be able to do that. The story and the message that we have to share can potentially impact the world. If it changes one life, you have done your job. So that's why I kept doing the podcast.
Awesome I wonder if you can share maybe three of your best tips right now for people who may be thinking, I love watching Ted talks. I've got something to say, but, I am terrified of standing on stage and speaking. Do you have like three tidbits that you could share with those folks?
I think the three things I would ask them to consider are:
1.) Why do you want to take a stage? And when you answer that question for yourself, it will trump the fear part.
2.) How important is your message? If that message is not that important to you, you don't need to take a stage. If that message is constantly on the front of your brain and constantly something that you want to share with the world, yes, you should take a stage.
3.) If you know what you have to say is going to make a difference in the world and have global impact, you need to do a talk on a big stage because you'll have more reach.
It's really important when you do a Tedx, your credibility goes through the roof right away and that's just part of the Ted brand.
They're extremely well respected. When you decide to do a Ted event, it must be because your idea worth spreading is important to you. It cannot be because you want people to like your video or you're going to have a bunch of downloads.
It has to be because the idea is what's important. I think if you can continue to go back to the idea and the message and who it will impact others, you can get past that fear.
That's interesting. It's not about memorizing the script but about knowing the words that are supposed to be said. You can change it up in the moment if you're feeling so inspired, as long as it doesn't change the context.
Absolutely. And also if you can insert objective and action within your script, you will stay fresh. And that's the acting part of it. You are doing a scene, even though you're on stage by yourself.
The objective never changes the action. How you get what you want from them can change based on how they're responding to you. If you want them to adopt your idea as their own, you could potentially inspire them, motivate them, or educate them. Those three actions, make your talk specific and really authentic.
Amazing. I know you've got a speaker salon coming up in New York probably around the time that this actually goes air. Do you want to talk a little bit about the program because it's really impressive and I'm excited to also be supporting and playing a little role in 2018?
Absolutely. Thank you Nicole. I started the salon basically six weeks ago and it was really a test model. I just reached out to Facebook and said, does anybody want to do a salon with me where they can work on content and delivery, sort of like an open mic nights for public speaking. I had such a response that I made it happen at the Triad Theater in New York City.
It's live, it's me in the room giving you direction, working on content, doing script analysis and notes. As the salon was forming, I realized I want to shoot the salon for everyone so they walk away with a real. and then I realized, why don't I invite people that I know who do events and panels and give my speakers an opportunity to actually book a speaking gig at the end of the salon.
I was not planning to do another salon until after Tedx, which is in March 2019, but because these speakers inspired me so deeply, I decided to put another one on September 20th and this one is going to have even more bells and whistles. I'm inviting 13 experts to come in and share things that I don't share like marketing strategy, networking strategy, podcasting like you, you're one of our experts, Nicole.
In addition to what I do with speakers on stage and through the process of identifying, crafting and delivering a really impactful talk. I'm giving them access to all of these experts and I'm going to shoot it again. They're going to get another real. But this time I went to speakers bureaus. I went to people who can book them on stages, who can get them paid speaking gigs. So the showcase on November eighth is going to be full of that kind of industry. My goal is to really get my speakers booked on stages by the end of the salon.
I wonder if you can share a bit about your philosophy on hiring others, to help you with your own interests.
I think there's a two part answer there, Nicole. The first being, if I don't know the answer, I absolutely ask someone who does. I have a complete belief in bringing in people who know more than me to help me. That is something that I am fully conscious of as far as launching something.
I am a person who puts on theater productions all the time knowing I'm not going to make a cent off of it, knowing that it's because I love it. I want to be in the room with the actors so there's no risk for me because it's all about the love of it. When I put on the speaker salon it was because I wanted help all these people.
Do you have any final words of wisdom that you would love to impart on our audience before we wrap up and say goodbye?
I would love to just remind your listeners when you are taking a stage or walking into a room or being a featured guest on a podcast, always accept the gift from your audience and from your host before you give them yours. They're giving you so much energy and if you forget to accept that before you give them yours, it's a disservice to everyone.
Sales is the most important aspect of growing a business. Without revenue, you're not going to be successful. Chris Spurvey, author of It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mind-Set, developed a number of courses around the topic of rolling out sales and personal brand. He’s a consultant for organizations across Canada primarily and works with leaders of organizations to help them grow their sales culture growth or sales process and get to a point where they're achieving the revenue targets growing out their sales team. Chris saw the opportunity to influence and impact entrepreneurs when he reflected on his own journey of moving from hating sales to being effective at it.
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 I listened to the show, I have a takeaway that I can go take action on immediately. 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:
Chris Spurvey on Cultivating the Sales Mindset
On this episode, I'm joined by my friend, Chris Spurvey. Chris is the author of It's Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mindset. After consciously choosing the sales profession as a means to create a better life for his family, Chris realized that negative images of sales were holding him back. By shifting his mindset, Chris was able to transform his inner game and use his innate values and talents to become a top sales professional. Chris joined a boutique IT consulting firm in 2006 and spearheaded its growth to the point that it was acquired by KPMG Canada in 2013 where he served as the VP of Business Development for Atlantic Canada. He has sold over $300 million in consulting services. I am so thrilled to have him here with us on Business Building Rockstars show. Hello, Chris.
I'm so grateful to be joining you. This is going to be a lot of fun.
It's always fun to speak with fun podcast colleagues and also amazing people like you. Why don't you let my audience know more about how you're serving and supporting people on a daily basis?
You had disclosed that a company that I built was acquired by KPMG and then I spent the next four years in a leadership role within KPMG. What I found in that role in particular was that I had a knack and a passion for helping individuals, entrepreneurs, and that version of my life, it was consultants, people who wanted to grow within their careers within KPMG who were good at what they did, consultant trained a specialist, but they struggled to get out there and grow a book of business because they didn't see themselves as being in sales. I then decided, “Maybe the first thing I can do as a part of sharing my message that we can all sell if we just embrace some aspect of our personality that we can leverage. Maybe I'll write a book.” I went down this path of writing a book and it led to me deciding to jump out and take this opportunity, the bull by the horns, so to speak.
What I do is I'm a consultant for organizations across Canada primarily and so I worked with the leader of organizations to help them grow up your sales culture, grow up their sales process and get to a point where they're achieving the revenue targets growing out their sales team. On top of that, I also coach one-on-one entrepreneurs who come to me and say, “Chris, I like to work with you one-on-one.” I do a lot of that as well. I've developed a number of courses around the topic of rolling out sales and personal brand and so on. I have an online university where a lot of entrepreneurs have taken advantage of my courses. Lastly, as a result of the success of my book, it's led to speaking opportunities. I probably do about 25 or 30 speaking engagements annually.
Let's talk about the evolution of you walking away from KPMG and identifying that outside of the consultants that you're working with already, how did you wind up having an interest in working with entrepreneurs and also creating that online academy?
I was at the chair of the board for a technology association where I live, which is Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. I was invited as a part of my role to speak at an organization called Propel ICT. They’re a startup incubator. Entrepreneurs go to this incubator and they help them form their startup and grow. Most of the people at this talk that I was asked to give, most of these people were just moving beyond the concept and it was the time to get out to sell and start to promote their service or their product, whatever the case would be. In the room was 30 entrepreneurs and I got inspired after reading Daniel Pink's book, To Sell is Human.
In that book, it stimulated me to ask the question, “What were some of the first words that come to mind when you think about sales?” What I got back was quite revealing. It was sleazy, slimy, manipulative, objection fighting, greasy, whatever. I looked at the people in the room and I thought to myself, “What bright, beautiful, young entrepreneurs and that's the perception they have of sales.” They don't have any chance of being successful because sales is obviously the most important aspect of growing a business. Without revenue, you're not going to be successful. At that particular moment in time, I saw the opportunity to influence and impact them mainly because I reflected on my own journey of moving from hating sales to being quite effective at it. Through looking at them, reflecting on my journey, I saw right then and there an opportunity for me to help these individuals. That's how I became attached to helping entrepreneurs.
We were talking about our mutual friend, Dorie Clark, and you're telling me that Stand Out is something that you had picked up while you were still working and you utilize that as a blueprint for your exit and creating your book and all this other amazing stuff that you have built for yourself. Can you talk about the transition from the secure and comfortable situation you had with KPMG, to go into the unknown and to write a book for the first time? Can you talk about what you were going through in terms of what got you even to be aware of Stand Out and then how did you utilize that for yourself in this way that you've built to where you are now?
I've always been an entrepreneur, so I go back to my high school days into doing odds and ends with respects to earning more money. I was always seen as a go-getter, so I attached to that identity. We are formed by certain aspects of our lives and I used to get an energy when people would say, “Chris, you've got a golden horseshoe up your rear end. You seem attracted to always doing the best, being the best.” That would make me feel good when people would say that. As I went through university, I started a company in university. We sold that company and layer on layer of entrepreneurship is what my whole life has been all about.
When we sold our company in 2013 to KPMG, I knew immediately that my future wasn't with KPMG. I felt like a cog in a wheel, a bureaucratic organization. Good organization, great people, but not a place where I want to hang my hat for the rest of my life. I jokingly said to a friend one day, “I don't want my tombstone to say he graduated from the firm.” I never really associated well with such a big organization, so I decided I'm going to do something different. I read Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek and that book stimulated me to maybe grow something a bit different than a non-traditional business instead of having employees live a lifestyle. I ended up joining a couple of masterminds and different things like that and Dory was a guest of one of those masterminds. I attached to her message because I just started writing the book and I realized I don't have anyone to buy it outside of mom and dad.
I needed to grow a following. I needed to start to follow a formula, but there was so much information out there about how to do it that I was getting myself all confused. I decided to take an information diet, take one book, Stand Out by Dorie Clark, and I decided to start implementing. What I loved about Dorie’s formula was it was scalable, there were layers. We all start with a one-to-one strategy. We just need to get our word out there and then we move from one-to-one to one to many. From one to many to many to many. I started writing articles, publishing articles. A few of them got picked up by Forbes. I started my podcast and I saw the podcast is a great way to level off because not only are you sharing your message but you're leveling up through the networks of other individuals, key influencers. I saw the formula, so I ran with the formula and it worked. I'm a huge testament and testimonial for Dorie. I wave her flag from the rooftop as much as I can.
You couldn't be waving the flag of a better person, so that's so awesome. I enjoyed it when you said you took an information diet. That's so key in this information age and over information. I see all the time people getting stuck in the information, “I still have to learn this. I still have to do this. I still have to before I can take action.” When we're in that space of thinking that we need more information, more education, we can't even see that we're in it. How did you recognize it was time to hunker down, focus on one thing, and ditch the rest are at least pause the rest?
There's always something we can use as some guidance and that's our results. Are we getting results or are we not getting results? From my vantage point, results only come from actual action and putting some effort into it and getting out there and doing all the right things. What I will say to that is I've grown an identity as being an action taker. I don't go to bed at night unless I've taken some actions throughout the day to move myself forward. What I would suggest to people, I'm a big believer in a vision, having a vision for our lives and a vision is just a story that we read to ourselves. We write, and we read to ourselves on a consistent basis and having that vision, what are the key aspects of our lives that we want to zone in on?
For me, it was being an action taker. The more I read that vision, the more I would make sure every day I was taking that action. I do find though we do get caught in cycles, so I made a decision. Here it is now, and I had gotten myself into a cycle of consuming a bit too much information. Yes, I was acting but I was getting myself all confused. I was going through a major transition in my life, so I decided, “Until I reach a certain goal, I'm not reading one more book. I’m not listening to one more audio book.” I've done none of that since Christmas, so it's all action for me. I feel like I know enough at this point to take the next step. I'm not going to consume anything else until I take that next step. I challenge people to do that because everything that you need is already in your head, believe it or not.
I am sponsoring this episode myself via my service that I call Interviews that Convert. If you are a business owner and you have a service or a product that is specifically targeted to a clear and niche audience that I might be able to help you get more visibility, more leads, and more sales through podcast guesting. Since I was first introduced to podcasting, I have fallen in love with the medium and I took a specific and special interest in how podcast guests can deliver the most value to audiences and hosts from their interview. Not only that, but I've also explored how to provide the next step in a way that's compelling and turns listeners into leads and hosts into raving fans. I'd say I've cracked the code and so would my clients. These days, what I am doing most in that lights me up is representing business owners like you and helping them get more visibility, more leverage, and more market share by booking them on podcasts that their target buyers are listening to.
If you've thought about guesting yourself but haven't been sure how to go about doing it or haven't known who to contact, I'd love to hear from you or maybe you have been podcast guesting yourself, but you haven't yet seen the results that you had hoped for. That is super common, so don't feel bad about it, but please reach out and let me know. I may be able to help you grow exponentially through podcast guesting opportunities. You can learn more by reaching out to me at Support@InterviewsThatConvert.com or give me a call at 289-272-0374. Let's find out how I can help you grow your business through podcast guesting. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and now back to the program.
In this information and coaching and consulting industry, people give credit but people pat you on the back for how many books you read and how many things you know. Sometimes I don't want to talk to people or deal with people. I take breaks from social media because I feel so exhausted by all the expectations and I'm like, “These aren't my expectations.” I used to get caught up in that trap of trying to impress. Not intentionally, it wasn't in my brain that I was like, “I want to impress these people.” I never thought that, but what I did realize was that I would be on this constant creating content and staying relevant and all these things you're told you have to do.
The funny thing is I'm a marketing strategist and I'm a genius at it. My whole message to people is you’ve got to figure out what's best for you and then we double down on it. We go deep on it and yet at the same time, I was still falling into the trap of doing the opposite of what I know to be true just allowing all those messages in. Do you ever feel, or have you ever felt during this time that you've taken this break guilty or maybe people are going to think you're not up to speed or maybe you think, “Maybe I should get up to speed with something?”
I've zeroed in on Chris Spurvey’s unique ability and I am extremely confident in my own skin. I wasn't always that way, but I've hit that point. I've zeroed in on the fact that what I'm good at is I have a genuine aspect of my personality that comes true and when I'm talking to people. I feel like right now, I'm not in a headspace at all of the need to impress. Unconsciously, I know exactly what you're saying. It's not something any of us probably say, “I need to go out there and impress somebody,” but we are highly influenced by how we've grown over the years. I became associated. My personality became associated with excelling and doing well, and I just fed off that energy. Now, I would argue I've tried very hard to disassociate myself with anybody else's input. I'm just being me and just being very happy in my own skin. It's been a work in progress, but I feel like I'm there. We all work through in cycles. We hit the ceiling and then we might retract a little bit and so on. I'm sure the best people in the world, that's the exact same thing that's happening for them. Right now, no, I don't feel the need to go out and consume a whole pile of information because I might feel like I'm behind. I'm very confident in my own skin right now and it's a genuine confidence.
With all the different areas of your business and your interests, what lights you up the most right now? I know things change all the time, but in terms of what are you most enjoying about where you're at right now?
If anyone reads my book, I highly encourage them to just go on my website. They can buy my book for a penny plus $8 shipping. I'm a big believer in the idea of always having a vision for the next version of your life. I jokingly call myself Chris Spurvey 7.0. What it comes down to is by always growing and stretching and challenging ourselves through the writing of a vision for our future, we're going to be always growing and expanding. I heard one time that if we're not growing, we're dying because time passes by. What excites me since I've left KPMG, I've built a stable group of consulting clients and these are medium-size businesses, small, medium businesses, and I'm working with the entrepreneur on a daily basis. I'm very busy doing that.
In terms of the next version of my vision is I'm at a point in my life where my son is eighteen and my daughter is fifteen. We're three or four years away from having a ton of freedom and flexibility as they move on to grow their lives. Jennifer and I have formed a vision of being able to live a warm destination, work as much or as little as we choose on our terms. I'm building the foundation for that. What does that look like? On my online university, I'm building out, for me, a residual form of income because people are buying my courses and consuming my courses without my direct involvement. That excites me. I'm doing the work, consulting, coaching, but I have a backend that's growing, which is going to be more of the automated residual income component.
Being able to serve people who need your help, but it's not at the high touch and high price point that you do for your one-on-one or consulting coach clients. You've mentioned vision a couple of times. Do you have an exercise or something that you can take us through for my audience to walk through how you would recommend creating it? There are so many ideas out there and there are all kinds of doorways to use vision boards and writing your mantra and all these different things. I would love to know how is it that you recommend doing it?
It's near and dear to my heart because the people who I personally coach, that's the first exercise in my personal coaching. It’s gaining clarity over what you want your life to be. For me, a vision is so important, and the result of a powerful vision is self-motivation. Self-motivation is what I have become to learn is the key ingredient that will guide a person through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. What does self-motivation look like? It's persistence, it's consistency, it's energy, it's putting your all into each day. The only way I've learned to create this consistent flow of self-motivation is to have a picture in your mind. We think in pictures. Have a picture in your mind of what you want your future to look like.
A vision is something that's written as though you already have one of these you want in your future. Then what you do is you read it, or you listen to it, and I recommend both. It's a one-page document which is it's this beautiful picture that when you read it and you put your all into the reading of it, you're believing you're in it. You're seeing yourself already in the vision, so that's what a vision is. For me, it's written document. How do you go about doing it? For me, how I start with my clients is put together a list of 30 things you'd like to do, be or have in your future, just brainstorm, dump on a couple of pieces of paper. After you have your 30, then go through them and group them in buckets, A, B, and C based on priority and what you'd like to have happen.
When you have your A, B and C buckets, then go through the ten in each bucket. Try to aim to have ten in each bucket and then rank the priority of each of the ones in each bucket. Then you end up having an A1 goal and your A1 goal is your primary goal. Then what you want to do is you want to sit back, visualize what it would be like to have a compilation of these goals. My vision has me spending time in the Rockies in Canada, working with corporate clients there but in the evenings, jumping on a Skype call, working with some personal coaching clients, heading off to Toronto, which is my favorite city in the world, going to see a Toronto Maple Leaf game, joining my two children in Mexico where we're going to spend some warm, relaxing time. That's my vision. I described what's in my one pager that I read every day. What it is is just take the goals and put it into a one pager in the present tense, “I'm so happy and grateful now that I am,” and you describe it. You bring in all the senses, the sensory factors of sight and touch and smell. Add these elements into your vision because then when you're reading it, you're smelling it. You're tasting it. You're touching it as you're reading it. The more you do that, the more it becomes real.
I mentioned my book and the reason I mentioned that is because when I wrote my book in 2014, the last chapter was my vision that I wrote in 2014. I love to tell this story and suggest people read that last chapter because hopefully, if you read it, you'll say, “Here it is three years later. That's the Chris Spurvey that I heard on the podcast.” I'm living the vision I wrote three years ago. I've got a vision for where I want to go in three more years from now. Visions really do work. I challenge anyone that you need to have a vision and hopefully that little exercise I described is a way to do it.
Congratulations on reaching that vision that you wrote in the book. You've mentioned the book a couple of times and you mentioned your website. Do you want to let our audience know what your website is?
ChrisSpurvey.com, they'll see my book and there's a link then to get it for a penny. I challenge anyone to go and do it.
I'm spinning from your exercise because what I heard in that was a combination of so many different things that I've learned over the years as a coach and so many different tools and resources. What I love is you've brought that all together in a holistic way. It feels, even as you're talking about it like, “I can see the vision exercise being such a powerful vision exercise.” It's complex and complete. It's not complex like, “This is too challenging to do. It’s simplified it but there are a lot of steps there.” I challenge anyone as well and I'm going to challenge myself to go through your steps because from all of the different vision processes that I've experienced and worked with people on and been taught and even used myself with clients, nothing has been that comprehensive, so I'm excited to try it out.
My book is a narrative book but the core component of my book is creating a vision for your life that it gets you to act powerfully. The theme as that's interwoven throughout the book is how to approach sales in a pull mentality versus a push mentality. Pull is a lot easier than push. My book also has the formula that I described.
Can you talk a little bit about that the pull versus push? I call it attraction versus chasing. Can you talk about how you recognized it? Maybe you always knew it but I believe that years ago, people succeeded with push in sales. As times have changed and society has changed and expectations and information, all that stuff, it's much more crowded than it used to be to get people's attention. In my own experience and observations and what I fell into when I quit my job as a correction officer in jumped into, “Now what? I know I'm a great coach, but how do I find clients? What am I supposed to do?” I found myself learning bad practices that never resonated with me and it was always very challenging. I didn't realize it, but what I was attracting because of where I was coming from and that was following these push processes is desperate people and it was exhausting. It was like I could never please them no matter what. Their bucket was always leaking.
I know that feeling. One of the things I will point out is that I left KPMG and after I was roughly two and a half years of growing my personal brand. One of the first tasks I had on my list was reach out to some local business leaders and just chat with them about their business. Go into the conversations. Have a diagnostic conversation. What does the diagnostic conversation entail? It really entails, “Where do you see yourself in two to three to five years?” Just make note that the number doesn't really matter. Effectively, you're asking them where they want to be in their future and then ask them where they are presently. Then say, “What’s holding you back from bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be?” That's where you get all the information and then you just say simply, “If I could show you a way to bridge that gap, would you be interested in getting into a more detailed conversation?” That's how you're setting up as a diagnostic conversation.
I spent two years growing my personal brand, sharing articles on LinkedIn, launching my book, launching my podcast. I reached out to twenty or 30 business leaders in my community and invited them out for coffee. Roughly 70% of them said, “Chris, I feel like I know you and I like you and trust you even though I've never spoken to you before.” The reason that was because they might've watched me on YouTube. They might've listened to my podcast and so I'm a real believer in growing a personal brand as a means to attract business to you. I was on a podcast and the guy said to me, “Chris, that's all right for you. You've been doing it now three or four years.” That's not a suitable answer for the person listening. I said to him, “I was in that exact same boat three years ago. The best time to start is today if we never started yesterday.” I'm a real believer in growing a personal brand as a way to attract clients to us and get ourselves into the mindset that let's pull people to us through the sharing of our knowledge and our expertise in a genuine down-to-earth way. That that's the formula.
Do you have any final words of wisdom? Any parting thoughts you'd like to leave the audience with?
The last element of personal branding, you can call it what you like, professional branding, personal branding, sharing yourself, I recommend that the people do it. We all have within us a story. I refer to my version, and the fact that I'm version 7.0, every version has a story. All we need to do in order to grow an effective business selling our knowledge is share our story and share the ups and downs. I always encourage people to share as much of the downs as they do their ups. You're sharing the holistic side of you and that's what will resonate with everybody. I've had lots of downs. It was the downs that made the ups so much more enjoyable. We level up by reflecting on our downs and working towards leveling up as we move forward. Share your story.
Thank you so very much for this interview. It's been fantastic.
Chris Spurvey is the author of It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mind-Set.
After consciously choosing the sales profession as a means to create a better life for his family, Chris realized that negative images of sales were holding him
By shifting his mind-set, Chris was able to transform his “inner game” and use his innate values and talents to become a top sales professional.
Chris joined a boutique IT consulting firm in 2006 and spearheaded its growth to the point it was acquired by KPMG Canada in 2013, where he served as the VP of Business Development for Atlantic Canada. He has sold over $300 million in consulting services and I'm thrilled to have him here with us on the Business Building Rockstars Show.
Thanks again to Chris Badgett for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
As entrepreneurs, CEOs, or service providers, we sometimes get so focused a thing and so attached to what's going on in the day to day that when things come up outside of business where 100% of our attentions is needed, it becomes difficult to manage stuff. How did you deal with that and how do you prepare for the next time something personal comes up that takes you away from business? Steve Gordon, author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals Half the Effort and The Exponential Network Strategy, helps service business entrepreneurs create leveraged marketing systems so they can spend less time on business development and more time on what matters most. Steve says building a very focused and talented team is important so you can take the time out worry free to do what you need to do outside of business.
Thank you to Carrie Roldan for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the quality of the guests Nicole has and her ability to bring something different out of each guest. It's not your normal business advice and tips show.
If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.
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Steve Gordon of The Unstoppable CEO on Creating Leveraged Marketing Systems
Welcome, Steve Gordon. Thank you for being here, Steve. I'm super excited to have this conversation with you.
This is going to be fun. I'm excited to be here and I’m glad that it finally came.
As entrepreneurs, CEOs, service providers, we sometimes get so focused and so attached to what's going on in the day to day that when things come up in our families, where we're needed outside of the business and it's not like, “We're going to manage this stuff,” but it's like, “No., your attention needs to just 100% be away for now.” That happened for you and also for me. Where how did you deal with that? Were you prepared for it and in hindsight, is there anything that you'll do differently to prepare for the next time something personal comes up that takes you away from business?
So many of us are so wrapped up in building the business and I'm scheduled out. I'm usually scheduled out weeks in advance. Anything that pops up that disrupts that, things have to shift. For me, it wasn't a difficult thing to do. I'm always very clear about the order of priority of things and family comes above business by a pretty far margin. Not that the business isn’t important, but first things first. The instance you're talking about is my dad got to the point where they had to go in and do open heart surgery. We had maybe four or five days’ notice before they were going to do it, which was good. It allowed me to clear the decks. I have a very small focused and very talented team. Without that, I couldn't have taken that time out and been worry-free. I was able to go over and be in the hospital and be focused where I needed to be for that time and not have to worry about what was going on with work. These things happen. That's life. The older I get, the more I realized everybody experiences this sooner or later, particularly with parents. Parents are always getting older and I know you've been through something challenging as well. The big thing is to build a team that will support you when you need it and life is so much easier then.
With so many years of experience, you know how to build a team. What are some of those components that have gone into finding those right people and nurturing that team and making sure that they can support the company when you're not available?
First and foremost, you got to find the right people. In the marketing world, everything lives and dies on marketing and sales. It does because you can't build a team without that. However, there's only a very small stage in any business where that is the only focus. It’s in that getting off the launch pad phase. Once you're off the launch pad, you still got to do your sales and marketing, but you got to be building that team at the same time. That's such a sifting process to find the right people. I don't know that I have any magic bullet for that. I've been in mastermind groups for close to twenty years now. The number one issue in almost every one of those groups is people.
In one of the first ones I was ever in, we’re fifteen, all CEOs of companies with anywhere from twenty to 150 employees. Every month when we'd meet, somebody would have people issue. We finally got to the point where we just said, “You know what we're going to tell you, you have to go back and fire him. You can't come back here to complain about them again unless you're going to do something about it.” We tried all kinds of rehabilitation within that group. Each of us experimented with different sorts of rehabilitating people to get them to work. It never panned out. Finding that group of people that's going to be with you on this journey is really critical. For me, what I found that work best is to start with people that believe in the mission that you're on. That's difficult in businesses where you haven't gotten clear on that mission. To me, that's the fundamental leadership job of the founder.
You and I met in San Diego. We were at an event that you are co-hosting. At that event, I met a gentleman by the name of Tim Francis. We had a talk because for me, for the last couple of years, people have always been the number one complaint and I'm getting better and better. I finally realized, I don't even want to figure this out. This is not my zone of genius, trying to figure out who's the right fit and sifting through the BS and all of that. Tim has a company called Profit Factory and they have a program called Great Assistant. Basically, he does all those things or his team does all those things that I have no interest in doing. I hired him the next day and have found an amazing team member through them that they found for me. I actually had to let go of somebody that had been with me for a few months and who was not a fit. I contacted him and said, “Find me somebody else.” They are on it again. For me and with the way Tim Francis' program works, it's like they are on the team, basically your HR team, finding those people that are a fit. That's been a real breath of fresh air for me as a newer entrepreneur who's had lots and lots of ups and downs with people.
It is such a huge challenge. We do something very similar. We use a company called BELAY Solutions and they do the similar thing. They go and sift through the talent for you. In general, we get a better result that way and it takes a lot less time. Back before all of these great services were around when I was running my first company, you put an ad in the paper. It was back in those days, you just sift it through. I talk a lot about what you just got to fire. I advise people of that at times before and it's a heartless thing and it's one of the most humane thing that you can do for a human being. What happens in most companies when you get to a point where you realize you need to part ways with another person that's on your team, you, as the entrepreneur, go, “Here are all the reasons why I don't want to do that.”
It's uncomfortable. I've had a lot of employees over the years. It's never a fun process. I hate doing it and because it's uncomfortable, we want to avoid it. Then we think about, “They've got a family.” They've got all these other reasons why we want to be a good human and hang onto them. Those are all great things, but the problem with that is, and the disservice that you do to that person is that you've already decided that they have no growth potential with you. That they are stuck where they are. You've pegged them in a hole with this is their capability and you're not going to most likely promote them or give them new opportunities. To me, that is about the worst sentence that you can give to another human being possible. As the leader, you've got to take the courageous act, be the one that comes forward and says, “This isn't a fit anymore,” for whatever reasons. We're going to go our way and you can go your way and we'll both find the right situation for each of us. Too often, I see people who don't make that decision and often for what they think are all the right reasons. It does such a disservice to the employee.
Over the years, you've obviously gotten maybe a thicker skin. You've gotten better at it, you've gotten more skilled at it. Can you think about some of those things that if you're looking back at when it was more uncomfortable, before you had systems or ways and things that you realize and it's like, “When this happens then I can do this.” At what point did things start getting easier in terms of people management and quicker where you're able to say, “I'm doing this person a disservice by keeping them. I want to nip it in the bud.” At what point where you go, “This is not working out. I've given them different opportunities. I've tried mentoring them. I've put in the energy. I've had my manager in there or whatever.” At what point where you realize, “It's done?” Do you go and have that meeting and how do you let them know?
It's never gotten any easier. It's still uncomfortable. It's not fun. The minute that it gets fun or enjoyable for you, you need to understand there's something wrong. I like to think about it in terms of where's the gap. What's missing from this situation that makes it not a good fit? It's difficult to sometimes determine that if you don't have really good outcomes where you know this is the concrete thing that you want them to deliver. That's the first thing. That's a difficult time-consuming process to go through to get clear on those outcomes, but I'll tell you that it will make your life so much easier. Tim Francis talks a lot about that in the way he builds systems. That, to me, is the foundation of it all.
If you've got those good outcomes, then it boils down to a couple of areas where you might have a gap. It could be in the attitude or motivation of the person. You can't motivate a person externally. They either come with batteries included or not. There may be an issue there where they're just not internally motivated to do the work that you're doing. They should go and do something that lights them up someplace else. It could be that you've got an attitude gap, where they aren't happy with whatever is going on in their life and this comes up a lot. That's great if that's the choice they make, but that means they're probably not a good fit for your organization and you don't have to live with that. The third area that you'll run into an issue is with the skills gap. If you've got the other two covered, they're fired up about what you're doing, and they've got an attitude where they show up and they're happy and energetic and all that, then most of the time you can overcome a skills gap. That one's easy, but you got to know what you're dealing with.
Definitely those deliverables have to be clear. Steve, thank you so much.
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Can you think of any times or any example because you have so much experience and I love your take here, and I know that this is not only in the mastermind, something that people deal with, but everywhere and my audience of entrepreneurs at all different levels maybe learning something before they get to that point. They maybe haven't started building a team or they have teams. I wonder, do you have a system in that when you recognize it's time to go and you know where the gap is and it's not the skills gap, it's something that can't be overcome? Do you send them an email to let them know you need to have a conversation? What's that process that you would go through to make it as painless for everyone and really frame it in that way of “This is best. This is a win for us all.”
You have to understand that having it to be painless for everyone is not a requirement. It's going to be painful most likely. You think about every personal breakup you've ever had. I've always approached it like, “Here's another human. How can we approach this in a way that is going to preserve the dignity of the human and at the same time not have us circling the drain and watering down the whole message with it?” I've found that just being direct and candid is the best approach. That's not easy, which is why most people avoid it and they'll come up with all these different excuses instead of just be straight. One of the things I hate about the way the legal system now deals with human resource challenges, because of all the litigation that's out there and my wife runs into this all the time. She manages an ophthalmology practice and they've got interest in her area. 50 people that report to her and she runs into this all the time where she's got somebody that's just a total cancer in the organization, but they've got an HR attorney that's coming in and saying, “No, you got to do these 50 different steps before you can let them go.” That's not good for anybody here.
If we do this in a way that preserves the dignity of that person and in a way that's respectful, most of the time you're not going to have an issue with any of the legal stuff. If we treat people well and respectfully, that's usually not an issue. Dragging it on, that for me is the source of so much of that animosity and conflict that's created. If you just deal with it head on and try to remove the emotion out. That's probably the biggest piece of advice I use. The few times that I had to do it early in my career, I'd be walking in visibly shaking because I was so nervous about and stressed about having that conversation. If you can get yourself to the point where with a few deep breaths you can actually get through it and deliver it confidently, the person that you're talking to most of the time will appreciate that. If you can leave that relationship on a high note and help them move on to the next step of their career in their life, everybody wins.
I know relationships matter to you, I wonder if we can go into another area here of letting people go. I'm guessing you've probably run into this a time or two in your years of experience as well, where you take on a client contract that then isn't going the way you'd hoped. How do you find releasing clients from or firing a client from working together?
That's a difficult question because anybody that's in the client business has a client that they wish they could fire. I've never met a person in the client business that didn't have one at all times then it rotates through the client’s roster. Occasionally, you'll get one that's just that bad. You have to be careful here because it's easy to just say, “Go ahead and get rid of him.” In some cases, businesses have created this situation where they've got one or two very large clients that they can't afford to fire because it's going to kill cashflow. I take a little more strategic approach to that. Fire them, but fire them when it's not going to totally hurt you. Build a plan to be able to fire them and put a deadline on it, but make sure you're not going to kill the business at the same time.
Assuming you're not in that situation, you've just got one that doesn't work. I always feel like if you've made a commitment to something to deliver on whatever contract you've got, whatever commitment you've made, deliver that and button it up as nice as you can. The next time they have a project for you, “We're booked or we'd be happy to do that if you'd add two zeros to the end of the check.” You might not say it to him like that, but you certainly can. In a proposal or a negotiation, just price it so high that they won't come back or you can have a perfectly honest conversation. I've had to do that a couple of times, where you just have to have a good frank conversation like, “We're probably not the right ones to serve you here. You need something else. Let me try and refer you,” and then pass them on to one of your competitors so they can have the fun.
You interview folks about their unstoppableness as CEOs and their leadership and their success points. What are some of the key points that you've learned over the years that you pass on and value passing on to those up and coming?
The name of our podcasts and our brand is the Unstoppable CEO and that came out of a conversation I was having with a buddy. We were talking business and he said, “Who is it that you really want to work with?” I started describing these business owners and they’re business owners that have been successful. They've been put through the paces and found some success and done that in spite of all of the roadblocks and things that get in the way and we all run into that. He said, “You mean they're unstoppable?” I was like, “That's it. They're unstoppable.” Having that ability, if you're going to go and try and build a business and even if you're just starting out, having that determination that no matter what, we're going to find a solution to whatever problem arises, that tomorrow's another day and we're going to keep fighting this and pushing forward, a single tip in there is that you just have to remain persistent and just keep going.
There's a quote we have on our website and I have it on the wall back behind me from Calvin Coolidge. He said to the effect that, there are all kinds of really intelligent people in the world, highly educated people. There are wealthy people, there are different talents out there, but the only thing that at the end of the day matters is persistence. If you can just keep going, then you're going to make it. To me that's the simplest advice and at the same time probably the hardest advice at different times in business, but that would be my advice to anybody starting out.
Also, probably to people who are already along the path and something happens. I've met so many powerful people who were doing great for quite a long time and then something came and shifted and changed the whole situation, but those unstoppable CEOs are the ones that get up over and over no matter what and keep going through it, starting again.
Early in my career, one of my mentors said, “You have to own your results.” For a long time, I didn't know what that meant, “Own your outcomes.” How does that apply if you have a bad outcome? I've had bad outcomes at times, as we've gone through the different stages of business. I finally realized what he meant was you have to own the ultimate results. If you have a bad outcome now, is that going to be the end? Is that the result that you're going to own or are you going to push through and change it?
What inspired you to start a business for yourself in the first place?
I am thoroughly unemployable and I'm smart enough to know it. I got a job out of college. I was the tenth employee at a small consulting firm. It was a great experience. Ultimately, I was asked to take that company over and become the CEO about four years after I'd arrived and a fantastic experience going through all that. Those first four years were painful working for someone else, even though my mentor, the founder of that company, a great guy and a good friend, but I have a really hard time taking direction.
From there, what happened then? You left that opportunity and you started your own?
Yes, it was an industry that got hit incredibly hard in 2008 and we had a couple of partners and we looked at each other like, “This isn't going forward unless we're going to dump a whole ton of money into it,” which we could have done. We made the decision to go in different directions at that point, which in hindsight I think was the right decision. I love what we do now. Much more excited for that. That industry went through about a decades long. They're just coming out of it now and beginning to see a real uptake again. It was about a decade of really tough times. Could we have survived and made it through that? Yes, but what was to gain? We took our resources and put them elsewhere. What we do now is just tremendously exciting. We work with small businesses, professionals. We help them really build out systematic processes for getting clients. Most of them got a degree in something. They got a license. They had to take a test or certification. They’re been very focused on practicing whatever profession they're in and then they have to go sell it. That's a whole another animal and most of them aren’t prepared for that and that's where we step in.
You found the gap and found a way to serve those people that you enjoy and help them get what they do great out to their people, without worrying about stumbling through what they don't do. You're married, you have four children and have you found any strategies that have really worked for you in terms of work life balance, whatever that means to you. Being able to be fully present for your family who you already said is number one and at the same time, being able to provide for your family and the families of your employees and your clients and so on. What are some things that you've learned over the years that are working well for you to keep your priorities where they need?
Take great vacations. We've made a habit of taking vacations that the kids will remember. Hopefully, they forget some of the late nights that I've had to put in and that everybody that's building a business puts in. I'm one of those that doesn't believe that there is balance or that there should be. That's this false idea that stresses people out. There's a pendulum, it swings back and forth, and sometimes it's way over at the side. You're working a lot and you're out of balance in your personal life. Sometimes it swings back the other way and you're not working as much and you're spending a lot of time with family. Very rarely is it dead in the middle in balance. I'll tell you just recently, is way out of balance for me on the family side, which is great.
Our oldest daughter's graduating and going to college. I've been on college visits around the time that my dad was in the hospital. We were doing all of those. I was traveling before he was in the hospital, I was traveling right after. I was crossing my fingers because we had important college visit for her about four days after he was in surgery. Thankfully he was well enough I could leave. Now, going through graduation, there are all kinds of things. It seems like every night of the week, we've got something going on. It swings back and forth within that period of time. I had a week where I probably worked 60 or 80 hours, but I'm off two and a half days next week and a bunch after that. For me it's always out of balance. I look at it on the whole for the year.
My wife and I sit down usually sometime between Christmas and New Year with calendar and map out where are we going to devote time. Usually, that's devoting some time for each other where we're both just taking a day off and not doing anything, go in and getting a massage or whatever. Then we've got time when we're traveling with the kids and other things and try and plug all of that in so that it's all baked in. I try and bake in as much on my business travel as possible at the beginning of the year so that we know where things are swinging with one way or the other. It makes it so much easier than to figure out which phase you're in.
I like that you planned that out first to make sure that that's what gets your attention first and then the other things come after.
All of us who are building businesses, especially in the early days, we could work seven days a week. There's always something to do at the end of the day. I never leave with the completed to-do list, do you?
For me, that's the fun of it. What I've found for myself is that I've been getting better and better about. It’s comes over time and with practice, but I find myself getting better and better about actually being good with not getting things done. Oftentimes, the things that I find I have resistance around and it's exhausting, it's draining. If I let it simmer and I don't push myself to get through it and I focus on other things that I'm inspired to get through, oftentimes those really exhausting things work themselves out. Whether it's that I realized, “I'm so glad I didn't do that because now I'm doing something better,” or even with recordings. I've got a system for certain clients that I work with that they go through some automation and I was all set and inspired to get it all done and then I only got some done and then I was stuck. My uncle died and I went to see my father and all this. I thought, “I have to get this done.”
In the midst of all that, something shifted where I wound up taking on other contracts that had zero automation. Then when I was going through those, I was like, “I need to add this to the automated version that I totally forgot about.” Things like that I find happen, the more I don't stress about the to-do list. In terms of prioritizing that, I look at my emails, what ones really need a response right away and what ones can wait and things like that. That's been a journey for me with practice to do and also just taking back my calendar where I used to be at the mercy. I wasn't knowing in advance what I wanted to do. I was unsure and had to make decisions when things came up. Now, I'm really good. I'm getting better and better. I can't wait to meet me in a year. I'm good at looking at here's the things that I want to do and I want to participate in and the people I want to connect with and how I'm going to do it, just like coming to San Diego. I had that invitation and I went, “I'm coming for that party.” That's it. Nothing else. I went to San Diego from Southern Ontario to be at your party and that was amazing. I had no other obligation there. That's been a lot of fun.
I'll tell you the big shift for me when you're talking about planning things out and unblocking the days, it creates a constraint in your schedule when things are off the table, to the extent that you can do it. If you're going to travel or do any of that on those days, booked the tickets, when you take the days off, so that you're locked in. By doing that, it makes your decision making easier because you've already made the decision. The other thing that it does is it helps you focus on the right things. What I found was that before I was disciplined about doing that and that whole idea of putting constraints and I filtered that down to my weeks and my days and how I plan them. There was a lot of BS that got done. It didn't really need to get done. Maybe it was good to do, but it wasn't great. It wasn't the best use.
By taking those days off the table now, you've got to figure out how to do whatever it is you're supposed to accomplish within the days you got left on a weekly, daily basis. I go through the same thing. On a daily basis, I used to make to-do lists. It would basically go down the page. Then you always feel like crap at the end of the day, I didn't get anything done. You did, but you didn't get the 50 things done because that wasn't realistic. For the last few years, sometimes I do it on a little three by five card and now I do it in a journal. I write three to five things. That’s it. If those three or five things get done, I'm done. I'm out.
I can legitimately walk out, close the door, lock the office. We're closed, because those things got done that moved the ball forward. That's not new advice. That's not going to be rocket science for anybody listening to this. It wasn't new advice when I finally started to implement it. I've heard it a million times, but if you're hearing this and you've heard it the 999,999 times, this is the millionth for you, then do it because it'll change things dramatically. The big change for me was I got focused on doing more of the right things and just had to let the other stuff go. The other thing that it did is it created this feeling of success every day. I've got those three things done and sometimes I go and do more. I might do ten things, but I got the three done that were on the list. It just becomes so easy now. Every day is like a pleasure.
I love that you're talking about this. I love that you're bringing it up. I also love that you say it was not new to you and it may not be new and this might be the millionth time. Because as you were talking, I was like, “I have taught people about Stephen Covey's Big Rock Theory. I know the Big Rock Theory. I have implemented for very short periods of time throughout my life the Big Rock Theory, but I fall off.” As you were talking I was like, “Yes, I need to get the cards. Yes, I need to actually, not I need to, I want to.” I'm finally at a point and maybe I'm going to regress again, but I want to do that because I've been naturally doing that. I've been taking more time to go, “The important things are done. Yes, there's a million other things, but there are going to be there tomorrow, so I'm going to go hang out with a friend or I'm going to go do some setting up in the yard.”
I know you're down in Florida where it's warm always, but here in Canada, it’s the seasonal change, means there's stuff to do. In the past I would put those things off because they weren't moving the needle forward in my business, but now, I'm able to say, “I only need to do certain right things. I will take care of those big rocks first and everything else can fill in as it may, but I have to take care of myself and feel good and then the rest of this stuff comes nice and easily.” I want to make sure that you get to talk about some things that you would like to talk about. I know you have a book you may want to mention.
We launched my second book. The second book, which I'm excited about, it's been well received. It's called The Exponential Network Strategy. It is a very simple way for you to go out and connect with the key influencers and the prospects that you're trying to reach, but not show up as a salesperson. We've been doing this for quite a number of years before podcasting existed. We used to occasionally do this and record them and send them out on CDs. We would interview someone. We do an audio interview just like what we're doing here. What we have found is that there's almost no better way to connect with someone that you don't know well and you can reach out to them and do so totally cold and quickly build a relationship particularly if you're working business to business. Although we do have a client that's doing an amazing job with this and he targets consumers. It can be done there as well, but primarily business to business.
The idea is that you reach out to an influencer, a prospect that you want to have a relationship with and you asked them to come and be interviewed, where you can share their expertise and share their expertise with everyone that's in your audience, your list of prospects and clients. You don't need a big audience to do that. You don't have to have a full podcast like this, although it helps. We've just found it to be an incredibly effective way to build up these connections really quickly and without spending a lot of time. When I first started my current business, I'd go around here locally to the chamber of commerce and to all of those places and network and it takes a ton of time to do that. I was probably doing something at breakfast, lunch or dinner three or four days a week and you want to talk about life being out of balance, life was way out of balance. I ended up going cold turkey on that and I started a podcast back in 2012. I interviewed about 52 people. All influencers in my market. Those relationships then were relationships that I was able to lean on when I launched my first book. Fifteen of those 52 people helped promote my very first book back in 2014. In one week those fifteen people that I've built those relationships with, sent 5,268 people to my book in a week and doubled our business almost instantly.
That's the power of the strategy. You're building relationships, you're giving value first and it's such an easy way to do it. We now do this as a service for clients where basically they just have to dial the phone and get on with one of the influencers that they're meeting with. They don't have to worry about any of the technology and it's so fun because we'll take a business owner who isn't into marketing or isn't skilled with technology or anything like that. They can pick the phone up and talk with somebody. They'll do one of these interviews and usually after the first or second one, I'll get an email like, “This is so awesome.” It's such a fun way to connect with people. They get energy out of it. I've told our team, I said, “This is the first thing we've ever done that actually creates joy in our client.” It's just a fun way to go out and build your network and it's easy. It doesn't take a lot of time. You can do it in about an hour a month, so you don't have to keep running around all over town and go into this crazy networking things. You just get people on the phone periodically. There are some other great byproducts, too. You can share those things with everybody that's on your list. People love eavesdropping on these conversations. It's wonderful content and it's so much easier than trying to write an article.
We had talked about that, how you were doing that before and even when you talk about it, you're so lit up and the energy just comes through.
If I can do interviews like this all day long and get paid for it, I'd do it. The days that we record our podcasts are my favorite days of the week.
I'm excited because I'm going to be there one of these days. I look forward to that conversation with you as well. I just want to check, do you have a couple more minutes because we are over a bit? By For my audience members in the Listener's Lounge, they're seeing it now pretty much right after we record it, but for those people who are tuning into iTunes or iHeartRadio or Stitcher or wherever you're getting this feed from, the third book's already out. What is the third book that's just about to launch?
We don't have a title for it yet. We tease the content a little bit. For the businesses that we work with, we basically boiled down the process of attracting clients into three steps. I always like to focus on things that don't change over time. There's not like a Facebook hack or anything like that in there. The reason that I focused on that is because I started in business a year before we had the internet at my first company. We still use fax machines and I like to work on things that don't change much, because I find my life is just more peaceful that way. We focused on three things, opening up relationships. We just talked about that. The first book really goes into detail on that. This next book will touch on it a little bit. We talked about nurturing relationships because for the businesses we work with, they're all selling a high ticket service. They're not going to be selling you a doughnut or a cheeseburger. Their clients pay them thousands to many tens, hundreds or even millions of dollars. It's not a trivial sale. It doesn't happen overnight. Most of the time funnels don't work for that type of business. You need to start a relationship and you need to build trust and nurture that relationship over time.
Time is the one ingredient that all the marketing gurus don't want to tell you about. That's the most important ingredient and trust building. We show you how to do that and build that over time and do it without it taking forever. I've been publishing newsletters since mid-‘90s to our clients. They take a ton of work. We've eliminated all that work and we're going to talk about in the book how we've done that. Then the third piece is, if you've ever had a newsletter or send out emails regularly or whatever, and then you got frustrated because nobody seemed to contact you when you send out that weekly or monthly newsletter. It’s because there was this missing piece and it's what we call a conversion window. In the book, we’ll be walking through what that is and how they work. I'm a big believer in using events on the calendar as marketing tools.
You don't have to create all of this false scarcity and urgency because the calendar creates it for you. The event is happening tomorrow at noon and it's an opportunity for you to open up a window that a potential client can decide to come through. The windows open for a little while and then it closes and then you can open it up again for a little while and then it closes. By giving your prospects this periodic opportunity to take a next step. Most of the time, when we're implementing this with our clients, it's a webinar or a live presentation that they're giving on a regular basis and it's just a great way to get a prospect moving who is otherwise just hanging around in your world and motivating them to move into the sales process. Those three pieces together give you a really potent, little marketing formula there. That's what we're going to talk about in the next book.
I'd love to share the current book with folks. You can go to our website. If you go to the UnstoppableCEO.net/Nicole, you'll be able to get our current book there and you can get it for free. We're giving away the eBook and we actually have a whole series of videos where one of our longtime clients actually interviewed me on video, chapter by chapter and I explained the whole thing. You can get that for free on the website.
I'm going to get that because I want to see those videos, and I'm excited about the book as well. Any final words of wisdom before we part ways?
For folks listening, just get in motion, go take some action. We've talked about a lot of different topics now. Chances are one of them hit home, so what are you going to do and go make it real for you? Put it in practice.
Steve Gordon is the author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals, Half the Effort, and his latest book, The Exponential Network Strategy. He’s the host of The Unstoppable CEO Podcast and has written over 400 articles on marketing for service businesses. Through his firm, he helps service business entrepreneurs create leveraged marketing systems so they can spend less time on business development, and more time on what matters most.
At age 28, Steve Gordon became the CEO of an engineering/consulting firm. Twelve years later, after growing that firm’s revenue by 10-times he started his second business, consulting with businesses across 30 industries—including manufacturing, professional services, construction, and consulting—to design sales, marketing and referral systems for high-ticket/ high-trust products and services.
Thanks again to Carrie Roldan for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
Women dream of dating that leads to love. However, if you keep losing a guy in ten days or if he did manage to stick around but you quickly turn that relationship dysfunctional within six months, when do you realize that you’re doing those things? Women always think it’s just the men or bad luck or perhaps they really have no clue at all that they are the catalyst for the shit storm they have going on in their love life. Dating expert and romantic fairy godmomma to smart, successful single women all around the world, Jenn Burton is known for orchestrating dating that leads to love by magically ushering in stable, fun, witty, and insanely attractive men who will love, adore and romance you without expecting you to compromise your career, success, or genuine self for any of it. After years of dysfunctional relationships and crappy dating experiences, Jenn decided to take matters into her own hands and developed a dating method for creating the most magical experiences that lead to love.
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 asked 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. I love the BBR Show.
If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.
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Jenn Burton of Single Smart Female on A Method for Dating That Leads to Love
I'm super excited to have one of my favorite clients and favorite people, Jenn Burton. This lady is so cool on so many different levels. If you haven't heard her podcast, Single Smart Female, you got to check it out. Welcome, Jenn. I'm so excited to have you here.
Thank you and I'm thrilled to be here with you as well. Thank you for having me.
Before we dive in, give everyone more of a nuts and bolts, what are you doing day-to-day to serve and support your people?
What I do on a daily basis is I create quite a bit of content to serve smart single women around the world by producing our podcast. I've created several self-study programs that they can access whenever a woman would like to at her convenience. I also have a group program called The Courage Kit. We get to interact with some amazing women, as well as my private clients. If you wrap it all up, that's how I show up for women.
Who are the perfect women for you and why are they the perfect women for you? Who are you serving and why do they come to you?
Women typically come to me when they need help with rearranging their dating life so that they can have more of what they want romantically. I always serve single women specifically and these women tend to be high achieving professionals. I also serve high achieving entrepreneurs, but I tend to see more of professionals in their career world.
Even if you're like, “I'm a guy or I'm an entrepreneur or I'm married,” do not shut this episode off because you know somebody who is going to need Jenn’s help and I guarantee it. Now that we've covered who you serve and how you serve, let's talk about you and your story. How long have you been a dating coach?
I've been consulting with women's dating life unofficially since 2006 and officially since 2010.
What specifically led you to doing this? How did you figure out that this is my thing, that where you’re needed?
It started off by being the woman who always got it wrong in dating and love. For instance, I often like to say, “I was good at being the woman who could lose a guy in ten days.” I probably should have been the star of that movie, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. If a man did manage to stick around, I could turn that relationship dysfunctional within six months.
When you were doing those things, did you realize you were doing those things?
I had no clue. I always thought it was men or just bad luck. I had no clue that it was me who was the catalyst for the shitstorm that I had going on in my love life.
How long was that going on before you did figure it out?
Since the first guy I talked to in eighth grade. It's been going on for a long time.
You were the girl that had men coming and going and you were all about them and all in and you would drive them away. Is that right?
Yes, I had been boy crazy since I was in kindergarten and I never understood. I focused all this attention on men and I thought I was being their ideal of a woman or a girl, whatever stage of life I was in, and I was so wrong. Just so very wrong.
In 2006, I did manage to finally get married to an Englishman. We ended up splitting up and I moved to another city so that we can have a true split up to see whether or not we wanted to be together. At that point in time, we came back together for our third year anniversary and I realized the entire relationship was about him. I enjoyed almost nothing about it. We'd already been in marriage counseling for a couple of years at this point. We were having sexual relations earlier that day and I realized it was nothing about me. It was all about him and what he wanted and how everything felt to him.
That night, very distraught and heartbroken, I fell on my knees and prayed to God, “Please tell me what I need to do.” Three days later, I met a man who looked at me and said after a great conversation, “May I take you out on a real date?” Immediately, we went into this whirlwind romance, where I felt things with a man that I had never felt in my entire life. I felt adored and cared for and special. The moment that I asked my husband for divorce, that man disappeared. To say I was devastated was an understatement. That devastation turned into obsession.
You asked your husband for a divorce and then this man disappeared. Was it just that simple or did he know you were asking for a divorce? What do you think led to that?
He had no clue that I had asked for a divorce. It happened at the same time. It was synchronicity. I realize now that this man was a gift in my life who opened me up for everything I'm doing now and how I'm helping women. At the time, I thought it was bad luck and then thinking, “I don't know what I'm doing with men at all.” It was the perfect catalyst for learning to do things differently.
I signed up with a group of women in New York who was studying women's sensuality and started doing things in a completely different fashion. I also started studying every dating book I could. My intent when I started all this was to get his attention again. What it led to was an opportunity to do dating in a completely different manner. Before I realized that, I had created my own dating method, which I call Mantourage Dating, which is dating more than one man at a time until you find your forever man or indefinitely if you so choose.
How did things change for you in your personal life as you were uncovering that system?
What I realized is when I started doing things in a completely different manner and I started to put the attention on myself instead of men, that men started crawling out of the woodwork to treat me well, to be with me. I was very rarely the woman that men were like, “Will you be my girlfriend,” right away. That started happening and I was processing this as research instead of diving straight into that with different men. It also led to my current husband and we've been together for over eleven years now.
I am sponsoring this episode myself via my service that I call Interviews that Convert. If you are a business owner and you have a service or a product that is specifically targeted to a clear and niche audience, then I might be able to help you get more visibility, more leads and more sales through podcast guesting. Since I was first introduced to podcasting, I have fallen in love with the medium. I took a specific and special interest in how podcast guests can deliver the most value to audiences and hosts from their interview.
Not only that, but I've also explored how to provide the next step in a way that's compelling and turns listeners into leads and hosts into raving fans. I'd say I've cracked the code and so would my clients. These days, what I am doing most that lights me up is representing business owners like you and helping them get more visibility, more leverage and more market share by booking them on podcasts that their target buyers are listening to.
If you've thought about guesting yourself but haven't been sure how to go about doing it or haven't known who to contact, I'd love to hear from you. Maybe you have been podcast guesting yourself, but you haven't yet seen the results that you had hoped for, that is super common. Don't feel bad about it, but please reach out and let me know. I may be able to help you grow exponentially through podcast guesting opportunities. You can learn more by reaching out to me at Support@InterviewsThatConvert.com or give me a call at 289-272-0374. Let's find out how I can help you grow your business through podcast guesting. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and now back to the program.
You figured that out. You recognize there's a problem, you sought support and you implemented and I'm assuming had fun with it. Why do you think more women don't do that? Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of women, we accept and settle for what is and don't actually look for or demand or expect greatness. Is that something that you're seeing as well and if so, why do you think that is?
Women tend to settle because there's this fear of male scarcity. It's an irrational fear regardless of what science tells us. They don't want to spend their life alone and they will settle for the first guy that ticks off some of the boxes and then other women too, will say, “I'm not going to settle.” They're afraid of their romantic vulnerability. They will push man after man away and disqualifying him for arbitrary reasons.
With the women that you work with, do you find that women recognize that and that's why they come to you? Or do you find that women are unaware and then they come across you or learn about you and then they're like, “There's more. I can have it better?”
Yes and yes. What happens is some women do recognize it right away or they are the women that have been pushing men away for a while, but they want somebody and they just don't know how to find that person that matches with them. They start seeking me out. There's a good percentage of women, possibly even the majority, that come to me because one of my biggest Google search results is about a man who has gone MIA or has disappeared on you.
It's somebody that they're interested in and they like who makes them feel something below the belt that they haven't felt in a very long time and all of a sudden, he'll disappear on them. They're freaking out a little bit because they want that feeling again. It's a very addictive feeling and this same feeling, every woman is susceptible to, regardless of how strong she is, how educated she is, how successful she is. Then they find me because I'm not telling them, “You just need to forget about him.” They start to learn about all the things that they can do to open themselves up to real life, love and romance.
From an entrepreneurial standpoint, how did you wind up turning this into a business? How did you wind up going from the realization that you had and the experience that you had of Mantourage Dating and landing your forever man, and realizing, “I need to help other women and I can make money from this?”
I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was very little and I never would find the right methodology or the right industry. I enjoyed it, but it was never, “This is exactly where I'm supposed to be.” In 2006, when I started doing my dating life differently and I was sharing that within the groups that I was in at the time, a lot of women started coming to me and asking me how I was creating all this. It was insanely fun. I was having so much fun with men and men were stepping up in ways I never even imagined. That kept going on for several years and in 2010, a woman came to me and she said, “Can I pay you to teach me this?” It had never occurred to me before then that I was even qualified on any level to charge for it. When she said that, I said, “Of course, you can pay me to teach you this. Let's do it.”
We started there and from there having conversations with her about what was going on in her life, she decided that she would like to be doing this with a lot of her girlfriends as well. I hosted my very first in-person class and we showed up for the meet and greet where women just brought women that they knew that were single. I told my story. I told exactly how I met my now husband, the processes that it was going through. I was charging $350 at that time for a six-week class of once a week that we would meet together. This was in-person in 2010 and thirteen of the fifteen women signed up for the class. I knew at that point that that was evidence that this is a strong pain point for women. That I had something that could make them feel alive and control in the context of dating and love.
Were you all in then or were you like, “I'm doing this.” I imagine you had something to actually pay your bills at the time other than that class.
I had some insecurities surrounding this at the time and I opened up another brick and mortar business, hiding from the fact. I wanted it to be my platform to say, “Here, I have this. Why don't you hire me for this,” and they had nothing to do with each other. It took me falling on my face hard with my brick and mortar business to realize that I was using it as a cover-up for who I am and what I wanted to do as an entrepreneur.
I want to appreciate you for going there. Can you talk to us about that process? What it was like for the smash, bang, boom of the brick and mortar, what it was like to go through that and how did you realize it as a wake-up call? Sometimes when we go through things that are embarrassing, stressful, upsetting, scary, we don't necessarily realize it in the moment that this is the best thing that could've happened to us.
I'm pretty sure I didn't fully realize that. I don't know if I had an inkling that it was something that good that was about to happen, but it was extraordinarily painful. This was tens of thousands of dollars that I lost in this build out of the small business and things like that. I felt my credibility as a business owner was stomped on. I knew that the only person responsible ultimately was me, which hurt even more. At that point in time, even though I knew I was stepping into being a dating consultant, I didn't know exactly how that looked on a full-time basis. I didn't know that people would find me credible as this being run as a business.
It’s like that impostor syndrome that we all go through at a point.
I felt like a huge fraud.
If you can pinpoint, what was the thing or what were the things that shifted that for you?
As I started learning about online marketing and stepping into an online space and I started getting clients that were not specifically local. I had women from literally around the world, Australia, India, Kenya, Dubai, England, Canada, everywhere that we're saying, “I want to take your classes and work with you.” That was gigantic validation for everything that I was doing and stepping into and realizing that I was headed in the right direction.
Since then, you've grown in so different ways. You've hit it home with that virtual online program or that presence where you are accessible to women all over the world who needs your support. Do you have any tips about how somebody who is maybe where you were and realizing there is this whole space and they're ready and willing to embrace online marketing, do you have any tips or strategies that helped you get from serving locally?
Initially, social media was a big thing and joining other business classes was very helpful because a lot of people would meet me in there and then they would sit and everybody has a single friend. They would start sharing my information and I had put together sales pages, all that stuff. I'm a big, huge proponent of podcasting. It hits more of my audience than some of the traditional social media marketing has in the past. I absolutely adore podcasting. If you can do it in a way I use it. It's my primary marketing arm right now and it's fantastic and it works very well. It's taken off faster than any of my other marketing pieces.
I'm so excited that that's the case and you've been doing such big things and you started out doing a YouTube channel prior to doing the audio podcast.
I put my audio podcast up on YouTube as well. YouTube never was my specific audience, so I didn't put a lot. I would put stuff up just to have a host, but I didn't put a lot of emphasis there. I wasn't trying to build community there, all that stuff that you should do if your audience is indeed on YouTube. I still have it there and I upload my audio podcasts and if I have any sales videos, I will host them there as well.
Your podcast, the audio aspect of it has taken off and you've gotten recognized by some big names and you have this huge following. That's exciting that that's been so beneficial for you. For folks who would love to continue the conversation with you or maybe have a friend that they want to have continue conversation with you or start the conversation with you, what is the best way for them to connect?
For your audience, they can find me at JennBurton.com/Nicole. They are going to find a very special resource curated for them to help them with their dating life.
I appreciate you putting that together for my audience and their friends or family or loved ones, what have you. Do you have any final words of wisdom that you can share with entrepreneurs about how to build a business around something that they've cracked the code on like you did?
An important piece is while you’re building your business, something we tend to neglect is our love lives. It's important for people to save a space. I understand that you're going to spend a lot of time on your business and you're going to do some amazing things with it and you have to believe in yourself and keep taking those consistent action, work with someone like Nicole, but don't neglect that other piece of you. It does filter and help animate you for everything you're going to need in order to create the empire that you want.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and your wisdom with us. I really appreciate it, Jenn.
Dating Expert and Romantic Fairy Godmomma to smart, successful single women all around the world, Jenn Burton is known for magically ushering in stable, fun, witty, and insanely attractive men who will love, adore & romance you without expecting you to compromise your career, success, or genuine self for any of it!
After years of dysfunctional relationships & crappy dating experiences, Jenn decided to take matters into her own hands, and developed a dating method for creating the most magical experiences that lead to love.
Thanks again to Cardiff D. Hall for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
So often, we let our adversity define us and we struggle with figuring out how to define our adversity. In his book, The Crucible’s Gift, Dr. James Kelley of the Executive After Hours podcast provides entrepreneurs and leaders the ability to think about the outcomes of adversity in a way that's positive and beneficial for them and those around them in the community so they have the ability to thrive in adversity. Dr. Kelley also talks about his podcast which is predicated on interviewing executives about their personal journey with the consistent theme of struggle, resolve, transformation, and better leadership.
Thank you to Carrie Roldan for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the quality of the guests Nicole has and her ability to bring something different out of each guest. It's not your normal business advice and tips show.
If you would like to introduce an episode and share your love for the Business Building Rockstars show, go to www.BBRShow.com/fan.
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Dr. James Kelley of Executive After Hours on How to Thrive in Adversity
Thank you so much, Nicole, for having me. I feel like that's a loaded question when you ask somebody who they are because to answer that succinctly is quite complicated. As an individual, we are many parts. We are multiple parts of a person. I'm a dad, I'm a professor, I'm an author, I'm a podcaster, I'm an athlete, I’m a bald community guy. There are a lot of ways to define myself, but if I was to define myself, I'm just a genuine person who tries to do right. I try to be right by doing right. That's probably the simplest way to explain myself.
Sometimes when we go into professional bios, they’re great for positioning, but sometimes they lose the human touch and the human aspects. How are you serving and supporting people this way? As you said, you're a podcaster, you’re an author, you’re a professor, take my audience and I into how you're serving entrepreneurs as an entrepreneur.
The best way I serve entrepreneur is probably through my book. The title of the book is TheCrucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons From Authentic Leaders who Thrive in Adversity. You can also get that on Amazon in Canada. The book is my servant mentality. I can't promise you to read it and your life will change tremendously. The people that recommended the book are quite significant leaders in the community. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, who's written a whole bunch of leadership books that makes number one at different times in his career. Bill George, who has written the Authentic Leadership and the books, a Harvard professor, a former Medtronic CEO, and also Jon Berghoff. They've all said a similar thing. They said, “This book allows you to frame your adversity in a way that's positive.” Often, we let our adversity define us and we struggled with figuring out how to define our adversity. My book that I'm providing entrepreneurs and leaders in general is the ability to think about the outcomes of your adversity in a way that are beneficial for you and those around you in the community.
How did you come up with the clarity and vision to write about this?
It came from two parts. It's like an ingredient, a recipe that I was trying to make something. The first part comes from the idea of my podcast, Executives After Hours. The idea of the podcast is similar to yours. The slogan that I have is, “I care about who you are, not what you do because who you are defines what you do.” I take my audience, similar to you, on a journey, but I start all the way back to childhood. We talk about everything on my podcast. What I've found in my podcast was this constant theme of struggle, resolve, transformation, and better leadership. It’s this consistent theme and I could tell you people like Bridgette Mayer, if you look at my book, these are all people who exceed in leadership, who had major adversity moments in their life that transformed them 100%.
That was the first part of it. That was the sugar, the sweet. The other side of it was my story. I've been through a ton of adversity in my life. No more, no less than anybody else. It's just mine. It's my truth and I own my truth and it helped me formulate a particular model of how to explain why adversity is a must if you're going to be an outstanding leader. There many great leaders, but the ones that truly get what life is about through their adversity are the ones that thrive, which I call authentic leaders.
What are some of the key moments of adversity that you had in your life that you feel made you a significantly better leader?
I often reflect on that question in terms of my leadership ability and I don't know if I'm a good leader. I'm an academic. We innately are individualistic assholes that are out, for ourselves, to achieve something. That's what we do. We got to publish something. We've got to position our self as the best this. We're slightly narcissistic individuals. Not all of us, but there are especially in the business schools. I haven't been put in a leadership position. What I can tell you is that my adversity has transformed me in a way that makes me much more compassionate about people around me. It makes me more patient. One of the things that's one of the biggest outcome is I value relationships. I value making people smile and laugh. I have a rule at my work. I call these things micro moments and meaning.
At my office, if I meet someone in the hallway, my one goal is to walk away with them smiling. I end up with a joke, I end up with a compliment, but I want them to have a moment of positivity in their life at that moment because if they remember me as that person that made them smile. Every time they see me it's going to be a positive affirmation and our relationship is going to be fairly healthy and functional in times of difficulty. We have hard conversations. I always try to make someone have a bit of a better day knowing that somewhere down the line, we might have a moment where we have hard conversations, but all of those positive moments that built up in their minds to give them a positive and accurate perception of who I am as an individual. It's just a healthy way.
For me, my adversity in my life has come tenfold. I often joke that I grew up in an Irish Catholic family that was touched with violence minus the Catholicism. That's the best way I describe it. The way to be heard was to yell and whoever had the best insults was the winner every single time. What I found out later in life, that's actually not healthy. That's not a great way to form relationships and bonds with those closest to you. Who would've thought that? I thought insulting the person you love was what you do. I found out it's not what you do. That was the start of my life was this world of anxiety and stress. I was the youngest of four and being the youngest, you also have to speak the loudest to be heard. That was the start of my adversity.
The first major one was my dad's death at twenty. I was at University of Dayton with no one around me. At twenty years old, I had to deal with anything that tragic than most people. I would say 99% of people had nothing like that. When my dad died, I had no one to connect with. I lived with six great guys, they didn't understand. One of the things that can manifest in that is binge drinking, heavily, five days a week. That was my outlet for three to four years and probably the only reason why that stopped is one, I was out of money and two, I was no longer in college so I couldn't afford to do that and be a productive individual in society.
That was the first real major adversity moment that helped define me in a way that was about how can I be a better person. One thing that I talk about in the book is framing your adversity in a positive way. Let's take death as an example. I was able to look at my dad and everything he brought to the table in my twenty years of life and say, “What was the great things about him that I want to keep and what were the things about our relationship that I want different moving forward?” Without the clarity and separation of the moment and the willingness to actually investigate, pull it apart and punch it and treat it like a crime scene, I wouldn't have been able to understand the positives and negatives in that situation.
Something you said before was that you don't know that you're a great leader and that struck me because I see some different sides in the roles that you play as absolutely in leadership roles in my own perception. What is your definition of leadership?
Leadership is an interesting definition and I totally scapegoat the shit out of this is that you know a good leader when you see it. Nicole, how you define a good leader might be different than how I define a good leader because we have different needs in a leader. You might need to have someone who is hard and keeps you on task and is transparent, I might need someone who is compassionate, who values relationships. For me, in the way I described a leader in the book, is someone who encapsulates this idea of compassion and integrity and value relationships because they value growing as an individual. My definition of what I need in someone who is honest, who is direct in a non-confrontational way, and someone who values fun banter that is about building relationships. That's what I need. You might have a totally different set of needs for you that allow you to follow that leader and work on their behalf in a way that is beneficial for not only you, but for them in the organization as well.
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Your definition of leadership solidifies that I see you as a leader. We can talk about how and perhaps why it's sometimes hard for us to give ourselves credit that we give to other people for accomplishing those things. We were talking about my retreat that I wrapped up. One of the things that I got from the ladies who attended and that I've had to be reminded of many times and that I’ll likely continue to have to be reminded of but it's getting easier and easier and I'm standing it more and more is that what comes naturally to me and what I love to do is super impactful and amazing to other people. I sit there and go, “Is it good enough? Are they going to get enough value out of it? Is it really going to be impactful? Or is it just lukewarm?” I get hard on myself and all of us as high achievers, as entrepreneurs tend to do this thing. We've also talked about how we've both interviewed many successful high achievers. I'm curious about your take on that, both as someone who's been studying this, somebody who teaches this, but also as somebody who is living this.
I'm curious to hear your take on it from a personal standpoint because it's not just me, it's not just you, and it's not just the audience going, “I thought it was just me, that I'm just so hard on myself. It's everybody.” When we have a definition of whether it's a great leader or a great facilitator or a great coach or a great programmer or whatever it is, if we do that thing, oftentimes even though we may position ourselves or when we may come out in front and we may be able to wear it to the public internally, we tend to feel that there's aspects of what we do that aren't as good as somebody that we're looking at and saying, “Now that's a great leader. That's a great developer. That's a great facilitator or coach.” You said before that you don't know if you're a great leader, yet you have a clear definition of what a great leader is. To me, you embody those traits that you define as that of a great leader and yet you articulate that you don't know if you're a great leader.
We’re all on a journey. We all have this path. If you think of a big field of grass and as you stomp on that grass going from A to Z, the more times you stomp on it, the more flat it gets and worn it gets. I can't speak for anyone else. For me, I've got about 37,000 of those paths in that field that are only partially stomped down and I'm on this journey to figure out what it means for me. When I interviewed Jon Berghoff and him and I talked, he had this thing that he said to me and it so resonated with me. He said, “We often chase the things that we feel like we lack the most.” For me, I've never seen myself as a leader. I was captain of my water polo team in college for two years. I led two offices for an ad agency and I failed and failed and failed on all four of those is a leadership role.
I had no one around me to mentor me, to tell me what I needed to do right or wrong. I was too insecure. I didn't have belief in my abilities. I got a long list of deficiencies that I can run down, but all of that comes from the idea of not having confidence in myself. For me, I don't see myself as a leader because I've been too unwilling to put myself in those positions to lead because I've failed so many times before. Which is completely counterintuitive to everything else I do in my life where I'd lean into everything I failed because that’s predominantly the place where you learn is in failure. When people have a difficulty understanding what their own deficiencies are, they have a difficulty of understanding where they need to grow as individuals. From a leadership perspective, for me I've been on this journey for twenty plus years trying to understand why do I feel that people don't listen to me or respect me or value my opinion? What is it that I'm not saying or what is it that I'm saying that doesn't resonate with people? At least on my journey, the feedback that I receive is tangible feedback in numbers or comments that sometimes the way I interpret it is that I'm not saying something that resonates with other people.
What you said spoke to what I was trying to say and that is that oftentimes, we feel deficient in areas that others see us as excelling at. Even in saying, “The people don't listen,” of course, they listen. You're a popular podcaster. People tune into your show every single time you put one out because they want to hear you. They want to hear your take. It's so interesting and I really want to honor you and appreciate you for sharing in this vulnerable way because that's what my audience are here for.
They are here because the sense is that they understand it's not just them. Some of them are just starting out in their business, maybe who haven't even started a business but find the stories and the discussions to be inspirational. I have some who have billion-dollar companies. The feedback that I get from people is that they enjoy the show because it's raw and it's real. Just speaking about deficiencies or speaking about these different things because you're a published author, you are a professor. That's another thing. I'm like, “Don't you have a lot of students looking up to you?”
They have to. They don’t have a choice.
They don’t have to. They are choosing to do it.
I entertain them. That’s what I do.
Maybe they can't stop listening to you. What was reflected to me was that the things sometimes, and this is also just to share with everyone and maybe to ponder. The things that we feel deficient at or we feel like we're not good enough and we're seeking that to be better or wondering if other people are getting some value from it, oftentimes are the things that people value the most about who we are and how we show up and how we do life. It was less of a question and more of an interesting conversation.
A lot of people value vulnerability. In vulnerability, it shows willingness to be judged. The willingness to be judged means that you're secure enough to know that I own my limitations and I embraced them in a way that I want to use them to become a better person. There are a lot of literature out there, books out there, trending books, talking about strength, like the strength finder. Work on your strengths. Yes, work on your strength, but for me to be a complete person, I need to understand my limitations. Within that understanding, means the way I respond to certain situations changes. It means that the questions I ask might change. I want to understand the yin and the yang in all of that, so that I can be a better person. That's all I care about. Lead, not lead? I want to be a good person that isn't that to fuck somebody and to do wrong. I'm going to make mistakes. We all do, we're human beings. We are fallible. We are going to screw up, but what grates me the wrong way is when you don't own those mistakes. What I find leaders that own them, embrace them and aspire to share them. They are powerful beings that have the ability to sway their teams to move towards a vision and purpose that’s for the betterment of them as individuals, the betterment of the leader and betterment of the organization all at the same time.
Definitely that humanity piece. When I listen to people speak who are “gurus or leaders,” it rubs me the wrong way when I don't believe them. It's a weird energetic thing. It's like, “You're so full of shit.” You can talk all day long about this one, but what about all of the things, all of the losses that got you there? Especially in this day and age where information is so readily available. It does stand out when because of how much bullshit we pass by and take in, eventually when we hear somebody speak from the heart and just be authentic and be vulnerable and be honest without pretending to be vulnerable and authentic and honest. That's a big, “You should be this. Here's how you can manipulate the situation and the words that you say in order for people to understand that you are authentic.” I'm like, “What?”
Is there a market for that? Absolutely, and there is. I don't fault them. They aspire to move the needle in their life. We all do. We all want to move the needle in our life. Most of us want to. I don't fault them for listening to someone who's sold a billion dollars in something. There's something in that person that they do that’s successful. That's not what I aspire to do. That's not the message that I want to share. I want to share, “Don't be embarrassed by your failures.” I want to share, “Don't be embarrassed by tragedy in your life. Don't be embarrassed by your own tragedy.” It means something that you did to yourself or something that happened to others in your life. There's nothing to be embarrassed about it. You need to own it and you need to have accountability for that so that you're able to deal with it and use it in a better way.
To me, that is the essence of the book. It’s personal accountability to what's going on in your life. The good, the bad, the ugly, all of it. I often talk in the book and this probably happens on your podcast and it happens on my podcast, where we focus on the negative adversity. What about the positive adversity? Why don't we stop and pause and think about that? Your four-day retreat, that should be a major learning moment for you in some capacity. What about for me? For me it could be a marriage, it could be four kids, it could be getting my PhD. I don't think I've ever paused to look at those in a way that says, “What have I learned from that?” My PhD, I learned resilience for sure. That was a major outcome and I had to force myself to focus on that as a personal growth moment, not just achieving it. What does it do for me moving forward? How can I be a better person and understand that when something goes wrong, I'm quite resilient and I will bounce back better than before?
Did you do a model of this in the book? You were talking with me about an example of an exercise. I just wasn't sure if this leads into that example because you mentioned something about drawing a model and I'm keen to learn about that.
Let's do an exercise. This is really easy. We're going to end up drawing three circles. I want you to draw one circle, and in that circle, I want you to write the word crucible. Then I want you to think of a bull’s eye and you're going to draw another circle on the outside of that circle that says crucible. Now, you've got a bigger circle on the outside and I want you to split that into two. On the top half, I want you to write the word self-awareness. We're going to leave the bottom half blank for the moment. Then you're going to draw one more circle on the outside of the other two circles that surround it so you have a perfect bull’s eye of three circles and you're going to split the last circle into three. Now, once you split it into three, in one section, you're going to write the word compassion. In one section, you're going to write the word integrity, and in the last section, you're going to write the word relatable-ness.
This is what I found in the book and this is what I found and write about in the book. It unfolds in the book like this. In chapter one, I talk about the crucible. Why is it important? What are the stories of leaders that I interviewed that talk about their major moment in life? Then I say, “What happens in the crucible? What happened to these leaders?” They grew their self-awareness. In despair, in judgment, in success, they all had the ability to grow their self-awareness. Now, for anyone in your audience who does coaching, they will tell you that leader self-awareness is one of the hardest things to quantify and to get them to understand and to do to be better at. It's not easy. We all have our blind spots.
In the book, I talk about this idea of, “You have a crucible. You grow your self-awareness.” Here's the part that's fascinating. In the leaders that I interviewed, they started this journey and on this journey, they started looking at their compassion. How can I be more compassionate to those around me? When we look in the organization, whether it's big or small, compassion is actually bigger than empathy. Empathy is I understand how you feel, compassion is I understand how you feel, and I want to relieve your suffering. Suffering, a super loaded word. What does that mean? Let's think of suffering as a very simple act. If I'm walking through the office and I'm talking to you, Nicole, and you're sitting at your desk and I see your water cup is empty. “Can I fill that for you?” “Yeah, sure.” That's a moment of relieving someone's suffering right there. That's it. It’s super simple. It's not this huge act that we think of. Suffering is a minute thing for many of us every day. Like getting up can be suffering for me, but I still got to do it.
What I found is that leaders who embrace their self-awareness also then grew their integrity. There are two types of integrity that I talk about in the book, moral. I don't go into that because we all have to decide where our moral compass is in life. We all know right or wrong. I mostly spend my time talking about behavioral integrity. I quote Dr. Phil. I don't watch him religiously, but Dr. Phil's quote is, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” That always resonated with me because that's the best way to know who your leader is as a person. Do they follow through? Do they have the hard conversations? Are they willing to give you the best version of themselves? Sometimes you have to tell someone they don't belong in an organization. Not because you don't like them, but because the job may not be a fit for them. Are you able to have that transparency in your organization? What I found is those that embraced their crucible, those that grew their self-awareness actually had a philosophy of my made-up word relatable-ness. It is a philosophy because there are a lot of research out there that talks about the idea of being relatable, relationships.
The literature is very clear and it says that every time you can create a positive moment in your organization, it helps that person to be more productive in the day. One positive moment with a person that begets another positive moment and so forth and it builds up. What happens is that if you can multiply that across the organization, you have an organization of positive energy, doing more work, be more productive, showing up more, being happier and being healthier. That's a massive thing to do by just valuing the relationships that you have with the people in your office. Creating what I call micro moments of meeting. Those moments of positivity or understanding that leave an impact on the person that you're engaging with in that moment. We've left a space blank on the model. We have crucible, self-awareness, and we have the bottom half.
Here's the thing that really blew my mind is the people that got this, the people that were driving hard to be authentic and grow, had a growth mindset. That's what goes in that empty space. Leaders that had a growth mindset, a learning mindset, wanting to learn more about themselves, more about their industry, more about their career path and most importantly more about those around them. That's what I call the authentic leadership model in the book. I unpacked that chapter by chapter by chapter as we go.
Thank you for sharing that. The book can be found Amazon.com, Amazon.ca. Do you have any gifts that you'd like to give my audience before we go?
Many people don't know who I am. There's apprehension about buying a book if you don't know the author and I get that. What I do is, I say, “Test drive the book. Come to my website, DrJamesKelley.com. Click on the tab that says crucibles gift and you can get the first chapter for free, the introduction chapter. If you like it and you test drive it, head on over to Amazon. I got about 25 buttons on my website and you can get either the kindle version or you can get the hardback version as well.”
Thank you so much for that and for a great conversation. Is there anything you'd like to leave our audience with? Parting words of wisdom?
There's a quote that I live by that I own and that I preach. It is my family’s and it is, “Don't let fear conquer you, conquer fear.”
Thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you, Nicole. I appreciate your time, your energy and willingness to have me on your show.
Dr. James Kelley lives just outside of Dubai where he teaches, writes, and produces a bi-weekly podcast called Executives After Hours. The podcast is predicated on interviewing executives about their personal journey. The shows motto, “I care about who you are, not what you do, because what you do defines who you are.”
Thanks again to Carrie Roldan for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
At the end of the day, you're building a lighthouse. Knowing what you don't want gives you the perfect opportunity to attract what you do want. For Possibility Synergist and Spiritual Guide Brooke Emery, it's important that it's the right fit and to not worry and get attached about just getting the sale. She says you have to come from a place of serving instead of a place of selling. Brooke shares that she is usually able to pick it up when people are in that space and have that agenda with her. Having that same vision and agenda helps to make the partnership move forward faster and easier.
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.
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Brooke Emery on Attracting the Perfect Clients
It's a pleasure to have my dear friend, Brooke Emery with us. Brooke, welcome.
Thanks for having me.
Just before I gave everybody a high level overview of who you are and what you do, but I know that's always changing as for me too and for many of us and you've really embraced that in your life. I admire that so much about you and we'll talk about our relationship and how we spent some time together. Before we dig in to that, do you want to tell people how you are showing up and serving and supporting people in the best way?
You described me as I'm multi-passionate. I have a background in a lot of things, marketing, PR, advertising, film, e-commerce. The list goes on. Sometimes my mom says, “I have a Forrest Gump background.” I've had a lot of different experiences. It lends itself nicely. I help multi-passionate entrepreneurs and businesses as a strategist, as a collaborator, as a joint venture. I do connections for people as well as pulling in all the resources that people need. I also have been a permanent fixture in the self-help section for over 25 years. I never claimed to know anything, but I do have some wisdom to share and I love holding space for people. Keeping people in a mindset to keep moving things forward from the point of view of being spiritually human, not thinking that you have to be perfect.
How did you come to get to that place of your spiritual connection? Was it always like that for you or is that something that happened later on in your life?
When I was little, I saw the movie, The Ten Commandments on TV and I had a very strong connection to it. I asked my parents to go to Hebrew school. Then from there on, my mom used to listen to things like Shakti Gawain and different subliminal things, Wayne Dyer on cassette tape and I became interested in it. Then in college, my good friend handed me the Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millmanin the early ‘90s. Then I kept going and kept going and it was searching and seeking just for my own self to understand how life worked and that's how it went.
At what point, did you bring that into the work that you do? You mentioned a little bit about the time we spent together. It was such a pleasure to have you in Ontario for my first retreat. I was so honored to have you there and it was very collaborative. One of the gifts that you brought to the group was a ritual, I would say. Maybe you can describe it better, but what I love about how I know you and how you show up is that you do have such a diverse background and such a strong background in so many grounded things like PR and marketing and joint venture partner ships and all of that. You also have this beautiful woo side and you've found a way of blending the two. Can you talk a little bit about held that came to be? Was that always the way it was or is that something that emerged?
Early on in my career, I worked in advertising, PR, marketing, and film. At some point, I knew that I wanted to jump into the coaching world. I was on my honeymoon and I went to Thailand and there was a service on the menu that said conversation with a friend where you can have a conversation with a monk. It was $200, and I said, “I have to do this. This is so out there, and I need to understand what this monk is going to tell me, but I had it in head that I was going to have him tell me what I wanted him to tell me,” which was quit your PR, start coaching and everything's going to be great. The monk came, and he said, “Don't quit until a certain time, you have to fall in love with where you are and then you can jump off.”
I listened to him and some great partnerships came out of me staying. I created some great strategic alliances like UNICEF. I didn't know that I knew how to do that. His advice to me was to fall in love with the situation. It would come at the right time. When the time was right, then I jumped out and started working with people individually and then more companies. I got certified in something called the Strategic Attraction Plan, which is attracting perfect customers, written by Jan Stringer. This is back in 2005. A lot of people do that now in terms of attraction plans, but they were the pioneers of this concept. I started working with people one-on-one to attract the perfect clients and then be on their biz dev team and connecting them and marrying all my loves of marketing and bringing transformation out into the world. I jumped off from there.
Tell us a little bit about if you would, I mentioned, ritual. That's how I described the experience that I had with you at the retreat. That's one thing that you do for people. You also run your own retreats. Can you talk about that a little bit and I don't even know the question there. It's you're so in flow.
When we got together, one of the things that we did was that we wrote as if it were a year from now so that we could get into the energy and the experience. The subconscious mind can't tell the difference between now and tomorrow. It was about getting into the flow of what we were wanting and what we were desiring from a place of joy and making it feel good. You had mentioned, “What if it doesn't happen? What if I get disappointed?” If it doesn't feel good, then don't do it. It has to feel good and right in the way. It's all about following your own intuition and that's something that drives me crazy in the coaching world, is that a lot of times, people will prescribe what's good for them and then not keeping account that that person has their own intuition and their own guidance.
Getting back to the ritual piece, it’s being in a space of listening and holding space for each other and tuning in to source, higher self, God, and I'm a big believer that everyone should. There are many gondolas going up the mountain going to the same place so whatever feels good to you and it's your truth. From my own experience, in my early days in the spiritual world or in the personal development world, I gave my power away to a lot of people and I didn't trust myself.
For me, save people time and money and being ripped off and also giving people the power to remember the truth, that they had the guidance within themselves, that there's really nowhere to get to. There's no journey. It's just the remembering of the truth of their own power. In terms of ritual, I have all kinds of different processes. We did some candle lighting and we handed out some crystals. We pulled cards, all from a place of play and fun and not really getting so into conclusion about any of it. It's about accessing your own truth and your own inner guidance. That's really what I love to do is seeing people have that experience.
Yes, it was perfect and amazing. Let me ask you this, how is it that we know? How can we tell when we're giving our power away I have often found myself where I feel like I'm standing in my power and I'm all good and then once time goes on, I'm feeling depleted and I don't realize how it's happened. I need that external person, which is why coaches need coaches. We all need a team of people to support us in different ways. It's when either somebody on my team points it out to me or I figured it out somehow, but it's easy for me to miss because it's so gradual I find. We do this in our personal lives and our professional lives as entrepreneurs, as parents, as friends in all different ways. We give our power away and we don't notice it as it's happening.
I usually will be able to tell by the way that I'm feeling. If I'm feeling irritated or I'm upset or it feels bad, I tune into how I'm feeling about the situation and then I'll check in, “Is it mine?” I do a little observation with myself. What is this and who does this belong to? What is going on? Is it the other person or is it my stuff? You phone a friend and/or a lot of times what I do is I journal. I do a lot of energy management exercises and you don't always have time. You're out and about and someone, just ticks you off and then you get sent down the rabbit hole. You're not going to go out and whip out your journal and start saying, “This is how I want to feel.” You just say, “Does this belong to me? Who does this belong to?”I'm an equal opportunity of different processes, that I'll give credit to that came from access consciousness is asking questions and really checking in with your body. If it feels good and light, it's usually your truth. If it feels bad, it's a lie or you're not in the right direction
I'll ask a question or I'll say, “How do I want to feel?””I want to feel joy,” or if I do have time to write in my journal, I'll write in my journal. I'll tell the truth because in the spiritual world, a lot of times is that people will put pressure on themselves to feel positive all day long and then be mad at themselves if they're not doing it right. If I were this Zen meditating momma all day, you compare yourself to an idealistic. You even find separation in the spirituality of it. That’s why I like to say I'm spiritual human. I get mad, I yell, but then how do I reclaim my power back? My mentor precedence says you reflect, you don't regret.
It’s about telling the truth. It's a soul dustbuster. You tell the truth about it and then sometimes, it's better to call a friend. You get it out, but then you don't stay stuck in the victimization of it. Then you say, “How do I want to feel now?” Then the clarity comes, even ask for the clarity to come. Then a lot of times my clients were like, “But the clarity didn't come yet.” I'm like, “Just chill out and just take a walk. Take your mind off of it.” A lot of times, walking is good for me around that, walking or people say meditating. I meditated but not everybody likes to meditate. Meditation can take the place of going on a spin bike or walk or watching a movie, whatever you need to do to get into that place of not thinking about it so a new awareness could show up.
So many different ways that you've just described it when we're feeling that funkiness, it's generally because we've given our power away. Being able to reflect and identify how we want to feel and then allowing for it by doing something, changing your state and focus, you then allow yourself to come back to even.
Sometimes people will say, “Go back into gratitude,” but I say it's about getting into a place of just feeling satisfied for no reason and getting back to the basics. It's so easy as entrepreneurs to always be in the gap of what's not getting done or all the things we have to do or the overwhelm or that you have this new social media platform that came out and everyone's now jumping on the bandwagon. You're like, “I didn't even master the Instagram yet. What am I going to do?” Then all of a sudden you get yourself into a spin. I'm like, “My only job today is to feel good and how can I bring joy into my day.” I take it from there. In terms of giving your power away, it's just checking in and making sure that the people that you entrust, they're vetted.
It's easy to go onto someone's website and see that they have all these testimonials and this and that, but check in with your own gut and get some information on that person that you trust. What makes me crazy is that when people come to me and then they say, “I spent $5,000 on this marketing strategist,” and then they didn't give them anything. They didn't care about them. I'm like, “I got to you too late. I would have referred you to this person because I've vetted them.”Things can always still go wrong in a relationship and it has happened. For the most part, I've curated great people that I trust and it's important that people don't get taken advantage of.
I am sponsoring this episode myself via my service that I call Interviews That Convert. If you are a business owner and you have a service or a product that is specifically targeted to a clear and niched audience, then I might be able to help you get more visibility, more leads and more sales through podcast guesting. Since I was first introduced to podcasting, I have fallen in love with the medium. I took a specific and special interest in how podcast guests can deliver the most value to audiences and hosts from their interview. Not only that, but I've also explored how to provide the next step in a way that's compelling and turns listeners into leads and hosts into raving fans. I'd say, “I've cracked the code and so would my clients.” These days, what I am doing most and that lights me up is representing business owners like you and helping them get more visibility, more leverage and more market share by booking them on podcasts that their target buyers are listening to.
If you've thought about guesting yourself but haven't been sure how to go about doing it or haven't known who to contact, I'd love to hear from you. Or maybe you have been podcast guesting yourself, but you haven't yet seen the results that you had hoped for. That is super, super common so don't feel bad about it, but please, reach out and let me know. I may be able to help you grow exponentially through podcast guesting opportunities. You can learn more by reaching out to me at Support@InterviewsThatConvert.com or give me a call at 289-272-0374 and let's find out how I can help you grow your business through podcast guesting. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Where did that passion come from? Had you had experiences where you went through things before you understood how to vet people in that proper way where you felt taken advantage of?
I can't think of a specific example, but I definitely have spent a lot of money on my business education and my self-help education and in a lot of ways, there were times that I've taken courses where they use specific manipulation tactics to get you to run to the back of the room. It's this pressure cooker situation and it feels it feels icky as opposed to coming from a place of selling from a place of serving, which I know you had that interview but one of my mentors also gave me that. I didn't want to come across that way. For me, it's important that it's the right fit and to not worry and get attached about getting the sale. If that doesn't feel good, I usually can pick it up when people are in that space and have that agenda with me. I'm passionate about sticking up for people, not getting taken advantage of. That really upsets me.
There were so many situations where I made choices that in hindsight and in retrospect weren't necessarily the best choices, but they were the best that I could do at the time. I didn't have the information. I am going through hiring different people. I had hired a number of assistants that I didn't do a good job hiring or managing or whatever the case may be. I spent a lot of money over the last years making “mistakes.” I only realized they are mistakes now because I know better. I also realized that if I hadn't have had those experiences, then I wouldn't be in this situation I am now to make that better decision. I was telling a friend of mine, I hired a company to source an assistant for me and the last one I got from them was amazing to where I just went back and hired them again and we’re just processing it. On the one hand it's like, “I wish I found this company sooner,” but the other hand, it's like, “I would not have seen this company sooner.”
If the owner of this company came into my awareness a year and a half ago, for example, I could have potentially saved the last year and a half of stress and heartache and money and all that stuff, but I probably wouldn't have because I wouldn't have been at the point of frustration and exhaustion that I got to when he literally walked in the same path as me and we had to have that conversation. I like to look at things too, even those icky feelings. It's like I like to look at those and appreciate that I made the choices I did, rather than feeling like, “This was horrible. I wish I hadn't done it.” It's just like when I launched my Business Building Rockstars Summit the first year. I did that because of all the things that I was disgusted by, which I didn't know at the beginning. I love that we also can have these experiences and not feel that victimization, as you said, but really reflect and take the win away from it.
What's the gift in it and where's the gold? Any choice that you make, there's no wrong choice because what I'm hearing you say, and this is what I'll do a lot, is I'll listen and people will laugh at me. They're like, “You're going to write a thank you note to that boss that was nasty to you because now we get to reflect on what we want.” First, we’re going to write all the things that we didn’t like about that person and now we're going to flip it. We're going to have a clear picture of what you're wanting and to bring into your experience. They are gifts, even though in the moment it didn't feel like that.
For me, it’s in the beginning phase of my self-help days, I used to think, “I've done all this work. I should get a get out of jail free card,” because of all the things or maybe I've acquired some Karma miles. No one escapes their time in the barrel. It's a matter of consciously going through it. At times, you might need to powerfully choose to be a victim about it and not spiritually bypass those feelings and then you can take it and grow from it. I do think it is a divine timing. I was speaking to a client who launched a book and had she not hired that marketing company, that book idea was germinated as a result of that. It was a gift.
I love that you said that about consciously choosing. If you want to feel funky, just making that decision that, “I'm good” with feeling funky. That's where I need to be right now. What I got from what you said, the impulse was that you just don't stay there. It's like, “This is how I want to feel right now. I feel victimized or I feel icky or whatever that case may be, I'm just going to sit with that for the next little bit and then I'll be over it.” Is that what you were getting at?
I've been through so many waves of it. In my early twenties, I went through depression and anxiety and things like that. At the time and when you're young, you don't realize those phases are going to pass and because I'm so high functioning with all the work that I've done, that I now have that knowledge. When I go through those phases or things where it feels so overwhelming, I could just powerfully choose it and then when I'm ready, “What can I do to feel a tiny bit better?” It could be a day or it could be weeks, but I'm consciously aware.
When I was up in the mountains, I was at seminar in Snowmass and it was Alan Cohen, he wrote the book, The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore and I'll never forget, he said, “The tide always comes back in.” I always default to that statement. Sometimes you can hear a statement and it's like this big a-ha for me and you're listening, it didn't mean anything to me. For me, it was so powerful because I always go back to it. It's just a cycle. I don't need to rush out of it but I have enough there to, “What's a tiny thing I could do to feel better right now?” I don't advocate emotional eating, but once in a while a black and white cookie doesn't hurt.
I love, to listen, too that you say a tiny bit better. I think too often we expect to snap out of something and be back to great and it's like, “You can't go from feeling like shit to feeling great.” I guess you can, but oftentimes we need a bit of a bridge and so building that bridge just little by little, it intensifies the speed and at which we get back to great by allowing ourselves to not try and jump from one side to the other, but rather, just starting.
It's giving yourself that permission. “I'll just take a little walk or get dressed or I'll brush my hair” or whatever it is that you need to do to make yourself feel better
There are two things for me that help me feel at peace and at ease that I love to do and are part of why I moved to where I live now. It's walking down by the water. I feel chill the water. Also, the other one, which I was so excited to have you join me, is the vineyards. I moved to the Niagara Region of Ontario because I was here and I was like, “There's something magical and life-giving.”Having those places or those things that we do where we can really identify like, “This feels life-giving to me.”If I'm feeling crap I'll just be like, “I got to stop what I'm doing. It doesn't matter what doesn't get done, it doesn't matter what needs to get done, I'm going to go take a walk down to the water or I'm going to go drive out to the middle of the vineyard country and just be there.” It's something special.
Those things don't cost money and that's the beautiful thing. It doesn't mean you have to go on a shopping spree or anything like that. It's fun, but I love that you said that. That area is, I had never been there before and it is so magical and I'm so grateful that I got to see it through your eyes because it is a beautiful place.
While you were there, you helped me with an issue that I'm dealing with and you talked about this process that you do and you've done in so many different instances and so many different ways. I wonder if you can give everyone this little nugget of you make a list to call in to your world what you want, this manifestation exercise. If they are in X situation, how you walk your clients through and what you do yourself to have Y outcome?
This process is what I refer to that I got trained into the amazing Jan Stringer and her book is called Attracting Perfect Customers. I took you mostly through phase one and we probably don't have time to go through all the phases. At the end of the day, you're building a lighthouse. What we reflected on before about knowing what you don't want, we get to attract what we do want. Let's say for example, you're looking for your perfect joint venture partner, you get to then write the list of very specific things that you want in that partner.
If you've tried to look at partners before, let's just say they didn't customize the swipe copy and things went wrong on your last launch. Then we first are going to look at what went wrong and what you don't want? We write that list and then we go into your perfect characteristics. What you do want? All the characteristics and qualities of that person. They are their word. If they say they're going to mail out four times, they're going mail out four times. They're going to take the time to customize the copy. They are someone that we are friends and that we really enjoy working together. They refer other joint venture partners to me.
Some of this works. Let's say, you want a new coach and then it works if you want also for an assistant. There are some things that happen that what I coach people through is, for example, when I was sending out a marketing proposal to a concierge client at the time. Before I had met with them, we have great communication. We had our business meeting and the rapport was incredible. I like high off the meeting. I sent them my proposal and I didn't hear back from them for three weeks. We had great communication, but they respond to my proposal within 48 hours. Now, it's not getting into a place of attachment. It's just like, “Wouldn't this be nice and this would bring me joy?”When we get to into conclusion about it, this is my recommendation if you're going to do this process, is to really just get into the playfulness and the joy of what would make you happy. In an ideal world, who would this person be like, and what would be really fun for you?
To me, it's important that they be fun. They're 100% responsible for their experience. There are certain specific things that I will get them to be more specific. This works with also in relationship. I did this for my baby nurse. I didn't think I could ask for everything and I wrote it on a napkin and I was like, “I don't know how spiritual the baby nurse is going to be.” I wrote it on the napkin and she came for the interview and she had her Bible and it was great. Then it turns out, while she was in the house, she was super into all of the books that I had. We were reading them together and we were having conversations and it was so much fun. I think that's just what it is. It's a tool to just get clear about what you're wanting and then it's just a course correction. Then as things come up, you're like, “I didn't really like that,” then you can just shift things in the same way that I just described.
Thank you so much for sharing that. It was a very powerful exercise and we did that little part and what you've just shared is so incredibly powerful for people to start calling that in. I would love for you to share if people want more of your support directly, one-on-one with the attraction plan or any of the magic that you sprinkle your magical fairy dust. If anybody would love to connect with you, to continue the conversation, how can they do that? I think you also have a free gift for my audience.
They could go to BrookeEmery.com/BBRS. I have a free Beats Alchemy Frequency for abundance for you to listen to for five minutes and some other things on the page, how to get in touch with me and it'd be great to hear from you.
Any final words of wisdom or thoughts you want to leave my audience with?
My last thought is if it’s not fun, it's not worth doing. Just do good and have fun and follow your bliss as Joseph Campbell says.
Brooke, thank you so much for being here with me.
Thank you so much for having me. It's an honor. I'm so grateful for you.
As a Possibility Synergist and Spiritual Guide, Brooke’s true gift is her wide-angle lens for potential. Her vision reveals opportunities for her clients. With her background in advertising, marketing, film, public relations, Brooke always finds creative ways to meet her client’s objectives.
Brooke has been recognized by Forbes as a natural connector with a jelly bean jar of creatively brilliant people in her life. She partners with and matches up spiritually minded entrepreneurs, Internet marketing mavens, and creative thinkers, to cross-pollinate and promote progressive joint ventures
She is a secret weapon for many visionaries, best-selling authors, and speakers who come to her for connections, business development, and spiritual guidance.
Thanks again to Chris Badgett for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
Personal branding is key. Jeremy Slate, founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity. For him, boosting a company’s brand is more than just strategic visibility and conversion. He’s more focused on helping them identify their message and their mission and how they can express that. He adds that building a community around this goes a long way. He believes you can optimize personal branding and getting your message out through podcast guesting because you're building an asset that you can then put behind any business you want to do. He helps companies or entrepreneurs build awareness for what it is they're doing and creating that awareness on the right shows, promoted in the right way, and connecting with the audience in the right way.
Thank you to Tess Hansel, owner and Founder of Dry Swan Bladder Control in Queensland, Australia 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:
Jeremy Slate of Create Your Own Life Podcast on Podcast Guesting
Hello, Jeremy Slate. Welcome to the Business Building Rockstars Show.
I am stoked to be here since I know we've both been following each other for awhile. You've done a lot in the podcasting space and it's cool to hang out.
We've also met a couple of times and I've enjoyed that. Meeting in person definitely is super powerful and I've been talking a lot with my tribe about that. I have put together some live events that people are coming out for and it's a lot of fun. When we connect with others personally in a deeper way, we can open up so many doors and possibilities. We're going to do things a little bit different than I usually do. We'll get some of your back story and everything, but you and I, for all accounts and purposes, are direct competitors.
We service different people.
We have very similar things that we do, which is we focus on podcast guesting. Before we met, there was maybe a bit of assumption about who the other person was or how they operated or something like that. By meeting in person and by having a number of conversations, we like each other.
It was at Podcast Movement and I was like, “Nicole, I don't not like you because we do the same thing.” I gave you a hug. I'm like, “I'm totally not that kind of person.” I love people. You do what you do, I do what I do. We're podcasters. We love each other and it's great.
I saw you at Podfest and I was like, “Whatever.” I talked to you a couple of times and I was like, “I'd love to learn about you and refer,” and you were like, “We don't do that. We've got a brand ambassador thing.” I'm like, “Whatever.” It's taken us a while to develop a relationship and I'm so appreciative that we have. This is something that everyone can learn a lot from.
Oftentimes, we know of others who are doing the same thing or similar things. We're not doing the same thing. Nobody ever is. However, similar things and having similar messaging and a lot of times people think, “I don't want to play with that person,” or, “I don't want to tell them anything because that could hurt my business.” I'm looking forward to talking about that. Before we jump into it in too much detail, why don't you let everyone know how you discovered that podcast guesting was something you wanted to teach about and help people do themselves and how you got started in that pivoting from what you were doing.
I've been podcasting for quite a while and I had been through a lot of different businesses. I hadn't figured out like, “How do you monetize this whole podcasting thing?” The first thing I had started doing was production. I started doing this whole big production thing. My wife's been in PR for a long, long time. She's like, “If we're going to do this, there has to be some awareness because you can't just launch a show and say, ‘I'm out.’” We went through this whole action plan for what are the things we're going to do.
One of them was getting people on shows. Because I had built relationships, I had figured out a lot of the ways you can pitch for cold pitches and things like that. We had done that for several of the health shows that we launched. One of which did very, very well in the health space called Take Back Your Health NOW! He interviewed people like Tony Horton and lots of cool well-known people in the health space and it all started from guesting. We then got a phone call and we were out in San Diego. He said, “I'm considering starting a podcast guesting company.” I'm like, “We’re already doing that.” We've already been doing it. I have all the methods going down. It'd be great to have somebody do sales because I don't enjoy it. We brought him in. We started a company called Get Featured and we did very well, but we had different ideas in where we wanted things to go. Our current brand is called Command Your Brand Media where it's just Brielle and I and our team making things rock and roll.
What's that like working with your wife? I know a little bit of the dynamic. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially who are starting out or who have been in business for a little while and their company is growing and considering bringing on their life partner, it brings up a lot of questions and curiosity. How have you guys navigated that to ensure that your business and your personal romantic life both are on point?
I don't know if I'm the perfect person to ask about this. We're always on the same page. She gets me and I get her. She did this contest. It’s called The Rose of Tralee. It's like Miss Universe for Ireland type of thing. She was third place finisher. She was doing this parade and she had her little cousins with her and stuff on the parade and I had a sudden thought, “Brielle lost the kids.” I'm like, “I got to go find them.” I go looking for the kids. I find them. When her cell phone finally worked, she gets through to me and she goes, “I lost the kids.” I'm like, “I know. I found them.” We've always got each other and I can't explain it. It’s on a higher spiritual level or whatever. We get along well. Her family has been in business her whole life. She’s always been in entrepreneurship. Her mother is a doctor. They’ve rolled this from their own practice and all that stuff. For her, it was part of life. It’s how it was.
For me, I came from a very blue-collar family. My dad didn’t finish high school and my mom didn’t go to college because her father died during school. It was always blue-collar. You do it and make it happen. The best thing I could do is be a teacher, so that’s what I did. We were in very different places when Brielle and I met. It was because of her that I got into business. The first thing I jumped into was network marketing, which you're not going to make a million dollars in 30 days, but I thought you were going to. That was my first jump and then it took me from a bunch of different things until I finally arrived at podcasting. She's always been my biggest fan, my biggest supporter. Whenever I had a struggle, it would be the sanity to sit down and say, “Let's plan this out, figure out what's going wrong, and write an actual action plan on how we're going to do this.” I don't say that there's a life and business balance because we get each other. We always have the same goals. We’re always working together, and we get along well. That's just life.
You guys are working together, and you were working together when you founded the first company for podcast guesting. Now, you've got your own company and you've got a team. What do you think makes you standout as a company and you as the face of the company? You're adorable Jeremy, but why is Brielle not the face of the company because she's flipping gorgeous?
Though she is, she doesn't enjoy media attention and I do. I love it. I've always been somebody that's done a lot of speaking and things like that. For me, it's been second nature. I'm very good at that and I know what my strengths are. She knows what her strengths are. Although I've gotten her to do more press, which excites me because she's good at it. She didn't think she was initially. I've become the face of it because I've been the podcaster. I've done a lot of these interviews. I've been positioned with well-known people in the business space. For me, we've always been building that so it seemed the natural way to go.
Although a lot of what we do and what we use inside of strategies are because of her and all of her experience. I'm the face just because I've been the face. She's all the strategy and knows everything behind it. We have this interesting meld of what I know and what she knows. Now, I know everything she knows, but early on, I didn't. That was what was interesting about what we were doing. It's also interesting too because there are lots of companies that are doing what we do. We have a very different more traditional PR type of spin on things since she’s been in that space for a long, long time. We operate in a different way. I guess that's what's different about it. We’re looking at operating in more of a traditional PR sense.
Who is your ideal client? Who lights you up and gets the greatest results from working with your team?
The first thing is somebody that's coachable. That's important and we probably both see that because we're both experts at what we do. It's important that people allow us to be experts. That goes for you and I, but mainly, we work with a lot of bestselling authors. We've worked with a lot of founders and CEOs. That's typically who we are working with. The way to put it is they're Gary Vaynerchuk before he became a Gary Vaynerchuk. He had all this success but he hadn't told anybody about it yet. We want to take people that have had that success and help them spread the mission because they have something beautiful to help people with. We're very mission-driven in what we do because for me, it unites well with what I do on my podcast, which is creating life on your own terms and what that looks like. That’s why it aligns very well with what I do. Everything I do is very story and message-driven.
We have a lot of synergy there because I completely agree about the coachability. It takes time in any business. You may have an idea of what you want and who you want and how you're going to do it and then the reality is you can't know what's going to occur until it occurs. It's like, “I learned a lesson there. This is this, this is that.”
That’s a great point because people think, “You decide your avatar and here we go.” That's not how it is. You learn by working with people what that's like and you also learn what are the best industries to work with. Some industries are different than others. They're going to take more effort, less effort, whatever it may be. Those are the things, you don't know until you do them.
When I first started, I was working with people that I thought, “No problem. I can do this.” Even though I am mission-centered, and I have these values and ideas, I wasn't vetting enough the people that I was saying yes to, to ensure that theirs matched mine. It wound up feeling transactional, which is the opposite of what I ever wanted to do. For me, I don't work with people transactionally. If somebody is looking for high volume, I am not their girl. I am looking for people who are looking for collaboration with me and are not Gary V. I have a bit of a softer way and more subtlety and I love that you do attract people. The people that I've noticed that you attract are those go-getters and that's you. You have so much energy.
It’s like my own being-ness. I'm very like, “Let’s go do it.” You have to know what that is for you because I did take clients early on that didn't fit that. Early on, it becomes about, “I'm going to startup. I need to make money.” Too often, that's what we base it on.
“Who's willing to pay me to do what I want to do?” Then we do something we think we want to do and then it's like, “This does not feel good.”
One of the big pieces of advice I end up always giving on my podcast is like, “When you're going to start something, have something else.” Cal Newport has a book called So Good They Can't Ignore You and he always talks about why following your passion is a bad idea. Having a day job is not a bad idea. Cal does all this stuff but he's a college professor. It’s like you have something to allow you to go at that mission of it and not take things just to take things.
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You and I came into the podcast guesting arena around the same time. For me, it was late 2016 and I think you you’re in mid-2016.
Mid until late 2016. We had one client that was on the production side of things that wanted to get on podcasts and we had been doing it. We didn't start delivering it until at the end of 2016.
I don't pay a whole lot of attention on what's going on around me anymore, but at that time, there were, in my awareness, just two companies known for doing what it was that we were doing. I was doing it in such a different way that I didn't even see myself as a competitor with them. I saw myself as a complete alternative to them, but that was hard at that time to let people know because people knew that way in their conscious awareness. It was like a lot of education. It’s funny because now, I'm aware of companies that existed long before they did.
There are a lot of them out there I didn’t know about.
They were not getting visibility. They were doing it, but they were doing on the down low. As podcasting got more and more attention over the last twelve to eighteen months, they're like, “There are other people doing what we've had a domination on? No, we're going to step up.” I'm seeing them every day hearing about new people who are doing it as well. There are a lot of “competition.” There are a lot of people looking at this podcast guesting opportunity and going, “I want to get on that.” This happens with anything in marketing. We go through these waves.
How do you feel about that there are so many more people “doing” what you do even though we know it's not the same? Do you find yourself attracting people who are shoppers and looking just to say, “What are you going to give me?” They're looking at all the different options and looking for what their best deal is. Are you finding that at all?
That’s interesting because it's the same thing. There were two competitors I thought about in the beginning that were out there. It's interesting because I feel like our messaging is very different. I know at least one of them is usually talking about podcast marketing. I don't see it as marketing. It's not what it is. It's PR. It's awareness. Our messaging is very different than a lot of other people out there. We're all about awareness, building a brand, and things like that. We usually get people that came to me from hearing my podcast or something like that. They're usually coming to me because they experienced me somewhere. It's not because they're looking at, “I want to go get on podcasts,” or something like that. It's not usually what happens.
It's more because like, “He's done something right. I want to learn how to do that. They can do it for me, great.” It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I even became okay with teaching other people how to do that, building a course to do that because I don't want to give away all my goodies. Then when you realized there's so much space for so many people to succeed in their own way, why wouldn't I want to fully support the other entrepreneurs? That's the biggest thing you have to realize. The number was last year, it was 450,000 podcasts out there. I'm like, “Are you kidding me?” That's so much space. That's interesting to look at. Our messaging is different. It's not a competition because we're all serving our own peeps in a different way.
I love that you said that because that identified something different between us. For me, I am about visibility but more strategic visibility and I'm about conversion. I'm about sales, leveraging visibility, podcasts opportunities, and other publicity in order to convert listeners to leads, leads to sales and so on. I'm also like the tortuous. One of the other companies that you're referring to is about podcast marketing. What I have found from people who've worked with me after that type of experience is that that's what it is. It's very transactional. What I do is a deeper dive into what are their underlying needs and messages and stuff. I love that you are more focused on helping them identify what their message is, what's their mission, and how can they express that.
That’s a big part of what we do. We may see this as people don't always know what the message you'd be putting out. We help them with that. That's one of the biggest things that we do is helping them with that. Then also, we do some of the marketing with them because that is important. You need to tell people that you're on a podcast and we have different ways to do that. One of the big things we've done is we've built community around that as well. We have a private Facebook group for our clients and we're bringing in experts every week and doing interviews. We're trying to help them build awareness for what it is they're doing because personal branding is key here. You're building an asset that is something that you can then put behind any business you want to do. We have done things like launches and whatnot. Our real sweet spot is creating that awareness on the right shows, promoted in the right way, and connecting with an audience in the right way.
How do you know when you're approached about an opportunity to collaborate and it's the other person looking to take advantage of your platform or what you've built or what your strengths are for their own needs versus connecting with somebody looking literally to collaborate or get to know you with more of a selfless way?
Maybe it’s because I have a high BS meter. Usually, I'm very good at weeding out certain types of people. I do a lot of collaboration and I'm a very giving person. Usually, I'm good at making people keep their promises. I haven't had an issue with that. Maybe it's just me.
Now, that I brought it up, I think it's an opportunity for me to talk about it then and maybe you'll have some things to chime in on. I've experienced, as I've grown my business and gotten more publicity and more visibility, that I have personally struggled with is on that climb up. The more you get seen, the more people want things from you.
I get people that want me for this opportunity and that opportunity and this opportunity. What you have to understand, at least for me, is what you're doing is. So many times, people want you to write this article about them or involve them in this or be part of this product they're launching. You have to realize if it's something that aligns with what you're doing. I know for myself, I'm not big on doing virtual summits because for me as an attendee, they haven't worked out well in the past. I had a bad experience with a guy agreeing to do it with me and then queering how big my email list wasn't saying, “You're not important enough.” I'm like, “You told me how awesome I was, and you love my mission.” You have to understand what works for you, what you show up with in the best way, and also your core purpose and stay to that.
My purpose is all about storytelling and messaging. If I can stay to that, I'm in great shape. If somebody else wants me to do something that's way out in left field, I have to understand that and be able to say “No, I love what you're doing, but it’s totally not for me. Maybe I know somebody that I could connect them with.” I've done that before too, where I'm like, “These two people play some beautiful music together. Let's connect them.” There's been stuff like that as well.
I love playing the connector and that's one of the things that the more visibility we have, the more opportunity we have because we get connected and we know people in different places and ways and all that.
I was hanging out with a rabbi and I connected them with another rabbi that I had interviewed. It was like cool things that happened.
It's very important to stay focused on what's in line with your stuff. As we get more and more visibility and publicity and more offers come in, they may be all on the same theme because it's easy to know if it's not. Looking at not only what do they need me to do or what do they want me to do, flipping that around was hard for me because I'm a very giving person as well. I was looking, “How can I serve?” Then I've had to slow it down a little bit and go, “Is there a synergy? Is there a two-way street here where they're also in it to support me and not just for me to support them?” That was something I struggled with for a while.
Now, what I'm finding is that it's on the other end. Now, I'm winding up having more and more people that are coming to me because they think I'm flipping awesome and they want to support me. Then there's that opportunity. Now, it's all these opportunities and it's a question of, “How do I identify which opportunities are ones to say yes to and ones to say no to?” This is something that all entrepreneurs, as they're growing at the very beginning because I see this all the time with startup people.
This is in podcast guesting. I'll see people post in groups. I want to be on a podcast and then everybody would be like, “I’ll interview you.” They have no idea who you are. “I'll interview you.” “Be on my show. I'm just starting up a podcast.” In fact, I interacted with a woman on a Facebook group looking for a particular type of guest and she's just starting. I said, “Once you get up and going, definitely let me know. I'd love to see if any of my people are fit for you.” She instantly sent me a calendar link and said, “Book them now because I am filling up.” It's like, “That's a great idea but it doesn't work like that.” At every stage of business, we get inundated with opportunities, identifying which ones are ones to move forward with and which ones are ones to let go of. Do you have any other ideas on that?
There are two things to that. The one thing is I got a great piece of advice from Steve Harvey. It was the word that no is a complete sentence. That's one thing to understand first because we’re always like, “No but, or no because.” He's like, “No is a complete sentence.” That's first and foremost. The second thing is something that I've gotten from listening to Tim Ferriss where he's always talking about, and I know Derek Sivers talks about this a lot too, like, “If it's not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” If you are not so excited to do this that you're like, “Let's do it. I'm all in,” then there's no point to doing it. You're going to half-ass it. You're going to not do a great job at it and then you're going to hate it. They're going to hate it and nobody's happy. If it's not a hell yes for you, it's a hell no and no is a complete sentence. It is. You don't need an explanation. If it's no, it’s no.
If you can think back to the beginning, you may have seen these kinds of things with the podcast guesting arena, especially now as people are getting on the bandwagon faster to start podcasts and also getting on the bandwagon to be guests. Do you have any tips for everyone who are thinking about, “I think I need to start a podcast or I think I need to get out on podcast and get more visibility”? Do you have any tips for them for avoiding rookie mistakes and getting the best opportunities on their own as a DIYer?
First of all is if you're going to start a podcast, have something different, unique or special about what you're doing. We all love what John Lee Dumas has done but stop copying him. If I'm on another podcast where they say, “Please fill in the holes in that intro,” be original. John did it. It worked. It's great. He's doing very well with it. Have your own thing. There are too many people trying to do exactly what he's done. Don't do it. That's the first thing. If you're going to have a podcast, have a unique point of view or don’t start a podcast. Then you're going to be talking about, “How do I help my traffic so I can get sponsors so I can do all these other things?” That's not the point. This is a vehicle to either promote your product or brand or educate people or things like that. It's a very giving platform. It's not about, “Get up my CPM and get some sponsors.” That's not the point.
The other side is if you're going to be a guest, a couple of things to it. You want to show up valuable. Don't show up as that scarce person. When you're going to be on a show, people are having you for the expert for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it may be. Be open and be willing to give. Don't say, “Check out my YouTube channel or buy my course or check out my book.” People don't want that. They're not going to listen to you. It's also being able to tell your own story through different lenses.
I interviewed somebody on my show that's pretty well-known and it sounded like he was reading off a piece of paper. It's like, “Don't do that.” Be able to tell your story through different lenses. There are certain parts of my story. On this show, we haven't even talked about my story because it's not pertinent to what we're talking about and you have to be able to tell your story or whatever it is you're doing through different lenses because different shows need to receive it in different ways. That's the thing I would say is don't get on and just start reciting your life story like that. Have that down, have down what you're going to teach and be willing to give and then also be willing to start small when you're new. When you are new, to be willing to start with shows that have less than twenty episodes, less than twenty reviews because you need to build a portfolio. It's like building up things in PR. You build up samples of things to show people you can do a good job. You're probably very well-known in what you do, but you aren't in the podcasting space. You got to start somewhere.
When we talk about being new, that doesn't necessarily mean being new as an entrepreneur. That means new to podcasting.
You need to build up a portfolio, show people what you can do. It's awesome how many stages you’ve spoken on, but if you haven't been on podcasts, it's different. The space doesn't know who you are yet. Just build up some samples, not that many, three or four and then start climbing the stairs. I always like to say this, “Success in media, and podcasting is media, is not an elevator. It's always stairs.” They're always stairs. You have to know what they look like. Grab level one to get two, to get three, to get four. You're not going to jump right on the art of charm day one and most people aren't going to anyway because they just want to interview celebrities. That's what you have to think about in being on a podcast is be willing to give, have your story through different lenses, and be willing to start from ground zero even though you're probably very well-known for what you do.
Jeremy, any final words of wisdom? Anything you want to leave my audience with and please let them know how they can further the conversation with you.
I would go back to what Cal Newport said, which is, “Be so good they can't ignore you in what you do.” Don't follow your passion. It’s bad advice and it's going to take a lot more action to get what you want than you think it's going to. Be willing to stick to what you're doing longer than you think it's going to take. If they want to find me, I have a free five-day e-course on how they can create celebrity in their niche over at JeremyRyanSlate.com. They can put in their email on the pop up there and they can get videos and emails from me for five days about lots of cool stuff.
Thank you so much for hanging out on the Business Building Rockstars Show. Until next time.
Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Ryan Slate on iTunes
About Jeremy Slate
Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which helps entrepreneurs live the lives they know they were meant to. He studied literature at Oxford University, Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category. After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and his wife, Brielle Slate, found Command Your Brand to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on podcasts.
Thanks again to Tess Hansel for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
Being an entrepreneur is the hardest thing in Krystal Covington’s life. Krystal had been working in the corporate world as a business marketing consultant for over ten years before switching to public relations, until she eventually decided to focus full time on the women's organization, she’s been running on the side. In 2014, she launched Women of Denver, a social enterprise women's organization that has grown from just five women at her first event to over 1,000 members today. She shares that whether you’ve got a big crowd at your events or just a handful of people, the show must go on. You have to show up and give it your best. The people who are there came for the value you are providing and want to be there. Treating them like they’re the best human being in the world is the reason people start to care and begin to come more.
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 Chris listens 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.
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Krystal Covington on the Women of Denver and the Power of Connection
I have to give a big shout out to you for your kind feature in one of your articles. You featured me about podcast guesting and I appreciate that so much. Also, what I love in your bio is how you connect with people in such a short little way but powerful way. In 2014, you launched Women of Denver and just five women were in your first event. You kept at it and in less than four years, you're over 1,000 members. This is something that is a big challenge for people with entrepreneurial vision and dreams because they put all this love into what they're doing and so many times people go, “I only got five people at my event or I only sold two or I only this or only that.” I'd love to start out talking with you about number one, how did it feel when you created this thing out of your idea and you “only” had five? How did you keep sticking with it over the years to build it to what it is today, which is amazing?
It strikes me that you even brought that out, which means that it shows what you value and that you pay a lot of attention to what entrepreneurs are thinking. No one's ever asked me about that. It is one of my values to appreciate the people who are there. I've had events where only one person showed up, so that's less than the first event. Literally, I treated them like I was grateful for them being there. The show still goes on. I will never cancel an event and say, “There's only one person here.” No, there's one person here that I need to take care of. This person came for the value we were providing at this event and they want to be here. I need to treat them like they're the best human being in the world. They get the best events of me when I've had those one. I feel like that value, and the fact that I've been able to have the perspective that every single person that's involved is important, is why people started to care and begin to come more. I wanted to quit a lot of times. The reason why people want to quit is because you see these other people, whether it's events or whether it's whatever else it is that you're selling, you see others and it looks like they're doing so much better than you. You say, “If I'm not doing even half as good as they are, then it means nothing.”
There's an exponential piece to all of this. Those five people might tell five people and then you have ten people. Those ten people tell ten more people and then you have 30 people. It grows over time and that trust grows over time. It's important to not have that assumption that you should be over the moon in the very beginning and give yourself permission to be grateful for what has happened versus be disappointed for what didn't happen. I have to deal with it continually because I still have those challenges inside myself where I want to say, “It didn't work the way I hoped it did. I didn't get 50 people to sign up for this event that I put on or I didn't get ten people to sign up for this launch that I did.” I have to keep reminding myself, “But two people did.”
Those are two people who see the value and see your brilliance and you over deliver. I had a situation after the last summit where I had the idea to do a group program. I thought it was going to be bigger than it was. What happened was there were fifteen people enrolled. That's not even a small number. It's not the number I wanted or I was expecting, but there were fifteen. I decided I'm delivering it anyway and it was yearlong. I was like, “I'm doing it anyway and these people will get more of me than they would have and that's a win for them.” I committed to it. I'm doing it and I'm going to do it in the fashion that feels good.
What I did was pivoted from what I offered and created more value for them by letting them know, “Here is where I'm at. I'm not going to create all this pre-recorded content and worksheets and stuff. I'm going to show up and be with you. Instead of doing an hour training and then 30 minutes Q&A, we're going to have an hour and a half for me to be with you wherever you're at and you get one-on-one attention.” If you don't already know everyone, you will find out. This is something people get frustrated about is when you have a group or a program, not everybody shows up all the time. I imagine if you had that one person and you had a bigger group at that time, maybe you went through this as well, Krystal, that it's like, “What am I doing? Why aren't they coming? I'm here to serve.” It's been amazing. It's been an amazing growth for me and it's been amazing for the four or five people who consistently show up. It's like they have me as their one-on-one coach and they're not paying for it.
It demonstrates your values and then those people become raving fans. It's part of the lesson and the process of being an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I've done a lot of things. It is very different and very much more challenging than working in the corporate environment.
Take us back to pre-entrepreneurship. What were you doing when you decided to make the shift and the transition? What was that motivation for you to leave what you were doing and that stability and move towards something that was an absolute rollercoaster ride every day?
I had been working in corporate for a long time. I've been very successful in my career. I've been in marketing. I had transitioned into public relations as a PR director for a national grocery chain. I had been running my women's organization for years on the side and called it a side gig. Eventually, I realized, “This isn't a side gig money that's happening here. I need to respect it.” I had been debating with my husband, who's my business partner. A lot of times, people are married but they don't necessarily talk about that stuff. We’re into it, co-founders, and talk about all the strategic work with it and we were debating. I had been interviewing for somebody to do the work full-time and the question kept coming up, “Is that person going to be as good as you are?” It's not as much about skills. It's about, “Are they going to be willing to do all the stuff it takes to make this succeed?” People take a job and you listen to them talk and they're like, “I've been this and I've done that,” and that's great. They have a passion for doing one thing and they want a job in that one thing.
When you're running a business, you got to do the grunt work. You're taking out the trash every day and somebody might not want to do that for you. They might say, “You hired me just to take out trash.” I'm like, “No, but that's something you have to do three times a day when you're running this business.” Can you take out the trash and can you do it with gusto like you mean it, like taking out the trash is the most important thing in your life?
Finding someone like that, that's going to have the passion that I have, is hard. It was more worthwhile for me to quit my six-figure job and reinvent that money again than for us to pay someone $30,000 to $40,000 to not give it as much. In the business, we might just break even. It's not going to be as successful because that person's going to do $30,000, $40,000 work when we need six-figure work for six-figure profits. That was the biggest thing and then the fact that jobs do not like you to be sharing your time. Even if you're there 50 hours a week and you're on a time clock, which I was, I was taken into the office and told that I had an attendance problem because I went to my event once a month. You're not supposed to leave during the day. You should be there from 9 to 5. There were a lot of weird rules. That doesn't work for me in general, especially when I have a business that I want to be there to cultivate. I had to make a choice. It was a very hard choice. I know there are a lot of people out there trying to make that choice for themselves. I talked to a lot of people that struggle when they make that choice, but what helped me is that I already had a revenue-generating business.
Also, I imagine having that super strong support from your husband and that partnership probably had a lot to do with it as well.
It helps to have a partnership. It is a lot of pressure though because my husband is not the type that says, “Honey, it's okay if you don't make any money.” He's like, “You need to make money immediately. What are you doing right now to replicate that income because that was a lot of money?” That's in my head all the time. We don't have that forgiving relationship in terms of that. It's like if I'm not making money, I need to get back to the office.
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Wherever we get the support and oftentimes having the “It's okay” support isn't the support we need. I've had clients in the past that they didn't understand me. I had foster kids like this too. They would come to me thinking I was cool. I am cool, but there are rules and there are things and expectations that have to happen. My clients that love me very much know I am a no-nonsense, “No, we're going to get this done.” I'm not holding your hand and saying, “Whatever you want.” It's like, “There's something to be done and if you're hiring me, we're going to do it.” That's awesome that your husband is so supportive and also that kick in the pants to say like, “Don't think it's easy.”
I love Daymond John because I used to love the concept of FUBU and how he took that and got celebrities wearing his clothes and everything back before influencer marketing was a thing. His book, The Power of Broke talks about that. A lot of times these people get funding and they get these opportunities where they can cast exactly the symbol you made. They can cast on the money that they were given. Being in that position of having to grind for it and not have the financial forgiveness to say, “You got some money stacked away. It's fine. You don't have to worry about it,” you have to do it. You have to be sustainably succinct with your business acumen. You need to do your thing or you fail, it makes you more successful.
When did you leave that position? It sounds like it was not so long ago.
It wasn't long ago. It was last summer. I've been grinding at this. The biggest challenge in the beginning was mental and saying, “What am I now? Am I unemployed?” and having to recreate that income pretty quickly. It was the third month and I did more than my corporate job. It doesn't always work that way because there's a little bit of ebb and flow to it, but it's been pretty good since leaving. I'm glad that I waited until my business was at a good place before doing that.
What did you do then? Once you quit and you went all-in, you were then able to devote full-time, everything to the business, whereas previously you were doing it on the side. What changed to that point? What did you go deep on and invest in terms of finances or personal time or whatever the focus? What did you dig deep on first to get further growth?
I spent money on Facebook Ads and those Facebook Lead Ads helped me. I realized the money is generated from the people on the list who are members. Those Facebook Lead Ads helped me to generate new members who are paying to come to events or paying for an annual membership. I also hosted more events, which gets more people paying to come to things. I was able to generate more revenue that way. I launched a new product, a magazine, which is full of incredible content and gave me the chance to get sponsorships. I was able to generate for the second magazine a lot of sponsorship money. That helped to sustain the business too, creating new products.
Now, I had time to do that because I was sustaining the business. I felt like I was half-assing. I only had the hours after my job. I was dedicated to my work. I did a great job at my corporate job and then the weekends and then I had a little bit of volunteer help. I was not putting a lot of time in. When I had the time to fully do all of this, I was able to create new events, which is a product, a work on the online platform, which a lot of people prefer and feel like there's more benefit for their money when there's a good online platform. I started cultivating that as well. Now, I'm starting to realize the online platform is one of the most essential pieces. They want to be in-person and that part is why they joined, but the online platform helps them to feel like they have something going on all the time and that they're paying for access.
A lot of times when I have folks on the show and they have membership communities, it's online first. Even for me, I've built up my business online and now I'm moving into the offline space and hosted a couple of small events. I had a dinner and lunch, and now, in over a month, I'm having my first retreat in Niagara. A lot of people in the online space or even those who are using technology these days crave that human in-person interaction. I love that you started with the in-person human interaction and are also bringing more value, so that those people who already are connected can continue connecting, continue getting value around the clock through the online space.
I honestly feel most connected to in-person. I feel like the biggest value to the people that are part of it is the in-person. I now do the online community aspect. We now do online events where we have a certain number of people and you can see each other. We have facilitated questions, so people still feel like they get the chance to network and they can wave at each other and have offline conversations. We try to create that as much as possible with the online because it's different than just typing back and forth with people.
Do you let guests come to your events? Do you have a guest ticket versus a member ticket or how does that work?
We do have a guest ticket, but usually, guests end up becoming members and coming on a regular basis. The tools that we use, you can see how people transition, how much people get involved. It's interesting to see the number of people who've been through our group. It'll tell you how many people have ever come to your events, how many people come to one or two events, but most people end up becoming members and coming on a regular basis.
If I ever have anything to go to Colorado for, I'll make sure that it’s planned around the Women of Denver event. They look so fun. I'm not jealous, but ever since we first connected, we connected on Twitter. I don't know if you remember how or why we connected.
I think I liked your purple hair.
You made an impression on me fast too and I started following you. I was like, “It looks like so much fun and good energy.” I've always thought, “I want to go to one of those. I wish I was closer.”
We've had members from other states. They'll come and visit and they'll buy a membership. Maybe, if they have family here, when they come visit the family, they'll come or I've had people that will fly out. Just a handful of people, but the first time it happened, I was like, “You live in Illinois. Why are you doing this?”
In some ways, I don't think it's different than a mastermind or some other event you're committed to. Todd Herman is doing his 90 Day Year. I have not been a part of that, but I know so many people who are in there are so devout that they will fly in from anywhere for that event. You have more frequent events but I get it. In my first retreat, there's only one person coming from Ontario. Otherwise, I have somebody coming from Connecticut, from California, from Pennsylvania. People will travel when they find good value. That's so awesome and such a testament to what you've put together. I want to make sure that my people know how they can connect with you to continue the conversation, whether that be to come to an event or whether to connect for some other reason and because you're amazing. Any final words of wisdom that you'd like to share?
The biggest thing that I want to share is that connection is the most important thing that we can do. Connection is what we're here for on this Earth. If you can help people connect, through whatever it is that you're doing, you're doing the best work. You're making a real impact and that's how we all find our passions and live well. It's beautiful. I'd love to connect. If you want to email me, I know a lot of people will email me and say, “I heard you on the show. I would love to learn more and connect.” You can reach me at Connect@KrystalCovington.com. My website is KrystalCovington.com. I set up an email chain at BBR.KrystalCovington.com where you can join the emails and I'll start sharing through those emails how I built my community in the steps that I took.
I had a lot of mentors that helped me to figure out how to create a structure to it. There's a lot of ways that people connect. People can go to a coffee shop and they can meet people. You can go to a bar and you can meet people. What is it that you're providing when you do these memberships that make it of value? Those are the types of tips that I'll share is how you can create value for people through these membership programs and creating connection and impact with others.
I looked at the page and I was like, “I want to get this done, so I can sign up to be on that list because it looks such great stuff you're sharing.” Krystal, thank you so very much. It was an absolute pleasure to have you and I look forward to connecting further.
Krystal is a business marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in the field of communications. In 2014, she launched Women of Denver, a social enterprise women's organization that has grown from just 5 women at her first event to over 1,000 members today. She's also a TEDx presenter and a Forbes contributor.
Thanks again to Chris Badgett for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.
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.
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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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Michael 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Doug 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.