Amplify Podcast

Episode Overview

So, you know that feeling when someone passes you a referral or brings you a new opportunity?

You know when they do it without you ever asking? That is a golden experience and this week we're going  deep into how we can all generate a little more gold in our lives with Stacey B Randall, author of 'Generate Referrals without Asking' .

About Stacey

Stacey Brown Randall is the multiple award-winning author of Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, host of the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast and national speaker.

She has had the privilege of helping well-known corporations and franchises but her focus is on small business owners and solopreneurs in the real estate, financial, and professional services industries.

Stacey has been featured in national publications like Entrepreneur magazine, Investor Business Daily, Forbes, CEO World, Fox News and more.

She received her Master’s in Organizational Communication and is married with three kids.

Stacey's Website : www.staceybrownrandall.com

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.870]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today. On the show, Bob is speaking with Stacey Brown Randall. But in this case, the house business question is just an easy way, one to see what happens. And in that moment it's your ability to plant what we call engagement referral seeds, and the ability to say the correct answer. I call it the correct answer for house business is something better instead of just saying, yeah, things are great. What if you said instead? Things are great. Thank you so much for asking, Bob.

[00:00:33.130]
I appreciate it. Actually, you know what? I just brought on two new clients yesterday and both of them were referred to me one by another client and another by a centre of influence somebody in my network. It is amazing to get referrals because it just reminds me of the great work I'm doing.

[00:00:51.790]
Hi there and welcome back to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurship. My name is Bob Gentle, and every week I'm joined by incredible people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribe and your player whichever one you use. But if you're listening on Apple podcast, make sure you cheque a new follow up in the top right hand corner of the app. That way Apple will queue me up every time I post new episodes. And that way we both win.

[00:01:17.470]
So before I jump into introducing this week's guest, just a quick reminder that after nearly 200 of these interviews, I've learned a thing or two about what makes business work online. It turns out success does leave clues, and I want to offer you the map. So jump over to my website and grab your copy of the Personal Brand Business Roadmap. Everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business. It's yours for free as a gift from me. So you know that feeling when someone passes you a referral and brings you a new opportunity, you know, when they do it without asking.

[00:01:49.510]
That is a golden experience. And this week we're going deep into how we can all generate a little bit more gold in our lives with Stacey Brown Randall, author of Generate Referrals Without Asking and host of The Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. Stacey, welcome to the show.

[00:02:05.770]
Thank you, Bob, so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

[00:02:08.950]
I am very excited to have you here because referrals are, frankly, one of my favourite things in the whole world. My business has been built on referrals. Referrals have kept my family fed and my kids sent to school. So referrals, they mean a lot to me. And I think one of the things that really intrigued me with your book was how to Generate Referrals without asking most people if they're honest when they think of referrals and you'll have heard this all the time, they'll probably think about slightly seedy feeling networking groups or trying to hustle their contacts.

[00:02:48.490]
What I really like about your book, is it's really looking at what can we do to become super hyper referral? And we're going to go into that. There's probably one myth I'd like to dispel right at the beginning. And you're going to have a perspective on this as well. But a lot of people think that particularly in the online space, all business comes to us through Facebook ads or through content marketing or through even direct messaging, cold prospects and things like that. But the truth is, I've asked most of my podcast guests of those three ways.

[00:03:22.990]
Well, there's a fourth, the fourth being referral. Of those four ways, how does your biggest opportunity come to you? And they almost exclusively tell me, you know what I do all those online things and they work. But the thing that always brings the biggest opportunities is referrals is recommendations. So that's why we're going to go into that today. So, Stacey, I've talked a lot. Why don't we start just by you telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are, what you do. And obviously your book, who's?

[00:03:53.530]
Stacey Brown Randall, thank you.

[00:03:56.050]
So I help small business owners and sole pure Urs tackle the age old question of can I get referrals without the Icky asking piece? And my answer is always a resounding. Heck, yes, it's not how it's typically taught. Typically, we are taught. If we want referrals, we've got to ask for them, we've got to compensate for them. We've got to be overly promotional or gimmicky, or we've got a network. I know a tonne of people so that we're always keeping in touch with folks. Or we just have to hope that referrals will happen.

[00:04:27.550]
And I did not like any of those options and wanted to create a different way to generate referrals. And really, I did it to make my own business successful. And when I created my strategy to grow my business off of these referrals, I was receiving that I wasn't asking for or doing any of the other Icky things we don't want to do. My clients started saying, okay, teach us that now. And the reason for really trying to figure out, how can I grow my business based on referrals, but do it in a way that nobody else is teaching because I don't want to do it in a way that everybody else is teaching it.

[00:05:03.850]
It was really because of survival. I had had a business fail. I had an HR consulting firm, and I had that business fail after almost five years. It was just past the four year Mark. It didn't make it quite to the five year Mark when that HR consulting firm failed. And I had big name clients like KPMG Ally Bank, like some large name clients, not only in the United States but around the world as well. And you would have thought that business was doing great. But it had a secret.

[00:05:31.390]
And the secret was that I was constantly on the treadmill of business development. And when I stepped back and I was like, there's got to be an easier way to grow because I'm going to service the work that I do as well. And when I had an HR consulting firm, it wasn't at all online the way my business is now. But I was servicing the work like most business owners, small business owners do, you're selling it. And then you're also doing the work and you put your head down and you do the work, and then you look up.

[00:05:58.630]
When the work is done, you're like, oh, my gosh, there's no more business. Now I'm back out on the hustle trying to get the next client. And when that business failed and I found myself back in corporate America, I was like, I have to do it differently. First of all, I'm an entrepreneur at heart. I got to get back out there. But I cannot have another business failure. And so when I started my second business, which happened to be a productivity and business coaching Practise, I've gotten certified as a coach.

[00:06:20.470]
While I was in corporate America, I decided that I was going to build that business in a different way. And at that point when I started my second business, I now had more children. And so the idea of networking every night was never going to be possible. As your kids get older, you just become an Uber driver and taking them everywhere. And so to all of their activities. And so I needed a way that I could grow my business that wasn't reliant on the tried and true because they do work methodologies that weren't going to fit in my life.

[00:06:52.390]
And so for me, I was like, Why am I not getting referrals? I would do really great work. My clients love me. And then I realised, Well, all the old strategies that are taught are all that's out there. And if you don't want to do those like asking and compensating, there's nothing else for you. There's no other way to teach you to generate referrals in a way that's more authentic. So I created it for myself to make my coaching Practise successful. I got 112 referrals in my first year as a coach, and I have every year since gotten over 100 referrals.

[00:07:21.430]
And that was when my clients started saying, okay, thanks for being our productivity and business coach, but we want to learn your referrals without asking strategy. So then I was forced to realise, oh, okay, it's a strategy, and there are steps to it, as I was reverse engineering it to be able to teach it. That's when I realised, oh, there's a process here that I follow. And of course, this is now almost ten years of this and we continue to refine it. But it has been a well old machine for many many years now teaching other business owners that it is possible to generate referrals without asking.

[00:07:52.810]
So people listening to this will be jumping up and down and they're going to slap me if at this point I don't ask you to share a little bit about what that process is because that's my job is to ask those questions. And I know that your business is teaching people this. But for somebody who really just wants a 10,000 foot view of the process, what does that look like?

[00:08:15.910]
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a great question, and I think it's one we have to tackle. I think it would be weird if you didn't ask because I'm like, how can anyone know they want to go deeper if they don't first understand what the heck it looks like? Absolutely. So I always kind of explain it to folks is that there are five basic steps to being able to generate referrals in a way where you're not asking, you're not compensating, you're not being gimmicky. You're not networking. But this strategy.

[00:08:42.250]
I always like to say this at the very beginning. The strategy is based on kind of like two disclaimers. Number one, I'm going to make the assumption, as I teach you these five steps that you're already referral, which means you've received some referrals. I'm not saying you've received dozens and dozens every year, every year over. But you do receive some referrals from time to time, which means you've built a business and how you take care of your clients and a client experience that makes you worthy of those referrals, because if you do great work, you totally deserve referrals.

[00:09:15.850]
You're just not owed them. And that's where we have to be willing to look at things differently to be able to receive them. And so my first thing is I'm assuming, as I teach you, these five steps that you are referable if you're not referring. Well, we have another programme that we talked about how to have that sticky client experience. So you can be referrable. That's another conversation for another day. But I'm going to make the assumption you are referring. You're not perfect. Nobody needs to be.

[00:09:42.190]
But you have received a handful of referrals over time so that, you know, okay. This is something I've received in the past, and I have the potential to receive more. I am referable.

[00:09:52.750]
Stacey, I am super referrable.

[00:09:54.910]
Good to know, right. And you know, it's interesting when people always say that to me. I have to say this, Bob, my response back always is prove it and that's we're going to get into that. When I talk about the very first step of this process. Most people don't like being told to prove it, but I've got a point there. But let me just say the second thing that's kind of like a Disclaimer is this is going to sound amazing if you've ever listened to the other ways of generating referrals like having to ask who to ask, when to ask, how often to ask, taking advantage of reciprocity.

[00:10:27.190]
If you've ever been taught any of those ways in the referral programmes and the compensation and all those different things, if you've ever been taught how to generate referrals in what I call the old school ways, this is going to sound amazing, but make no mistake, this is still work. And so just as the old ways, maybe Icky kind of work my way is definitely a better way. But there's still a process you have to follow. There's still consistency you have to bring to the table.

[00:10:51.310]
There's an execution piece that has to happen once you build it and that's the piece I always want people to know up front. One, you got to be referral because I'm not talking about that. I'm diving into you are referring to the five steps, and two, this is still work. There is no easy button. I do not sell a silver bullet, and I think a lot of people because it sounds so good referrals without asking. They actually just think if they just, like, show up, then they're going to happen.

[00:11:15.430]
I'm like, no, this isn't magic. There's still work to do. So you mentioned that you're really referral, and my guess is you totally can prove it. But the very first step of my process where I ask people to prove it when they're like, oh, my favourite is people are like, I'm 100% referral based, and I'm always like, prove it. And the way I have people prove it is with our first step. And that is identifying who are your referral sources, who are your existing referral sources, those who have referred you in the last three or four years.

[00:11:49.450]
So when someone's in my growth by referrals programme, we actually ask them to pull three to four years worth of data in their business. And basically what they're pulling is they're pulling their clients, their new clients that they've received over the last four years. So they'll pull their new clients in 20, 21, 20, 20, 20, 19 and 2018, they don't really need to go back further than four years. That's not really necessary, because if somebody has referred you in the last four years and they referred to ten years ago, well, obviously we're going to capture them because they're in the last four years.

[00:12:20.710]
But someone who referred you eight years ago and has never referred you since. It's probably not a viable option, but you're going to look at who are your clients over the last four years, your new clients, you brought on board over the last four years, and where did they come from? You're going to identify the source. So for some of those clients, it may be obvious that they were referred to you. And I want you to capture the fact that they were referred to you and then the name of the person who referred them to you.

[00:12:46.390]
Of course. That's why we capture what's called the referral source. That's the person, the human that referred you. But you're going to have other things in there, too, right. Maybe you met them at a networking event. Maybe they came through a Facebook ad, maybe they saw you speak on stage. Maybe they heard you on a podcast. Like, there may be other ways that people come to you, but what we're looking for are the clients that were referred to you and the names of those referral sources.

[00:13:07.990]
So we kind of create this list of our clients over the last four years and where they came from, and then we just kind of removed from the list anybody who wasn't referred, and then what we're left with is our identification of who our existing referral sources are, because that is our number one starting point.

[00:13:25.690]
That makes perfect sense. I think that's a really useful exercise for anybody. I think you're going to probably see one of two things. Either there's not much referral there or there's way more than you were expecting.

[00:13:38.110]
Yes. And there's a third thing you'll see, too. So you hit the nail on the head. You're definitely going to be like, Whoa, I need more. I don't have enough people referring me. I didn't get as many referrals as I thought or two. You're going to be like, how did I miss this? Like, I'm getting so many referrals, and I don't do anything to take care of these humans. There may be more referrals I'm missing out on that. They could be giving me, but I'm not taking care of them in the right way and building the right relationship.

[00:14:01.570]
And the third thing is, you may look at that list and be like, wait a minute. Where's Bob? Because Bob and I have all these conversations. We go grab beers and we have all these Zoom meetings, and we're talking all the time over Facebook Messenger, and we talk business all the time. And I could have sworn he was telling me all these times that he was connecting me with people. But yet nothing is revealed that he has. Now here's the thing to think about this. This is based on your clients, the people who said yes to working with you.

[00:14:30.430]
There is another whole group of people that may have been referred to you that isn't captured in this process. So we go one step deeper. I tell people when they're just kind of doing this without going through my programme to learn how to do it. Stick to what's easy. So you'll get through it. But we have our students go through one more step where they actually pull as much data as they have on their prospects. So the people who just didn't become a client, and so with the prospects that you have, what we want you to do is we want you to pull them just like your clients, and you may not have four years worth of data.

[00:15:01.090]
It really depends on your CRM at this point, your client relationship management tool. But wherever you're capturing that data, if you had your prospects and then you're also going to do the same thing, you're going to capture them and then where they came from and any of those prospects that were referred to you that you didn't close into a client. We still want those list of referral sources to make it to your master list of referral sources. And more than likely, they'll be overlap. You'll see some people who are on the client referral source list that also show up on the prospect referral source list only because you don't always close everybody that's referred to you.

[00:15:32.230]
That's not normal, right? I mean, that's not going to always happen.

[00:15:35.350]
So this is making perfect sense so far. Good.

[00:15:38.650]
Okay, so the next step will completely feel out of place. But when I connect it to step three and step four, you'll be like, oh, okay, that makes sense. Step three is. And I kind of always feel like somebody's mother when I start talking about step number two. And that is your ability to think what people don't recognise. And I hear it all the time because I'm out there as somebody who's teaching referrals, I will get LinkedIn messages or a lot of people come up when I used to be in person doing speaking engagements or send me direct messages in the Zoom chats when I'm doing virtual presentations.

[00:16:12.910]
But I have people come up to me and they're like, what is wrong with people that they can't say thank you when I refer them? Like I once had this financial adviser came up to me and he was like, what is wrong with all the CPAs in the world that cannot seem to say thank you when you send a client to them, I'm like, okay, well, first of all, it's not just one industry. It actually is kind of like an epidemic of us not saying thank you in the way we were taught to in what I call the proper way.

[00:16:39.850]
And that's a handwritten thank you note. Your ability to thank somebody in the moment of receiving a referral is really important for two reasons. Number one, it tells them that they are valuable and they are worthy of your time because it takes zero time to send a text or an email, and it takes more time to send a handwritten thank you note, and it's going to be remembered longer because typically thank you notes hang around longer, which is really important, and it answers the question, why should I send you another referral if you can't thank me for the one I just sent you.

[00:17:13.330]
So with a thank you note, part of your process, you receive a referral within 24 to 48 hours quicker. If you're faster than that, pull out a note card and write a thank you note and thank them for who they referred to you. It's quite simple, but it is amazing to me how many people are, like, I want to get more referrals, and I'm like, but you're not even thanking people for the ones they've sent you. And we actually have a process that I teach where we kind of walk through, like, hey, have you all these referrals that you've received in this step one, you just did and you pulled all this down.

[00:17:45.490]
You've got all these referral sources or you have, like, five. You don't have that many, whatever it is, I'm like, how many of them received a handwritten thank you card. And they're like, and a lot of people will say, I don't know. And if I'm being honest, there will be like, none. They got emails, they get text messages, right? I'm like, okay, well, you have to learn how to think them moving forward, because that's going to factor into how we ultimately take care of them. And let me pause for just a second before I tell you step three and step four, because they go together like meat and potatoes.

[00:18:14.890]
But let me get to tell you with step three and step four when you're thinking about them, and we're coming off of this ability to think referrals come from relationships, that's where they come from. They come from me having a relationship with you and trusting you that A, you can solve the problem. And B, you'll take good care of the person I'm sending to you. So when I refer you, it's because I have a relationship with you on some level, a trusting relationship with you. I don't have to have a wee grab a beer every week relationship with you, but I have to trust that you're the person who can solve this person's problem, because a referral isn't about you.

[00:18:52.870]
A referral is about me as a referral source, helping someone that I know who has a problem and how I'm going to help them is by connecting them with you so that you can solve their problem. You were just the solution provider. So everything we do comes from this place of taking care of our referral source, first identifying them by name, then making sure when they refer us. We're always thanking them, that we're always letting them know how much we appreciate the referrals that they send us.

[00:19:21.490]
And then when we move on to step three and step four, it's building on that idea that everything is based on the relationship you have with your referral sources. And it doesn't mean proximity, right? I mean, I have an online programme. We have students in ten different countries all around the world, and I don't even never even met face to face a majority of the people who refer people to me, but I still have a relationship with them. And that's an important thing to note when we're thinking about step two writing, thank you notes, we're building relationships.

[00:19:55.450]
Before we talk about step three and step four.

[00:19:58.450]
I think that's really important that we often mistakenly identify a relationship as having to be with someone we've met. It really is about the space that you occupy in someone else's mind. That's it. And I'm sitting here thinking there is somebody who has recently started prolifically referring to me, and I'm feeling properly schooled right now because I haven't taken these basic actions to let him know. Obviously, I've said, thanks, but it goes right back to show me saying thanks. There's no depth in that gesture. There's nothing that's going to make me stand out from anybody else that could just say thanks.

[00:20:36.790]
And I know as somebody that does refer from time to time, I want to know wherever that referral is going, that it's treasured because referrals are currency. I can spend them anywhere, and I'd like to spend them where I know they're going to have the biggest impact and have the greatest significance. So making that clear statement to say properly. By the way, I'm demarcating a space for a proper thank you. That would be a powerful thing. And you're right. It actually very rarely happens.

[00:21:04.990]
It does. And it's not because we're not ill intentioned. We're not trying to be like, yeah, I don't have to. Thank you. We don't ever come at it from that place. We just forget that at the very intimate level, first level of a human relationship is that ability to always think and we just forget in our busyness of life that actually, you know what? I've got to stop and pause. And it may only take you 62 seconds to write that card and walk it to the mailbox.

[00:21:37.990]
But at the end of the day, it's going to have the greatest impact on the people who are taking care of your business in the best way possible by putting their reputation on the line to send people to you.

[00:21:49.090]
Yeah. So me and potatoes, step three and four.

[00:21:52.510]
Yes. Okay. So I always tell folks, when you think about step three and step four, you can't have one without the other. So I always say step three feels like, okay, this is the meat and potatoes. This is the step that is I mean, lots of people will tell you step one feels like the most amount of work, but you do it because it just depends on how you keep up with your data and how fast or how slow that process works for you. But once you do step one, once, you never have to do it again.

[00:22:17.170]
Step three, though, would be the meat and potatoes piece of this is because this is the step that I want you to build as a process that runs within your business consistently, year after year after year. I want you to build a plan that's going to be like a wash rinse repeat type model, because I want you to make the commitment to take care of your referral sources so that they can help you take care of your business. And step four is kind of like the secret sauce that makes that meat and potatoes actually taste good.

[00:22:47.290]
I always find it hilarious when I use it. That cooking analogy because I don't Cook. Luckily, I married somebody who cooks very well, and it's always funny for me. He's like, Why do you use that? You don't even Cook yourself. I'm like because it makes sense, right? Everybody can visualise it in their mind's eye. Step three, meet and potato. The main part that we have to focus on is how we're going to consistently build a relationship and strengthen and deepen and continue a relationship with our referral sources.

[00:23:17.590]
We've identified them. We are now committed to thanking them every time they refer us. But there will be no explosion of referrals or river of referrals that'll open up consistently. And I don't just mean in a period of time, but year after year, if we're not consistently taking care of people so you can't write one thank you note and just think that means you're going to get ten more referrals from that person. It certainly is going to help, but it's certainly a baseline. But you don't explode referrals.

[00:23:47.890]
You don't reach that referral explosion just because you wrote a single thank you note. We have to have a plan in place of where we're taking care of our referral sources and the way that I describe a referral plan. It is similar to your marketing plan and your prospecting plan in terms of it's, a plan you build, and then you're going to execute on it on a yearly basis. But it's different from marketing and sales because everything about it is different. All we know is who our referral sources are.

[00:24:14.770]
We don't know who the prospects are. So our expectation of what we're going to do is really based on just taking care of those referral sources. And it's a planned approach where we can be memorable and meaningful and stay top of mind with our existing referral sources. And when I say memorable and meaningful, I don't mean your newsletter. That's part of your marketing plan, right? You have a newsletter you send out every month. Great. It's not part of your referral plan, and the other piece of that is it's not you sending out promotional items with your logo on them.

[00:24:49.030]
That's a gift for you. It's not a gift for your referral source. It also doesn't have to be gifts. I think people kind of get stuck in this mindset of, oh, I've got to thank them and reward them, so to speak. And I've got to shower them with gifts because they're sending me referrals. I have lots of people that I work with that never send a gift because it's not in their budget or it's not how they want to kind of make sure they're taking care of their relationship.

[00:25:14.110]
So when we say memorable and meaningful and we stay top of mind if you're doing it right, you're going to fall somewhere between four and eight touch points. That's what we call it. Just think of them as outreaches in a year. And usually, though, in your first and second year, you're going to probably be closer to six to eight touch points or outreaches to your referral sources. But we're doing this knowing who all of our referral sources are. So it's not individual six to eight touch points, and I have 20 referral sources, and I've got to do eight times 20 in a year for individual people, it's the same six to eight touch points for all 20 of your referral sources, because how you build it is based on who they are.

[00:25:53.110]
And this is always the point where people are like, great. Just tell me what my touch points are, and I'm like what your touch points are going to be. Well, that's a great question. It's not the right first question. What your touch points will ultimately end up being is going to be based on who your referral sources are. So let me give you an example. When I was a productivity and business coach, that was my second business that I started as I was trying to build that Practise, and I was trying to get those 112 referrals.

[00:26:20.290]
In my first year, I started paying attention to who was referring me. I did the same step one as everybody else identified who were my referral sources. And really, for me, I was throwing spaghetti on the wall and I was trying anything and everything to see what would work that would keep me in a place of where I could be authentic. And then I started noticing that patterns emerge as they always do. And that's kind of how we build our processes. And then from those patterns, I started paying attention to the who.

[00:26:43.330]
And I realised that more than 80% of the people who referred me were not only business owners themselves, they were also parents. And so when I thought about my six to eight touch points in a year, rather, I decided to do six, seven or eight. When I was thinking about what those would look like, it made perfect sense knowing who my people were to recognise Mother's Day and Father's Day, who expects to hear from the business coach they refer to on Mother's Day or Father's Day?

[00:27:10.330]
It's just something you wouldn't expect. It's something we teach in the programme called the Off Guard Holiday. But you don't always do all the holidays. You can't do every holiday. That's weird, and you shouldn't only do holidays, and you shouldn't only send gifts like variety is the spice of life when it comes to these referral plans that we build. But I recognise Mother's Day and Father's Day because of who my people are. I have a home stager that is in my programme. And when I already knew this, because I have a number of those folks that happen to be in my programme.

[00:27:37.990]
We have a variety of industries that are in the programme. But I use this as an example because it's very specific. I already know that with a home stager, they're number one referral source of real estate agents.

[00:27:49.390]
Right.

[00:27:49.630]
And as they were going through all of their referrals, they realised that as well, and they probably already knew it. And I was like, So what is a real estate agent need from you? That's the question we ask, what do they need from you to feel taken care of by you? And it could look different if CPAs were all your referral sources or business coaches, what we do for them looks different. But the way that I teach it and the framework of how I teach it allows you to come up with six, seven or eight, whatever your number is your first year, to be able to do those things for the same group of people and only do it six, seven or eight times a year versus feeling like you're doing it 20 times seven.

[00:28:31.390]
And so that's really important. But what you do to take care of these people in this way that I teach it with your memorable and meaningful top of mind touch points that you're going to do throughout the year, six to eight times. It doesn't actually mean anything other than feel good without step four, which is the secret sauce that makes the meat and potatoes taste good. And that's the language that you use. And we use a special specific language called referral seeds. And the way that I teach it to my students always tell me this is like the secret sauce.

[00:29:03.190]
This is the piece that you need to understand that's going to make everything else you're doing work. But that's how we direct how our referral sources think about us. If I can impact how you feel about me, I'm taking care of you, and I'm doing things to acknowledge that I appreciate you. Then I have the ability to direct how you think about me in a very, very honest, authentic way by just planting referral seeds. And when we have a plan in place, then we have the right language there as well.

[00:29:32.050]
It gives us a fully functioning process that we can operate on in our business.

[00:29:37.870]
So can you give an example of what one of these referral seeds might look like?

[00:29:42.010]
So the easiest one that I always tell folks, and it's actually one that if people are listening to this and then they're like, I want to learn a little bit more. I also talk about this in my book, Generating Business Referrals without asking. I think it's chapter ten. If I remember correctly, I should probably know that. But we do talk about referral feeds, and it is a big, proprietary part of what I teach people of what these touch points should look like and how we build them and then the language that we use.

[00:30:06.850]
But there's one seed that I do teach that I think anybody can use, and I want you to be able to take advantage of it when you're done listening to this episode. And that is your ability. And it's not specific to referral sources, because I don't know if the people listening have referral sources. I'm assuming you do, but I don't know that for a fact. So the one I always like to teach is your ability to answer the number one question that is asked in all networking opportunities or networking events and social gatherings.

[00:30:34.150]
And that's the very first question people ask you when they approach you, which is How's it going? How's business? Right. It's the number one question asked almost in start of all conversations. Unless you're super tight with that person and you start off where you picked up your last conversation. And most people say, you'd probably know this. Bob, what do most people say when people say, hey, How's business?

[00:30:58.390]
Most people will say, yes, business is great.

[00:31:01.150]
Exactly. And it's not a bad answer, just not a great answer, a better answer to plan a referral seat in that moment. And here's the thing. We're not planting it on an existing referral source, so we don't really know where to go, but we certainly know if we don't try, we don't know if we have the potential to maybe nurture this person into a referral source because that's the other process you have to learn is, hey, how do I take people who aren't referring me and turn them into referral sources?

[00:31:25.870]
That's another strategy that we teach. But in this case, the house business question is just an easy one to see what happens. And in that moment, it's your ability to plant what we call engagement, referral seeds and the ability to say the correct answer. I call it the correct answer for house business. It's something better instead of just saying, yeah, things are great. What if you said instead? Things are great. Thank you so much for asking, Bob. I appreciate it. Actually, you know what? I just brought on two new clients yesterday and both of them were referred to me one by another client and another by a centre of influence, somebody in my network.

[00:32:04.510]
It is amazing to get referrals because it just reminds me of the great work I'm doing.

[00:32:11.170]
What I love about that is, again, sending this signal that referrals aren't taken for granted that your business isn't sort of queuing out the door with people. And the referrals don't matter. That referral if it grows in the mind of the other person and they do refer you, they know that it's going to land as a point of impact. That's a powerful thing.

[00:32:33.430]
It is. And it's also exactly. It's like letting them know it's planning that referral fee now, here's the thing you're having this conversation at the neighbourhood barbecue, right. Or at the local Chamber of commerce or whatever your local networking group is. It may fall on concrete and then blow off into the wind, never to do what we want it to do. But it may also fall on fertile soil. This is one that anybody can use, whether they're following my process or not with your existing referral sources.

[00:33:00.310]
This is one to use in a networking opportunity or conversation opportunities that anyone can use because you never know what will happen. But it's important to kind of use that opportunity. Now, do you say that same answer to that same person every time you run into them every other month at that same networking event? No. I would prefer you use a variety, right. But it does give you language to use in those moments of answering the house business question. And the other thing to keep in mind is we know it may go somewhere or it may not, but it certainly presents the position of you being remembered from a referral perspective, which in this case using an engagement seed.

[00:33:37.270]
Right. We don't expect all of them to turn. We kind of have a low expectation of what will actually come from that without future nurturing. But it does give us a tool that we can use in the moment that everyone's capable of using.

[00:33:50.470]
And if you're planting enough of those seeds, four to eight every year with someone, something's going to grow, that's almost inevitable.

[00:33:58.210]
Yes. Well, that's going to happen. Those four to eight are going to happen with your existing referral sources. So those four to eight touch points that you're doing with the referral fees language. It's happening to folks who've already referred you, which is really where we get the snowball effect that continues. But in this situation, you may only plant that one seed with that person. Then you may not run into them for another six months. You can determine that they should be referring you. So you want to follow a process to cultivate.

[00:34:25.090]
But in some cases, yes, you can plant that one seed and then somebody a week later, remember the conversation and have opportunity to refer you. And so they do it. And here's the big misnomer about referrals. Number one, they're not about you. They're about somebody else helping someone who has a problem, and they're just referring someone to you. And number two, what it takes for a referral to actually happen is desire and opportunity. You control desire. You control how well you plant those referral seeds and those one off networking opportunities or how well you take care of your existing your current referral sources to get more referrals from them, you control the desire for you to be the one they want to refer.

[00:35:07.390]
But opportunity is all on them. So identifying the right people is really important. And in a networking opportunity, you don't know, you're kind of just flying blind. You're having conversations with people. You're planning this house business engagement, referral feed, and you're just going to see where it goes and where it takes you. But truly, if you want to make sure that you are having yourself in a position to have people refer you because they have opportunity that comes down to identifying who's already referred you and or who should be referring you.

[00:35:38.650]
And those are two different tactics that we actually take and processes that we work, how we take care of our existing referral sources, four to eight touch points. And how do we turn our clients and contacts into referral sources? This engagement see, do you answer How's business can help you in that process? But I just really want people to understand that it may fall more on concrete than it does on fertile soil as you're using it. But your consistency of using it may also help you identify people who could in the future be great referral sources for you.

[00:36:12.250]
And there's a whole bunch of other seeds if you jump a little deeper into Stacey Brown Randall's world.

[00:36:17.950]
Yes, there is.

[00:36:19.870]
So this brings us to Step 05:00 a.m.. I right.

[00:36:22.690]
Yes. This is our final step. And this is the step that most people, when I say it will be like, well, that makes sense. That was coming, right. And that is, look, you've identified your existing referral sources. You now know how to thank them properly every time they refer you. You've got a plan in place to run year after year to be memorable and meaningful on top of mind and take care of them and use the right language to plant referral seeds so that they're thinking about you from a referral perspective.

[00:36:49.870]
What's left as a busy business owner or sales professional is to have it into a process and a plan. And it's the ability to systematise this whole process so that it actually happens. When I decided to recognise Mother's Day and Father's Day for my top referral sources, I needed to execute on that in May and June. I couldn't get around to Mother's Day and Father's Day in September. It wouldn't have worked right. So there's the ability to build it, but then put it into a process to making sure the process works.

[00:37:25.090]
And that means we've got to systematise it. We've got to pull it off the Excel spreadsheet of how you built out your beautiful plan. And we got to make sure you're actually going to execute on those six to eight touch points in your first year. And that just comes down to execution and systemisation. And what can you outsource? What can you delegate? What do you have to do yourself? Do you have a team who can help you? And that's really the final step is just making sure we're setting you up for success to make it happen.

[00:37:49.390]
I think the reason I love this is a lot of people when they focus on business development or new opportunity, they focus out into the great blue Yonder where they haven't discovered relationships and everything has to be new. But actually, we all have this power base of people who already know us, people who already like us and most business owners that I speak to, they don't have processes and systems to properly leverage that. And the truth is, for all those people who don't like sales cold, calling all these traditional things, they're sitting on a little pot of gold in their existing contacts.

[00:38:27.070]
And what you've done is paint a really clear picture on how they can cross the divide between where they are and that sort of regular access to this ready opportunity that's just sitting waiting for them. Certainly, I'm going to be reviewing how I approach these things. I think this interview we've kind of rolled like a Hurricane across quite a lot of landscape, and hopefully people are listening, being slightly blown away, thinking, oh, my God, I got some work to do, but in a way that's exciting, it's far more productive to go and look at who are the few people who already love you who are ready to refer to you than all these grey faces of people that you have no relationship with.

[00:39:12.370]
It makes much, much more sense. And the truth is, for most businesses, what you've identified, there is probably enough to keep them fed forever. If you just look after those people who already love you, there's probably enough there for you to have an incredible business without having to do all of these yucky things. So I love what we've spoken about. Certainly, I'm going to buy your book and go deeper. I haven't done that yet. I'm sorry, that is fine.

[00:39:39.670]
No worries.

[00:39:40.930]
Hopefully people listening are inspired to jump into your world a little bit. But if people do want to go further with you, how would you like them to do that?

[00:39:49.210]
We believe that this idea that being able to generate referrals without asking is while we've been doing this for almost a decade for a lot of people, it is new and where it sounds amazing and awesome, they really have to dig in to understand what it looks like to make it work within their business. So we are the big believers that there's a lot of content that we produce for folks to understand, to make things available to them as they're going on this journey. Obviously, we have a programme where we work with people who want to go deeper and learn the exact model.

[00:40:19.150]
But there is a lot of information out there. We've got the book Generating Business Referrals without asking. It's available from audio ereader printed copy. However, you like to consume your books and the podcast. If you're not a reader at all and you love the podcast Roadmap to Bear Your business. 80% of what we talk about is referral based. So those are two great places to start just to consume the content. Once you land in our world, we've got a Facebook group. We've got a quiz you can take.

[00:40:43.750]
It's called the Referral Ninja Quiz. We've got all these different things you can do to kind of just figure out where you are, where you're starting from and then get the right information you need to move forward. I always just tell folks I'm like, this is not like the Alison whatever that show is. Alice in Wonderland, right? This is not like the rabbit hole you're going to jump into and not get what you need out of it. This is actually pretty simple. What we teach is actually pretty simple.

[00:41:07.750]
There's just things you need to understand to make it ultimately work for you. So whether it's the book, the podcast, you just find yourself on our website, stacybrownmandal. Com. We've got tonnes of information out there for you, articles, quizzes, challenges. We've got all of it because we know people consume information in different ways. And the number one thing I have to do before people can start truly creating this referrals without asking. Explosion is I have to change how they think because even when you hear this interview and you're like, this is awesome.

[00:41:35.590]
I want to do it. I know there's going to be some deep seated thoughts that are going to come up about, but wait for 30 years, I've only been taught X or for 15 years, I've only been taught Y that we've got to overcome before you will truly commit to what this looks like. Even as amazing as it sounds. So lots of free resources. And then the person who's ready to go deeper and wants to learn it all and wants to jump straight to the front of the line and learn the model and the philosophy and everything and what to do.

[00:42:02.050]
We, of course, have our signature programme, which is called Growth by Referrals. And that is our pay programme that people can join as well.

[00:42:09.430]
I think just to remind the listener there are four routes that opportunity finds us. And yes, there's all the kinds of hip and trendy things you'll hear everyone talking about. But the most successful people I know, they have a plan for outbound sales, they have a plan for content marketing, they have a plan for ads, and they have a plan for referrals. Don't neglect the referral strategies that will, ultimately, as with most of the most successful people I know, bring most of the big opportunity. Doesn't matter what scale, what size people seem to get to.

[00:42:43.390]
Golden opportunities always come through referrals through relationships. Stacey, what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago?

[00:42:54.310]
Oh, Mike, there's just so many right there's just so many. And I think about all the things I've learned and all the things I now have the ability to do that I didn't back then with growing my business and scaling my business. But, you know, actually, I think about that question from the perspective. If there was one thing I could have told myself five years ago that I kind of like, lean on as my mantra of these days because I've had the benefit of living through the last five years is that the journey just won't ever go according to plan.

[00:43:26.350]
It doesn't mean you won't arrive at the destination. It's just that life happens, and it may not go according to plan, but as long as you know where you're headed, it's okay to take different routes to get there. And I think for me, as a business owner who is also the mother to three children and wants to be an ever present wife and mom, I think it's just a constant reminder for me. And it would have been great to tell me this. Five years ago, when my kids were all in elementary school, they're now all in middle school, which makes them like the horrible human age.

[00:43:55.510]
But just reminding myself that the journey won't always go according to plan. But that doesn't mean you're not actually on the right path, and you're not actually headed in the right direction.

[00:44:05.230]
No wrong path. That's an awesome answer. Stacey Brown Harris thank you so much for your time. I've had a great time with you, and hopefully I speak to you again soon. But for now. Thank you so much.

[00:44:13.570]
Thank you.

[00:44:17.350]
Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit Amplifyme FM Insiders also connect with me wherever you hang out, you'll find me on all the social platforms at Popgentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you shared the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks to you for listening.

[00:44:45.130]
See you next week.



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Episode Overview

So, at some point on your personal brand business journey you’re going to want to go large.   You want to take those foundations and build something incredible on them and for that - you need an audience and community. 

One of the best ways to approach that is by both hosting and participating in virtual Summits. 

This week my guest is an undisputed prince of the virtual summit and owner of Virtual Summit Mastery, author of the book - ‘The Virtual Summit Mastery Method’ - Jan Koch.

Jan's website : https://virtualsummitmastery.com/

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today. On the show, Bob is speaking with January. If you really bootstrap a Virtual Summit on a shoestring budget, what you should do is you attend other events. Take very close note about how they structure the website. What is on the registration page? How do they craft their sales office? How do they position the speakers and sessions? Do they have a schedule page where you can look at the entire schedule of the event and then pick the sessions you want to see for.

How long do they keep sessions online? When do they take them offline? Is there a live chat? Is there a live video note down everything that you enjoy and everything that you don't enjoy because you don't want to replicate that.

Hi there and welcome to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurship. My name is Bob Gentle. And every week I'm joined by incredible people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribe to whichever player you use. And if you're listening on Apple podcast, make sure to cheque the new follow option in the top right of the page. That way Apple will cue me up every time I post new content. And that way we both win. Before I jump into introducing this week's guest.

Just a quick reminder. After nearly 200 of these interviews, I've learned a thing or two about what makes business work online. And it turns out that success leaves clues and I want to give you the map. So head on over to Amplifyme Agency Roadmap and grab your copy of my brand new Personal Brand Business Roadmap. Everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business. It's yours for free as a gift from me. So at some point in your Personal Brand business journey, you're going to want to go large.

You're going to want to take those foundations you have built and do something incredible with them. For this, you're going to need an audience and a community. One of the best ways to approach this is by both hosting and participating in Virtual Summit. And this week my guest is the undisputed Prince of the Virtual Summit, owner of Virtual Summits Mastery and author of the book Virtual Summit Mastery. Yancock Yan, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me, Bob, and what an intro that was like. No pressure on my shoulder does right now when I said Princeton.

Not King, because nobody needs pressure, you need to relax into it. I think I've been trying to speak to you for quite a long time because Virtual Summits for me, they've become really important and I'm easing my way into it. I'm not doing lots and lots of them. I think I've done a couple. I have a couple more scheduled, but there's really nothing that I've done that's boosted my email list quite the way that virtual summit appearances have and hosting a virtual summit is becoming very appealing.

And I know this is true for a lot of people. So I think it's a very hot topic and you know a lot about it. And I knew a couple of people that knew you. That was why I reached out through I think it was Pete Everett because I have a lot of questions about virtual summits. And one of the things that you get to do when you're on a podcast is be super nosy and ask all the questions that you'd normally have to pay for the answers too.

Grimy.

So what I thought was we might combine if I met you in the pub and I said, So what is it you do young? And then we had a very weird conversation about why I should start a virtual summit and how I might do it as somebody who was ignorant to how that works. And then alongside that, I've got lots of questions about your business, how you position yourself and how you build your own business, either through your own summits and all the other things that you do because you have a strong personal brand business yourself.

But then you're also instrumental in helping other people on their journey as well. So let's pretend I said, Soyan, tell me about virtual summits. I've heard you do this thing. What is that?

That is such a perfect stage that you've just had. Bob, virtual summits, in a nutshell, are a way to build your audience while getting paid to doing that and building good well in your community at the same time. And I know this might sound too good to be true for somebody who's not familiar with the concept. And the downside might be that it is a lot of work to put together a virtual summit. But that is also why they work so well. And essentially, what you do is when you are the summit host, you think about who it is that you're already working with or that you want to work with and what pain points those people have.

You research, who is a thought leader who is an industry expert who can talk to those pain points and maybe help your audience ease their pain, attain their goals, come a little bit closer to their desires. You bring those people together individual conference by interviewing them or organising presentations with them. And then you release all those interviews, just as you would with a physical conference on a specific start date, to a specific end date. Let's say, for a week to a five day summit from Monday to Friday.

And just as a physical conference on that Friday evening, probably around midnight. You take everything down. The conference is over. But at that point, you've built an email list like crazy. You've made money because people will buy the replays of those sessions if they are good, and if they are relevant and you have made connections with tonnes of industry leaders. And by doing that, you've elevated your own brand, because now all the people who saw the summit associate yourself with all those other industry experts and thought it doesn't put you on the same stage as they are because you got to interview so many.

So the one question that I have when I hear that, and I kind of feel like I know the answer to this, but I think it's an important question to ask. Let's say I am a dentist. This may be a bad example. Let's say I'm a coach. I'm a business coach. Straightforward. I'm a business coach. And I want to run a virtual summit around my audience's. Pain points, build my authority, my visibility, my expertise and my email list. In that space, a lot of people would worry about bringing in people that their potential customers or potential audience might look at and go, you know what?

I know you're kind of good, but I kind of know you, but that guy over there looks amazing competition. How do you address the question of competition? And I know it's very narrow minded and small minded, but for a lot of people, it's probably going to be the first objection. Yeah.

It'S a popular one together with I have no idea. Why would anybody pay attention to me when I invite them as a speaker? The way to address competition is quite straightforward, actually, because when you think about what it is that you do for your customers, you can also think about related services or products that they would be interested in that don't directly compete with what you have to offer. So, for example, in that business coach example, let's say you help aspiring CEOs build a better branding for themselves, communicate better so that they can eventually make their way up on the career ladder and become CEO at a certain point.

So you will talk about communication. You will talk about leadership, you will talk about branding, you will talk about clothing styles, you will talk about communication skills and so on. But what are the things that are related to this, like time management, for example, like picking the right clothing style, like very specific clothing advice for male or female want to be entrepreneurs or want to be CEOs? You try to think outside the box. And if you struggle to have ideas for that and struggle to find people who could speak to related services or related issues, then you have to elevate your mindset a little bit.

As you said, the start of competition is a very limited mindset. It's not growth oriented. And the way you would even set yourself apart from those well known experts in the field is you are the one hosting the virtual summit. You are the one putting in the work. The other experts probably have never hosted a summit in this space. They've never gone to the extent that you are to deliver free value to your audience. And if somebody still wants to work with expert A instead of working with yourself, chances are you would never close them as a customer because they're just not attracted to you as a person or as a coach.

And that is something that I think we have to accept at some point.

I think that's a great answer. And something that I certainly found was if you're somebody who is used to doing world to doing business rather, in the analogue world where your catchment area or your market is very, very small, competition becomes very, very important because there's a very limited number of people that you're going to be exposed to that might become your customer. But when you go online and you start to scale up, particularly through your visibility, what becomes more important is the clients that resonate with you.

But if you know, okay, I can bring in 100 clients. Wouldn't it be great if they were 100 clients that were perfect rather than what you normally have, which is clients that are all compromises? They're not ideal fits. So for me, it's awesome if somebody doesn't resonate with me and resonates with somebody else more strongly because I want the clients now who are going to come to me because they love me that's much more important. So if somebody goes somewhere else for me, that's awesome.

Imagine what that does to your standing with that other expert. Imagine you bringing on, let's say, Gary Vee on to a summit, and then he gets a contract with another Fortune 500 company because that CEO or CMO or whatever saw that presentation and they didn't want to work with you. They wanted to work with Gary. Imagine what Gary then thinks of you. You always have an open door with them, and that is one of the biggest advantages I see in hosting veterans Summit. You build relationships with people.

The biggest point for me personally is the money is nice, of course, and you can earn some pretty good cash from virtual summits. But the long term game, I think, is way more important. And when you become friends with 24 leaders on this space because you interviewed them on the summit, and then you keep in touch afterwards, and you've helped them build their email list because you promoted them during your summit. Guess what they feel inclined to work with you again. And then maybe you can do JV launches or you do cohosted Webinars and do webinar swaps and all that good stuff.

And this is the long term ripple effects that can come from a virtual summit. One good example I have is people in the WordPress industry might know that I'm working with Cloudways as their brand ambassador hosting company, and I've gotten to known them because they sponsored one of my virtual summits. And now for over two years, they've paid me every single month to become a cloud based ambassador. And this is just a brilliant example. I love working with them. I used that company myself just a good fit of when two companies meet that resonate well together.

And this is what happens when you put together well thought out bitchwood event.

I think that's a very good point that all opportunities come through other people. And one of the questions I regularly ask broadcast guests is in any business, opportunity comes through one of really four routes. It comes through word of mouth, it comes through paid ads, it comes through content, and it comes through outbound sales activity. These are the really the four ways opportunity can come to us. And I have asked the kind of businesses that you look at and I look at, and I think they must be driving their business through Facebook ads.

But actually, even though lots of business does come through those routes, they'll all tell me the majority of real opportunity game changer opportunity always comes through relationships. And that's why things like summits really matter. If we look at somebody who's maybe looking at their first summit, they are time poor. Every time that's not spent working on clients or projects is time. They're potentially not making money. So if they're looking at a summit, the question of short to medium term ROI kind of needs to come into the equation.

They maybe don't have time for the long term play they can't prioritise long term plays. Right now, you mentioned the cash that you can generate through something like a summit. Where are the revenue streams in a summit beyond simply list building and what you can achieve with an email list?

There are essentially six ways that you can monetize the virtual summit that we teach in VSM the fastest way to monetize the virtual event. Or there are two ways that I would say you can make money before the event even starts. The issue is that you will need to have some prerequisites in place, so to make both of them work, you need to understand your target audience very, very good so that you know exactly what pain points you need to focus on who it is that you want to attend individual summit, because when you run, let's say an entrepreneurs summit.

Well, what type of entrepreneurs do you want to have? It's way too broad. And if you want to run the fitness summit fitness for what? If you want to run the Women's Strength summit, on the other hand, or if you want to run this building school event, or if you want to run the personal branding entrepreneur summit.

Idea.

Those are very well defined target audiences in themselves. And then you can dive deeper into them and really get to the level of understanding that you know what keeps those people awake at night? And what is it that they secretly wish was true about themselves? What transformations are they striving for? You need to have those things in place to monetize the virtual Summit. That understanding is key because without this understanding, you won't know who would be a good speaker at your virtual event. And without having good speakers, you cannot deliver value and the entire event falls flat on its face.

When you have this, though, the first thing I would do is build your Dream 100 list. Make a list of 100 speakers that you would love to interview, build relationships with them. This is indirect. This is money generating activity because as soon as you have, let's say five speakers confirmed, you can start approaching sponsors. You start researching companies in your space that would support the target audience. Similar to what you do. That work with the same people that you want to have at your virtual event.

For the Personal Branding Summit, for example, you could talk to companies like Hootsuite or Buffer or Kenva Tools and services that help you grow your personal brand online. You could even talk to companies like Deer Designer, which is a flat rate graphic design service. Approach those companies and sell them on sponsorships. This is the biggest way to make a quick and air quotes back on the virtual Summit. And then you put the registration page up. As soon as you have five people, you start generating organic traffic to the website.

I wouldn't run paid traffic campaigns yet, but get the word out. Have people starting to talk about the virtual event and sell them on the replays of the event already at a discounted price.

So beforehand we've got sponsors and selling on the replace.

Yeah, those are the two quickest ways to monetize the virtual summit.

Yeah. So I can definitely see, actually, if you put in the work beforehand and you think about it and yeah, you're right. The positioning really has to be there, but there's definitely an opportunity. One thing that I often wonder is platform the whole question of the summit. But the summit requires infrastructure. It needs a place for things to happen. And I've seen lots of people do lots of different things in terms of the summit platform. Some people use things like, hey, Summit, some people seem to cobble together WordPress things.

What's your advice for the first time summit here in terms of platform in order to keep things as simple as possible.

Avoid any steep learning curve is what I would say. So if you know how to use WordPress, what I would suggest if you don't have the budget to invest in a programme like Virtual Summit Mastery that comes with the templates and everything build for you. Essentially, if you really bootstrap a virtual summit on a shoestring budget, what you should do is you attend other events, take very close note about how they structure the website. What is on the registration page? How do they craft their sales offers?

How do they position the speakers and the sessions? Do they have a schedule page where you can look at the entire schedule of the event and then pick the sessions you want to see. For how long do they keep sessions online? When do they take them offline? If even is there a live chat? Is there a live video note down everything that you enjoy and everything that you don't enjoy because you don't want to replicate that, of course, take screenshots of those pages so that you know what they look like, not to rip them off.

Don't get me wrong, but you can use their structure as kind of like a framework if you want. And then pick whatever platform you can use. The easiest.

So.

In our programme we have templates for WordPress page builders like Elementor and DV and Gutenberg and so on. But we also support click, funnels and cartridge for those people who don't like WordPress and then the only thing with click funnels and car trucks. Pretty straightforward because you don't need to worry about hosting the same with Hop In and Haysum it. I prefer to use something like WordPress or ClickFunnels or cartridge compared to Hopin and Hay Summit, because those platforms usually have their own concept of what a virtual event should look like, how it should be structured, which is good for first time Summit hosts, but it also becomes limiting very quickly in what you can do and what you cannot do on a virtual event.

That's the benefit of putting the platform together yourself. But with WordPress, what you need to bear in mind is if you have say, everything goes super smooth and perfectly well, and you have 2000 attendees on the first day at the hour the first session goes live. Your server needs to be able to handle that amount of traffic so the cheapest Bluehost or HostGator package won't cut it. You need something like, of course, I have to plug cloud ways now, but you can also look at Kinstar and WP engine, and so you need to have a host that can bear the amount of traffic.

That's what I want to say. As long as the platform works smoothly, the platform tech in the background doesn't really matter how much.

So as an industry observer, you must see an awful lot of Summits come and go, and I'm curious to know what are the most common problems that you see that could have been anticipated and caused real damage to potential success. Basically, what's going to cause a car crash?

That's a good question. That traffic problem is one problem I experienced myself and one of the summits I ran, I think 2020. I ran the WP Feedback Summit in the WordPress space together with the WP Feedback team, which I was working for back then. And I think on the first day we had something like around 15,000 concurrent visitors on the server, which broke the entire platform even though we scaled up beforehand because we knew it was going to be one of the bigger events. The server was down for most of the first day, and we even had hosting companies like Dolly and Run Cloud jump to our site and help us get back up and running.

So definitely pay attention to how many visitors you expect and see how many people sign up to the event and who is helping to promote and how much traffic can they potentially drive. Then the other thing is, I hear this all the time with other platforms that are pre built platforms, they tend to push the replay sales too much. As I've said earlier, what I love about virtual summit is bringing people together and building relationships. That's not just for the summit host between the speakers. It is also a platform where attendees can meet because think about it.

You have people who have a similar situation. There are in they have similar dreams and pain points and stuff. So why not bring those people together in a live chat or group calls or standing Zoom call where people can just jump in and network with each other? This is a really good way to add value to the virtual event, and what I see those platforms do is oftentimes they won't let you do this, and instead they have a block where they try to sell the replays, which is making a virtual event become very salesy really fast.

And I guess this is maybe a dangerous question. But what's the weirdest idea you've ever seen anyone bring in to a virtual conference?

Let's rephrase weirdest with most forward thinking, and I would say it is VR virtual events in the WordPress space where wordcams had somebody built entire virtual reality worlds, and then attendees could join those worlds and have their avatars and move around and have virtual networking hours on virtual tables and stuff like that. And I think they weren't used too much. Maybe it was too forward thinking. Maybe the communication wasn't proper. Maybe the marketing was on point for this, but that definitely was something that stood out to me.

So another question after this question, I really want to ask about virtual summits mastery and really dig into what that is. But I think a lot of people bite off more than they could potentially chew with a virtual summit if they're doing it for the first time. And obviously there's a lot of support with things like virtual summit mastery. But if people haven't made that investment, what's the one thing that they almost always look for help for first? Because this is often what can you anticipate if you know you're going to need help with a certain element, what's it going to be?

I'm looking at delegation here. What's the one thing people should anticipate? They might need to delegate.

It's a brilliant question, and I hate to say it, but it depends. And I'll give you a few examples of what it depends on. So some things commonly delegated with virtual events. The most common ones is graphic design, website development, connecting third party services to the website like email marketing, like affiliate marketing, taking payments and stuff like that. Paid traffic campaigns for the promotions. Video editing is overlooked often, but what you do is you record video interviews, so you want them to look good and you want them to sound good, even more importantly.

And then what often helps a lot is having a general virtual assistant that can just coordinate with the speakers and help you get all the appointments booked for the recordings and stuff like that. Because communication in the preparation for a virtual event is key and you can never send too many emails when you're a Summit host.

I've heard that I've heard that before, and as somebody that's participated in a couple of summits, there's a lot going on, and it really does need a lot of communication. I think the general VA thing you're 100% right there. And I guess that's again why something like Virtual Summit Mastery can be quite useful because you have a network, I imagine, and that network can be lent on hard. Yeah.

And the biggest point with Virtual Summit Mastery is the biggest pain point that we solve is knowing what steps to take in which order. Because as you said, the virtual Summit has a lot of stuff going on. You have to organise the speakers. You have to build the website. You have to map out promotional campaigns. You have to write the copy for the website, for emails, for ads and so on. You have to negotiate with sponsors and bring them on board. You have to do the video editing.

You have to think about what you do with the summit when it ended, because Summit is really a one time event and all that stuff, you can handle it by yourself, but you can already tell it is a lot, so I wouldn't give myself two months to run my first virtual Summit. I'd give myself six months to run the Visual Summit for the first time, and then it is totally doable.

But.

If you want to avoid a lot of that overwhelm, investing in a course like Richardson and Mastery, or just downloading the freebie that we have on the website, the cheat sheet gives you a lot of clarity of what you have to do as a virtual Summit host to be successful.

I downloaded your cheat sheet about 2 hours ago. It's really good. I think everyone who's listening thinking I could do a virtual Summit. That cheat sheet is really good orientation.

Yeah. And then I have a book at that topic as well. The Virtual Summer Mastery Method Book, which let's do this book for five people listening to this podcast episode. I'd send them the free book. You choose them.

Wow. I will find a way to do that. I guess what I would like is for people to tag you and I in their Instagram story with a screenshot of this episode being played. That would be amazing. If that happens, I'll be so happy you can go find what is your Instagram at Imjancourt and everybody should know mine. It's gentle. So tag us both the first five. Hopefully we get five. Podcast listeners are so quiet, they hate putting their hand up. So trust me, if you actually put your hand up and tag us on Instagram or on Twitter, we'll do both.

You have a very good chance. Obviously, people running the very first summit if their business is very early, something like Virtual Summit Mastery may not be for them, but who is the right person to come and join Virtual Summit Mastery and really go deep and get the real help? Who's the right person for you?

It's an action taker. And I would say that the price barely is an issue, to be honest with Richardson and Mastery, because right now it's 997 and we have payment plans for up to six times 197.

That is actually very reasonable.

The point is, let me rephrase this when we talk about who's Virtual Master before. If you're not ready to invest $1,000 into a programme that over the course of the next three months can teach you how to run a Virtual Summit, and then you make like ten grand on the first virtual event, which is a really good baseline to start off, and then it grows bigger as you repeat the event. It's probably not for you. And the point that I'm trying to make here is it's not done with $1,000 for a virtual event, as long as you sell something online and as long as you benefit from having a stronger brand, we can help you achieve those goals and grow the business.

The point is, you need to account for expenses like pay traffic budget. You need to account for expenses like graphic designers and copywriters and so on. If you don't want to use the template that we have in Virtual Summit Mastery, so hosting a summit probably overall, including the course costs around two and a half thousand to $3,000, excluding ad budget, and that can set you up for massive success.

I look at who I know that runs Virtual Summits and I've seen the impact that it's had on their businesses, and I have to say it's got to be the best money you can spend if you're in the online space.

Yeah, I have to agree, because I've been in the online space since 2013, and I have not seen a marketing strategy that generates results this quickly as Virtual Summit because you leverage the experience and the authority from all those other thought leaders. And in the programme, we teach you every single step with 73 video lessons. And it's just growing by the week because I'm adding new content every single week almost. And the point is, if you're ready to invest, work and time and money into a virtual summit.

I can almost guarantee that over the next two to three years, you'll run five figure events that go up to, let's say, 20,000 attendees, and then you can do the math on what the conversion rate is that you currently have on your own service for 20,000 new people.

And this is obviously before you've actually sold any of the things that you're already selling. Yeah.

And that is before you sell sponsorship. The biggest event I had in sponsorship income personally was $48,000 just to sponsorship. And that is not including ticket sales and upsells to my services.

Well, I'm excited. I hope there are people listening who are thinking, yeah, virtual Summit. It's time I actually got my feet wet and hopefully they'll find their way to you. I asked you this before the call, but obviously being in the virtual summit space, you help other people with their virtual summits. But I know you have your own. So for anybody that's listening thinking, I want to go and watch a well run virtual summit, which are the ones that you're involved in that people could maybe register for.

Now, the next one that is coming up is Listbuildingschool. That is Listbuilding school. It is focused on email marketing, as the name suggests, building a list of email subscribers and then using that to grow your business. And it is in waitlist mode right now. It is launching in January. I'm currently recording the episodes and have some really epic speakers coming up, best selling authors, people who managed million dollar Facebook ad budgets to their email list. So I'm personally very excited. As I said earlier, podcast has got a chance to ask questions that you always wanted to have answered yourself.

And I'm in that joyful process right now of answering of getting the answers from all those amazing experts.

Well, you've been an awesome guest. I have really enjoyed myself. I'm excited. And if I'm excited, hopefully that carries through to the audience. But what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago.

That has to be more intense prospecting. What I'm doing right now is I am messaging 100 people on LinkedIn every single day. And by doing that, I realised that you can only send 800 in mail on LinkedIn per month. So after eight days I had maxed out and now I'm switching to other channels and I'm trying to get slots for the done for you, which will summit service that I'm putting together. So like an agency style service for running virtual events for clients. And I'm just meeting the most amazing people in that outreach process.

I'm meeting people who are on the floors. Coaches Council. I'm meeting people who sell to Microsoft and Cisco and work with the biggest It distributors in the US. And if I were to start all over or go back five years ago, spending an hour every day on LinkedIn messaging, people and doing cold emails and stuff like that. Just expanding the network would be the best advice Besides buying Bitcoin.

Of course, we have two complete additional episodes in there, but yeah, I think honestly, you've just opened a rabbit hole for me to jump into. I have to ask about the cold outreach because it's a hobby horse of mine. So many people wait for people to come to them, and it doesn't work very well. You remember I asked opportunity comes in one of four routes, the best people. They have a plan for each of those. And I was not expecting that. So I'm thrilled to hear it.

Well done. And I have to ask, what sort of rejection rate do you get? And I'm hoping it's really high.

I must be doing something wrong. Then it's probably ten out of 100. They tell me no, thank you. Most people don't respond on LinkedIn, but from those who do, I would say maybe 25% to 30% say no, and everybody else follows up on the reason for that, I think, is that my first initial message is very broad. It's just something like, hey, first name. I just came across your profile and because of her background, I really would love to get in touch. And this opens the conversation.

I'm not trying to pitch on the first call on the first few messages. I'm just trying to get to know people. And obviously I've done the qualification and the filtering in Lincoln Sales Navigator before that. But I just want to really understand what they are struggling with an individual. Someone can help them. So it's a lot of conversations going on these days and probably out of 100 messages. I get on maybe six to ten discovery calls.

So I think there's a whole interview around the productization into an agency of the Virtual Summit. But let's not go there for sure it is.

But I'm happy to come back.

Yeah, and you've been an awesome guest. Thanks so much for your time. Hopefully people will connect with you if you'd like them to do that, remind us where they can do it.

The best place to learn more is virtualsummitmastery.

Com. There.

You can get the free cheat sheet as well. And if you want to Ping me on Twitter at Immunocomp.

Thank you very much for your time. Hopefully see you again soon.

Thanks for having me, Bob. I had a blast.

Before I go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit Amplifyme FM Insiders. Also connect with me wherever you hang out. You'll find me on all the social platforms at Popgentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you shared the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks to you for listening and I'll see you next week bye.



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Episode Overview

There are very few people who can truly claim to own the phrase - personal brand expert - despite the name of my podcast - I’m not on that list.

Mike Kim *is* one of those people.  

He’s one of those people who’s persona soothes my instagram feed and still manages to entertain, inspire and educate me with every single post.  

Mike’s been on the show before but this time he’s back with a whole new level of shock and awesome because he’s done what, for most, is a very hard thing. 

www.mikekim.tv

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.080]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today. On the show, Bob is speaking with Mike Kim.

[00:00:11.180]
When it comes to the stuff that you want to share, ask yourself a simple question, can I build a campfire around what I'm sharing and what I mean by that is, are you providing a light in a dark place? Is it warm? Is it inviting? Is it a place where people can share stories? Is a content that you can build a community around? Are you somebody that people want to be around? That's how you build a person at.

[00:00:37.240]
Hi there. I'm welcome to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurial. My name is both gentle, and every week I'm joy by incredible people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribe in whichever player use. And if you're on Apple podcasts, make sure you hit the new follow option in the top. Right who will keep me up every time I post a new episode. In that way, we both win. There are very few people who can truly claim to own the phrase Personal brand expert, and despite the name of this show, I'm not on that list.

[00:01:09.080]
Mike Kim is one of those people. He is one of those people whose persona soothe my Instagram feed and still manages to entertain, inspire and educate me with every single post Mikes being on the show before, but this time he's back with a whole new level of awesome because he's done what for most people is a very hard thing. Mike, Congratulations on the publication of your new book. You Are The Brand and welcome to the show, Bob.

[00:01:34.400]
It is awesome to be here. Thank you for the warm welcome, and you soothe me. Just found your voice. So I'm just so honoured to be here. We finally made it happen. And I'm so glad that you had me on.

[00:01:48.000]
I have been badgering you for a little while to come on the show, but it little look. And apparently it doesn't seem like this long ago to me. But you have you're on the show almost exactly two years ago.

[00:01:58.530]
Yeah. It's kind of crazy, like time flies.

[00:02:02.270]
I know, I know. Have to do podcasts. No.

[00:02:04.540]
Yeah. There you go.

[00:02:06.020]
So How's the book going? Wall Street Journal bestseller. How does that feel?

[00:02:11.200]
It feels good. Thank you. You know, it's funny the way that I am. I'm just sort of like, okay, we did that. Let's go on to the next thing. And I don't say that as if it's a good thing. I do need to learn how to, like, slow down. And soak life in and but it does feel great. And at the same time, I was like, okay, cool. We did it like, don't get hung up on it, like, move forward to other things. And it's always sort of like that.

[00:02:41.750]
But I'm very proud of it. And I'm proud of myself. And it's hard for me to admit to verbalise and say, and I think that that's something that all of us as entrepreneurs who needs to get better at. You know, if you're going to be your own biggest critic, you also need to be your own biggest fan sometimes and be nice to yourself. So that's me trying to do exactly that. So yes. Thank you. I'm very proud of it.

[00:03:03.030]
Well, we're going to talk about the book, and I think obviously there's a before there's a during and the after. I watched what led up to the book, and I think that's probably quite important to talk about what was the process of writing it like. But one of the things that was most impressive and I would feel wrong for me to say this was intentional. But I look at how you build relationships. Those relationships actually played a large part in the success of the launch, and that doesn't happen by accident.

[00:03:35.880]
You're somebody who does just gather good will around you like a good rule in Snowball, and that paid off in the book launch. The number of people I saw get behind that book was a phenomena.

[00:03:47.480]
Yeah. Thank you. One of the titles in the book is Relationships or Rocket Ships. It's the last chapter in the book is actually my favourite topic to talk about, because not a lot of people talk about that. When we look at business. When we look at especially the solopreneur space, this personal brand space, we think that we can just pump out great content and get their loan. And I'll tell you right now, there are no loan Rangers in this illness. And if you're looking for partners and all that sort of stuff, I want to want to collaborate with others.

[00:04:20.310]
That's wonderful. But you need to do your part and be intentional in being a good friend to them and professionally be someone that they would want to partner with and collaborate with. So that was really cool. I did build relationships. Over the years I've been to lots of events have stayed in touch the best. You know, I think we can always do better. But when it was time and I needed people to have my back, they really did come through for me. And I think the other thing, too, is I saved it.

[00:04:51.980]
I didn't cash in a lot of these asks with people when it wasn't as important. I found other ways to make things work in the meantime. But I remember emailing several people back. I talked to them for maybe a year, year to, but we always maintained a good relationship in some way, shape or form and said, hey, I remember a couple of years ago you said, Holler, if I ever need anything, I need something. And that's how I got on podcast. That's how people promoted it to their email list.

[00:05:23.060]
It was pretty cool to see.

[00:05:24.700]
So tell us a little bit about the book. It's that roadmap. Lay it out for me publicly, not to the extent where people don't have to read the book.

[00:05:35.840]
Well, I feel like the overarching principle of the book is that the barrier to entry to this space is so low that we don't approach building a business with the same intentionality that you might if you were to say, open up a pizza restaurant. And what I mean by that is if you wanted to open a restaurant somewhere, you have to do a million things before you start marketing and pushing out content. You've got to have a business plan, you got to secure a loan. You've got to be strategic about the location, find the suppliers higher staff, train them.

[00:06:09.640]
All of this has to take place before you even start branding or marketing the business. And what I see in this personal brand space is that because the Barry of entry is so low, people just figure I'll start a podcast or I'll launch an Instagram account. I'll just promote some courses and everything will fall into place, and it definitely doesn't work that way. So the book is a book about marketing and branding, but it's more a book about building a business, a solid, concrete, tangible, step by step built business around the things that can often feel vague or always like changing.

[00:06:51.470]
I call it like you're trying to nail down Jello, right, because we have ideas and our passions and our desires change all the time. I don't know if I'm going to like coaching. I don't know if I'm going to like podcasting, but how are you going to build a business around it? And so really the eight steps. I'm an alliteration guy. We start with step one, which is establishing a clear point of view. Once you have that number two, you write some personal stories which are going to help your marketing.

[00:07:18.260]
Number three, you determine what platform you're going to share those stories on. And as you build the business, you determine your positioning to figure out where you sit relative to the competition and on and on ICOs products, pricing, pitch and partners. And the steps build one on top of the other. They're like digits in a phone number. You can have the right digits, but if they're not put in the right order and built sequentially, you're not doubt in you get a wrong number. And that's why so many personal brands struggle.

[00:07:50.080]
And I think right at the beginning is having a point of view piece for a lot of people, that's a crisis. It's a moment of crisis because what it means is if you're going to have an opinion, if you're going to have a point of view, if you're going to make a stand, that's going to turn some people off. And if you come from the place where you do business on a local perspective, with a fixed catchment area, the danger of turning a number of people off means you just half a very limited audience.

[00:08:19.400]
The difference is when you go online, don't that the maths are completely different. I'm curious. Now, do you remember when you discover that tipping point where actually turning people off is a good thing?

[00:08:32.240]
Yeah. I don't know if there was a tipping point because I think I'm kind of a nice guy. I don't actually like to rock the boat for the sake of rocking the boat. There are some people who like to do that. They just like to stir up stuff just for the sake of it. But I found both that when I saw things that I thought were half truths, especially in the industry that we're in, I saw people falling for slimy marketing tactics and all this sort of stuff.

[00:09:02.110]
That's when I started to call that out. And then I noticed a friend of mine said this to me, and I really appreciate it. He said, Your vulnerability is one of your superpowers and your willingness to be honest about the industry at the expense of maybe turning away, not clients, but partners is very refreshing. So it's interesting in that sense, where I don't feel like I'm turning away other clients. I feel like I'm turning away potential partners because I'm calling the industry out on a lot of the stuff that I see that are half true and not good for people.

[00:09:42.820]
And as I've done that, my following has grown, and that's been cool to see.

[00:09:48.210]
So anyone that's written a book, I'm always really impressed. I have an embryonic book idea at the moment, and I'm sort of extrapolating out with the process of turning this idea into a real thing in the world. Looks like. And it just blows my mind as I'm always curious to know what was somebody's process of going from idea to a document that's ready to hand over to somebody to have printed. What does that look like?

[00:10:16.040]
Yeah, for me? Well, I wrote the book over a number of years, and I don't know if you even know this, but I signed the book deal about five years ago, and I wrote the book, and I didn't write the book because I went through a lot of personal challenges. I went through a divorce. Life was just crazy, and I just did not have the creative bandwidth to be to write writing if you want to write and write. Well, it takes a lot. How do you do there's?

[00:10:42.950]
Honestly, there's a lot of resentment towards that season in my life and towards my actual life and all this stuff. It was just like, gosh, if I had written this book five years ago, my life would look so much different now. And there was that edge that I had to deal with and that kind of like energy and that sort of negative emotion that I had to deal with and work through. And so I had started and stopped the book numerous times over that five year period when the pandemic hit and we were all locked down and we couldn't go anywhere.

[00:11:13.830]
I was like, If I don't write the book this year, I'm literally not going to respect the guy that I see in the mirror. Right? So I just hunker down in. And I'll be honest, I hated, like, every minute of writing the book. I really did it because it was my own book, and I was probably being overly picky with everything. But it's also because emotionally, I was writing about a season in my life that was really difficult. I was writing about the years when I started my business and then immediately, six months after starting my business, my personal life went into a tailspin, and I was having to revisit those years and revisit events.

[00:11:52.050]
And it really, like, kind of opened up, you know, that season of hard times and the grief and the emotions associated with that. So that made writing the book hard as well. But some of the very tactical things that helped me, we're looking at the chapters that I wrote as if they were laws or Commandments about branding and marketing that I wanted the world to understand. So we started just a few minutes ago. It relationships or rocket ships that's literally the law, quote, unquote the subtitle of chapter ten in the book.

[00:12:26.740]
And so that's what I put into the table of contents. I was like, okay, I'm going to have a law for every chapter, whether my reader realises it or not, that's going to help me standpoint. Then with every chapter, I asked myself two questions. Number one, how did I learn this law, right? How did I did where I did this come from? I didn't read it. A book where I come to this realisation. And then number two, how did I make this happen for myself? So if the law is relationships or rocket ships, where did I learn that?

[00:13:01.660]
Or where was one instance in my life where I learned that if you read the book, the chapter opens with that particular chapter opens with a story about how I met a King from the African nation of Ghana, and he'd be on the phone with representatives from the United Nations all the time when I was driving him around, and he told me, so life is. He said something along. Life is who, you know what you know. And that was one of the instances in my life where somebody told me, relationships are much more important than your knowledge.

[00:13:32.220]
And so that's where the story came from in the book and how I framed it. And then the rest of the chapter is how I made that principal come true for myself. So if you go back and read the book through those lenses, you can see exactly how I wrote the book. So hopefully that's helpful for you, Bob. And for anyone else who is listening for you, the listener, ask yourself those two questions, where did you learn or how did you learn this? And how did you make it happen for yourself?

[00:13:58.860]
So speaking of the listener, who is the book for who is your ideal reader?

[00:14:04.660]
The ideal reader is for me, in my mind, somebody who wants to start a side hustle and scale it to a six figure business. Six figure us. I'm in the US, but a business based on your ideas, your expertise, your personality, your reputation, your knowledge. And there are a lot of people who want to do that. But more specifically, what I would say is this that number one. This is for somebody who has yet to quite nail down what niche product, service or clients they want to focus on, because that person is currently in what I call the start up stage, right?

[00:14:49.130]
They need to get proof of concept for the message, for the marketing, for the monetization strategies. But a lot of people in these stages in this stage, they get distracted by shiny objects, they are paralysed by self doubt and fear. And they're sold all these other courses and products that aren't right for them at this stage of their business. The second person I would say should read this book is someone who has a business, a solopreneur business. But the business has not made a hundred thousand dollars us a year in a row for the last three years.

[00:15:24.800]
What I'm looking for there is sustainability. These folks are making money, but the income can be up and down unpredictable. It's sort of feast or famine. And what that person needs to do is differentiate their message, and they have to pivot their offers, attract an audience so that they can get out of solely doing client work or relying on referrals. And the best way to do that is build your personal brand. And that's what of course, we talk about the book.

[00:15:50.560]
Yeah, I think I would venture to add to that. I think there are a lot of solo Prin our businesses that are modestly successful but not necessarily fulfilling. I'm possibly offering people a route to pivot into fulfilment from wherever they are. Would you say that's fair?

[00:16:08.740]
Yeah, I do. And I think that if you talk to a lot of people who are running their own business, they're enjoying it. It's like even if business is good, there are the main driver of the business, and that's a different stage. That's where you are building up the business. Revenue is great, but you're still the primary driver. You need to move to the scale up stage of business and get teams and processes in place. But you can't work on that stuff. If you're still trying to figure out what your product your niche is, you can't work on that stuff if you don't have clarity in your message and in your marketing and you aren't consistently making revenue if you are in a feast or famine situation, what is the good of hiring a team as a solopreneur?

[00:16:56.860]
Because one month you'll do great. You're like, great. I could pay the bills the next month. It tanks you're eating into your savings. And now you got to lay people off or break all these contracts. And it's just you can't really get any traction. So that's why I look at it from the point of, like, the stage of business that you're in. It's not wrong to get help. It's not wrong to hire a virtual assistant. It's just is this the right move for you for the season of business that you're in for the stage of business that you're in.

[00:17:28.620]
And that's why so many people in this space make mistakes. They do the right thing at the wrong time. So it's the wrong thing. And that's really who I try to help.

[00:17:38.460]
Yeah. I think that's one of the difficulties in our business and in marketing in general is all the things work, but they don't all work at the same time and in the same situations and so many people, they just walk into like a nuclear power station full of buttons. And they just start mashing the buttons without understanding. For them, there's really only one or two buttons that matter right now. And I think, yeah, the framework that you have there the eight step road map really helps structure that.

[00:18:07.940]
I give some orientation.

[00:18:09.540]
Yeah.

[00:18:10.550]
Absolutely.

[00:18:11.400]
So something I'm curious on your perspective here, because one of the things you touch on in the book is the importance of platform and building your own platform. And I see a lot of people leaping into productization and all kinds of content marketing without really having an authority foundation, a place that there is a place where they regularly express themselves. So, like a podcast, a blog, YouTube, those kinds of things. How important is that platform piece? And have I missed anything? There are there platform styles, I guess.

[00:18:47.100]
Third, I may be a little bit more original that you've come across.

[00:18:51.360]
I would say that it's everything. The brand is everything. Hence the title of the book, You Are The Brain. And here's what I mean by this. If you are in, if you want to build a business around your ideas and you never share your ideas, you have no marketing. I mean, I'm very I'm very direct with my students, my clients. They say I want to be an expert in a thought leader. Well, if you want to be a thought leader and never share your thoughts, you have no marketing, because last time I checked, people cannot read your mind.

[00:19:27.540]
If you are an expert and you never share your expertise, how are people supposed to know that they should work with you? That's why so many people who start in this business don't get to a point where they can really live comfortably and have predictable results. Talent is not enough in today's attention economy. We are in an intention economy. You have to realise you're the brand. No one's going to buy from you if they don't know who you are. The age old business adage is people do business with those they know, like, trust.

[00:20:05.720]
Try by and then they repeat and refer, well, it's your job to get people to know you. If Bob, you tell me like, hey, Mike, there's a wonderful lady you should meet. I think you guys would be really great together. You hit it off and I don't know her. I'm not even going to get a chance to like her.

[00:20:22.620]
Yeah.

[00:20:23.680]
Or go out and hang out. Right. And that's exactly how this space is. You could be one of the best coaches, the best speakers or experts out there. But no one knows who you are. You'll have a tough time getting hired and you're going to struggle to sell your products because no one's going to know who you are now. One other thing is this sort of a mini rant. Here I am. I'm so sick of other gurus out there telling their students and members and followers that they do not need a brand just a few weeks ago.

[00:20:53.890]
And if I said this person's name, everybody would know them. But I saw a video from a big name business expert telling his audience it was from a live event to forget about building a personal brand. He said that they should just focus on getting good at speaking first. Right. Because he was talking about me. And what was he selling? A speaking programme, right. Of course. Now part in my, you know, like, New York City, New Jersey language. But that is such a load of crap.

[00:21:22.960]
Like, I was like, look at this. How ironic. He posted this video on social media right on his Blue Cheque verified Instagram account from a conference that had his name plastered and branded all over the state. I was like, what a hypocrite. That's so ridiculous. And the reason people do this, these goers do that.

[00:21:46.930]
No.

[00:21:47.360]
Yes. You have to get good at something. But you can't tell people get good at something at the expense of building your brand. They have to be built at the same time. And these guys, like this guy do this because they want to keep their buyers in their ecosystem. So they buy every new product they create in order to keep them on, like this endless loop of co dependency and exorbitant spending. Right. And their members, their followers, people out there do not realise that every expert that they follow is a brand.

[00:22:19.210]
If they weren't, they wouldn't be following them in the first place because they wouldn't know who they are. So that stuff ticks me off. It rouses me up because they're lying to people.

[00:22:27.640]
I think that is frustrating, and it's far more common. Then I think a lot of people realise, yeah, I think there's a lot of disingenuous things happen out there. I think a lot of it is unintentional. It's just thoughtless talk, but thoughtless talk in our business, when you have influence like that is dangerous and it can do a lot of damage and cost people their careers and livelihoods. So yeah, I totally get that. I think one of the things that's also interesting to contrast with that you need to build a brand is this whole idea of hard work beats talent.

[00:23:06.050]
When talent doesn't work, that you can be great at something. But if you haven't managed to position yourself and build some visibility, then somebody who's half asked at it, who has invested a personal brand, they will find those opportunities and that's on you. I think that's another frustration that you see quite often. And for me, that was a bit of a driver, to be honest. So you see people who really don't know what they're talking about, who have built strong profiles, getting all the opportunities and just wrong quality should rise to the top, sadly, doesn't always.

[00:23:41.200]
It is down to the people who, yeah, they need to do the work and raise their own profiles.

[00:23:46.600]
Yeah, absolutely. And it's your job to do that. I tell my folks all the time. If you're in the start up for the ramp up phase, you need real followers, you need real fans, you need real subscribers, you need real connections, you can't just fake your way to it. You can't just buy a bunch of followers and assume that you have real authority. If people aren't missing you when you're gone, you haven't left a big enough impression in their lives. That's the bottom line.

[00:24:16.510]
So what does your average client look like now? And how do you serve them?

[00:24:21.360]
Yeah. The average client is really somebody who is in those first two phases of business, the start up in the ramp of phase. Every year we run a programme based off the book. It's called you or the Brand. It's a six month programme and it's half course. It's half coaching calls and it's in that there are master Mi groups, 1212 person master my groups like small groups. And I run the small groups. And what I see in the space. And the reason I built the programme this way is that you can't watch a bunch of videos and get clarity for yourself.

[00:24:57.740]
You need to talk to somebody. You need to talk to people. You need to get around other people that are also doing the same thing. And so I serve those clients in that matter. I build a community. I do my best to make it high touch. One of the things I say to folks is that when you're building a brand, you're often curious is what you should say. And most of the personal brand space plays out in one of two ways. We talked about this, you know, in some way, shape or form.

[00:25:27.700]
On one hand, you have people who are selling a false version of themselves. They are people who proverbially will have 15,000 followers on Instagram and only three comments. Or they'll rent a mansion on Airbnb, stage a photo shoot and imply that it's their house is a good idea. And these people do not realise that attention is owed. It's not earned. That's how they feel, but attention. It has to be earned. It is not owed to you. Then you have the second group of people who over share in the name of authenticity.

[00:26:00.100]
Authenticity is a big word now, and the problem with these folks is that they're not really selling a solution. They are selling their struggles, and it's like a car wreck on the interstate on the highway. It gets a lot of attention. But you can't build a community, rent it. People move on just like you said. They buy and move on or they click and move on or they just don't even do anything. And my proposition is don't build a brand, become the brand, become the person you're actually trying to sell to.

[00:26:31.240]
People do the hard work of growing up, of maturing, of facing your own demons and facing your own issues and and become the person that you're trying to sell to people. And when it comes to the stuff that you want to share, ask yourself a simple question. Can I build a camp fire around what I'm sharing and what I mean by that is are you are you providing a light in a dark place? Is it warm? Is it inviting? Is it a place where people can share stories?

[00:26:58.950]
Is it a place is a content that you can build a community around? Are you somebody that people want to be around? That's how you build a personal rant.

[00:27:07.300]
I think there's a few places I could go with that. I think one of the things I often come back to is if I was to parachute myself in to into the business owner that I want to be in five years running the business that I want to run in five years? I'm not that person. If you dropped me into that role, not right now. I just crashed the car. I had to do the work to become that person. And so many people forget about that that you need to work on yourself.

[00:27:41.520]
Your business grows when you grow essentially, as you said, who do you need to become to have whatever it is you want to have because you're not that person right now. If you were, you'd have it.

[00:27:54.400]
Yeah. The opening chapter of the book. And this is one of my big tenants in life is when I Cook, could she folks, could you have to become in order to serve the people you want to serve? But that's a good question to start with, which is why we started with it in the book do you have to become a better communicator? Do you have to become a risk taker? Do you have to shed this need to present a false version of yourself? Can you be more authentic?

[00:28:24.130]
Can you be more real? Would you have to become? Do you have to become a leader? Do you have to mature? You have to become more emotionally healthy. All these things and life is always a quest of getting better, the things that we can get better at it for those who are really interested in becoming a better version of themselves, a really living life to the full. And if you're going to get into the space, you might as well do the work, because if you just want to make money, I turn a lot easier ways to make money than being in this space.

[00:28:53.370]
You know, you can go flip properties. You can, you know, do weird things on the Internet. You know, you can make money doing almost anything these days. But if you really want to build a business and a brand around yourself, do the hard work of working on yourself.

[00:29:08.000]
I guess I'm going to bring things back to the book. And I'm curious to know for me, this is one of the important questions. Is business before the book business and life because I think as a personal brand business, there's a big blurry cross over there. So business in life before the book and business in life just after the book, what impact has it had?

[00:29:34.400]
I would say this for probably the last year and a half my life's been consumed by writing this book and marketing the book. So that's taking up a big piece of my life now that the book has launched and it's done very well. Honestly, I don't think about it a lot, and I just got done. I just got done promoting our course. That when I told I just talked about a few minutes ago and that's something that we do once a year. I'm really excited about working with people in that regard because I love coaching.

[00:30:07.060]
I love coaching. I love getting in the dirt with people. I don't think that you can change someone's life by sitting in the sky box. You have to get on to the field within, especially in this industry that I'm in and that you and I are in. You've got to work with them. They need to talk to you. And so I'm excited about that. I don't know how to quantify what major changes it happened because of the book. It feels nice that I can send people somewhere to get some of my best content, and it's just a couple of dollars, right?

[00:30:42.720]
But deeper than all of that, if anything, I'm just really proud that it's done because it was really a long road. And I would say this and I've said this on a personal. This is more a personal level. It allowed me to close a chapter of my life, all those difficult years that are talked about in the book. Sort of the janky energy, if you will, that I had around not having written the book earlier and feeling like I couldn't do it because of what happened in my personal life.

[00:31:15.580]
Like once I finished the book and I held that in my hands, it was a very, very powerful feeling because I was like, wow, you know, I came out on the other side and in that season's over and I've created something beautiful out of it that can help people that I can look back on and say I did that and move on. And I feel like my life right now is just an open field. Like I can run wherever I want. I can go wherever I want with whoever I want.

[00:31:44.700]
And it's just so incredibly empowering and wonderful. Sea Life is great.

[00:31:50.940]
Well, everyone listening, you need to go and get a copy. And I don't honestly say that about every author that's been on, but this is probably the one book all of my listeners should read this year. It's for you. Mike Kim, thank you so much for coming on the show. If people want to connect with you, how would you like them to do that? We can he find you on social media.

[00:32:12.820]
I'm on Instagram the most at my Kim TV, but you're listening to a podcast. If you like podcasts, find me on your podcast app, just look up my Kim. We've recently rebranded the podcast too. No, no surprise. You are the brand and I'm really excited about that because we're changing things up a little bit and it's a fresh approach to it. And so I'm very, very excited about that. So cheque it out. You are the brand and of course, grab a copy of the book.

[00:32:41.040]
If you liked this podcast, you will like Mike's podcast too. It should be on your playlist for next up after this one, but only after this work. Mike, what's one thing you do now you wish it started five years ago.

[00:32:53.100]
One thing I'm sure other people will invest in Bitcoin or something like that. I'm going to go a different route here. I wish it's a cold showers. Five years ago I've been doing the whole like take a cold shower for five minutes in the morning and it totally changed my life. Like more than glad to.

[00:33:13.450]
That was a win half thing.

[00:33:15.940]
I don't know. I remember there was a season where despite the fact that I was working out, I just never had any energy. I was just like, why can't I sleep? Well? Why can't I wake up in the morning? And I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. And a few people had mentioned that they take cold showers and I think I was just like, alright, let me just see what this is. And I eased my way into it because I take warm showers like normal people and jump in the cold water for 10 seconds at the end of the hour.

[00:33:47.930]
And I eventually made my way up. And I eventually switched to doing them in the morning. And it's funny because every morning I am like, oh, here we are again. And I've learned to change my perspective and reframe what I'm about to do because my body is going to go into shock. And I'm like, I'm just grateful for this opportunity. And, you know, then I'm in there for a few minutes. I play a song off Spotify, and I know exactly the runtime of the song. So I've got to be in for the whole song, and I get halfway through.

[00:34:25.480]
And almost every morning I scream at myself. I'm like, I did not come this far to fail, meaning staying in this hour for the full one. I not come this far. You freaking fail, and it really amps me up. Like, it really gets me, like, in the right frame of mind. And I'm like, if I can do this, I can do anything that I know that I'm going to face for the day. I told you just recently, we went through the launch and launches. Product launches are like the ban of any marketers existence.

[00:34:57.070]
They're awesome and terrifying all at the same time. And after the first day of the launch, of course, all the impostor syndrome kicks in and you're like, you're going to be broke. No one's going to buy anything I look at sales are terrible, and I was so annoyed at this, I went in the cold share. I just started screaming, like, not screaming, but I was like, yelling it. How come this sort of fail? Like, I do not negotiate with terrorists? Like, speaking of this, that was just crazy, like all of this self talk that was just coming out of nowhere.

[00:35:27.920]
Man. It just cleared all of that. It just cleared all the energy, just cleared all the bad juju. I know this sounds super woo right now, but there are a lot of scientific, scientifically backed reasons why cold sores are pretty good for you, man. I wish I knew that five years ago.

[00:35:46.440]
I'm just going to delete the rest of the show. That was the best bit. Mike, you've been awesome. Thanks so much for your time. I can't wait to speak to again. Hopefully not another two years. But for now. Thank you so much.

[00:35:59.480]
Thank you so much for having me. But.

[00:36:03.900]
Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show notes or visit amplify me to a forward slash insiders. Also, connect with me wherever you hang out. You'll find on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend. You would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop gentle, thanks to you for listening.

[00:36:31.040]
And I'll see you next week.



Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Episode Overview

If you’re shy, a bit weird or don’t feel comfortable in social settings then I have news for you. You’re not broken. This week my guest is Matt Johnson, author of MicroFamous - Become Famously Influential to the Right People.

We’re talking about how so many of the personality traits you see as disadvantages or barriers can be overcome or even turned into your secret weapon.  

So let’s get your MicroFamous journey started.

About Matt

Matt Johnson is a marketing agency founder, podcaster, and musician. Matt runs a podcast launch & production agency based in San Diego, an international team that helps business coaches,  consultants and thought leaders use done-for-you podcasting to attract an audience, build influence & become MicroFamous.

 Matt is the author of MicroFamous and currently hosts the MicroFamous podcast. He is a frequent podcast guest and event speaker to audiences around the US, Canada, and Australia.

Matt's website : https://pursuingresults.com/

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.160]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today on the show, Bob is speaking with Johnny Ball.

[00:00:11.520]
So if you really want to be someone who is looked at as a leader or someone who is in authority, then you must do some inner work as well as some master practical work to make that happen and be willing to have to drive to build that level of confidence up for yourself. Because I think when it's real, when that confidence is authentic, then it's very hard to argue, but when it's undeserved and people will still go for that. But the often is perceived as being shallow or undeserved as well.

[00:00:45.140]
So confidence is a really huge part of this. And one of the reasons for that is because people respond to confidence.

[00:00:55.360]
Hi there and welcome back to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurial. My name is Pop Gentle and every week I'm joined by incredible and inspiring people who share what makes their business works. If you're new to the show to second right now to subscribe in whatever player you use. And if you're listening on Apple podcasts, make sure you cheque the new follow option on the top right of the page. Otherwise Apple won't tell you there's a new episodes. This is a new thing. So please cheque that out before I jump.

[00:01:21.570]
Introducing this week's guest, I have a new thing. After nearly 200 of these interviews, I've learned a thing or two and it turns out success leaves clues and I want to offer the map to you. So head on over to Amplify Me agency Forward Roadmap, I grab your copy of my brand new personal brand business blueprint everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business. It's yours for free as a gift for me. So let's get into it this week. I'm delighted to welcome John Ball the show.

[00:01:51.840]
John, there's so much I want to ask you, but for those who maybe I don't know who you are, why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do.

[00:02:01.160]
I would love to be, but Firstly, thank you for inviting me on to the show is really great to be joining you. My name is John B, but my people call me Johnny and people who have grown up in the Seventies and Eighties in the UK would probably know why. That is a number. That's exactly why. And so I just kind of got used to it and decided that Johnny sounds a lot friendlier. Anyway, I am a persuasive presentations coach and I also help people get their persuasive podcast star as well.

[00:02:31.900]
I'm working with people now on purpose driven missions and goals to help their audiences in the specific and unique ways, get their messages out there. And that's in podcasting and in life as well. And I help business owners particularly and coaches, speakers, entrepreneurs become more persuasive on whatever platform they're using, both in life and in business through a mixture of understanding the tools and weapons of influence and persuasion and various other tools and techniques that I have learned and picked up along the way. And I host a top podcast about public speaking about primarily about influence and persuasion tools.

[00:03:11.710]
And so it covers a lot of public speaking and presentation stuff in there. I speak to psychologists and I have some ex cult members. I spoke into political speechwriters, negotiation skills experts, marketers brand experts, all sorts of things that relate to influence and persuasion and all the stuff that people would want to know about. I live in the city of Valencia in Spain, but I'm not from here. I was born in Manchester. If you can't tell from a cause, I lost it years and years ago and mostly live around Greater London area for most of my life until I made the decision to up sticks and try living somewhere else.

[00:03:49.860]
I'm still hearing cult members entered when regular that people say, what did you want to do when you left school? And I always have struggled with that question. I mean, normal answer is pirate, space, pirate and Jeni adventure, but actually cult leader was on my list as well. Not about that. And if you knew me, I think this is why I'm quite keen to speak to you. If you knew me, I'm probably the least cult leader person you could ever meet, but for some reason it was always quite attractive to me.

[00:04:21.690]
I could see you being quite good at that. Actually, Bob, you have the kind of voice that makes people lean in, so that's a good sign of influence. And that's an important factor for being a cult that you speak so and clearly. And you have that breathe quality to your voice that is actually very influential and can have I can have some powerful if it on people. I bet you get some comments from people about how much they like your voice from time to time. Right.

[00:04:50.680]
Well, actually, that's another funny thing is I'm no teenager, but my whole life, nobody had ever mentioned my voice until I started the podcast. And for me it was what do you mean, you liked my voice? I spent most of my life being quite anxious and paranoid about my voice, and now, apparently, it's an asset. I'd never have considered that before, but you're absolutely right back to cult leaders. We're talking influence on persuasion. I think that's where we should start today and completers are probably a good example because they are influencing and they're influencing heavily, but it's actually quite negative and it's manipulative.

[00:05:28.510]
And I think that's a lot of people's anxiety when you start talking about influence and persuasion, that it's it's an abuse is taking advantage. It's playing people. And I think that it's important for people to recognise is that not everybody knows what they want. Not everybody can discriminate between what's good for them and what's bad for them. And so being able to confidently express your position and influence somebody to do the things that are good for them. And the truth is, if you're selling anything, it better be good for the people that you're selling it to, because if it's not, you need to have a conversation with yourself like a cult leader.

[00:06:06.700]
But let's assume what you're doing is good for the world. You should be able to confidently persuade people that they should take the actions that are good for them. And I may say that just to kind of cut through all the manipulation and the negativity around stereotyping people who have these conversations, it's important to be able to your case for good. And I think that's where we should start this conversation.

[00:06:29.180]
I agree. And it's interesting. I had a chat recently with professor of rhetoric and rhetoric is one of the areas of influence on station that I love discussing and didn't really learn much about it until later in life. And I think lots of people don't encounter it now unless you've had in the UK, particularly unless you've had a private school education where you probably have encountered rhetoric and a lot of the things that relate to it, then you probably don't have much of a clue what or how it works, although you will have come into contact with some very clear examples of that, things like governmental, three word slogans and things of that.

[00:07:08.760]
But what's interesting is that when it comes to rhetoric, these are tools of influence and persuasion that we have been aware of for centuries, from the times of the ancient Greek philosophers. Really from Plato. Aristotle. In fact, Aristotle's work on rhetoric still considered the seminal work today. He was one of the first people to really stop and study what made people influential. What made a difference when people were speaking and presenting and things haven't actually changed all that much. But his goal with all of that was that you should learn these tools so that you would be able to speak truth to power so that you would be able to share great messages with the world and put truth out into the world, not to manipulate, not to just work for your own needs, which often is what it ends up getting used for.

[00:08:05.620]
Whilst there were some elements of that in the world of cuts cuts, really a more much more emotional based, although a lot of rhetoric does rely on that. A lot of rhetoric is linguistically based, but cult control of his that primarily targets emotions.

[00:08:23.360]
So I guess to make this practical, if we take the idea of influence and persuasion and we apply it to the average business owner, what are the touch points where they might consider how persuasive they're being? So we have public speaking. We have broadcast the two natural platforms that you and I instinctively go to. But for a lot of business owners, they are maybe a next step element. How can we maybe explore being more persuasive in our day to day transactions? So we're in a meeting where on a sales call where sort of handling a situation with a team member, what would be, I guess, core skills that we should look at building out, well, definitely.

[00:09:10.880]
One thing we should be looking at for ourselves is to have more confidence in who we are and how we show up, because your charisma is an important factor in being more influential in persuasion persuasive. So if you really want to be someone who is looked at as a leader, as someone who is in authority, then you must do some inner work as well as some after practical work to make that and be willing to have the drive to build that level of confidence up for yourself.

[00:09:45.050]
Because I think when it's real, when that confidence is authentic, then it's very hard to argue against, but when it's undeserved and people will still go for that. But it often is perceived as being shallow or undeserved as well. So confidence is a really huge part of this. And one of the reasons for that is because people respond to confidence. If you put it this way, if you think, well, what should an intelligent person doing in a situation? Should they weigh up different sides of a matter and have take time to think about it?

[00:10:20.160]
Go.

[00:10:20.290]
And I don't really know the answer yet, but I'm going to think about this and let's give it some energy. Let's give some thought that seems like a really rational thing to do. And yet we're much more attracted to the person says, well, here's what to do. Let's just do this and straight away with the confidence of this is exactly what we need to do, whether it's right or wrong. That is more appealing to us. We like it when people are definite about things, and we do tend to assume that the person who is confident that has earned that authority to demonstrate their confidence.

[00:10:50.370]
But that's not always the case from what you're saying.

[00:10:53.270]
And I think this is an important thing that the inner work side of it is quite important. And influence and persuasion isn't something that you can hack. I think this is really what we're talking about. Influence that has depth. I think that requires personal growth to grow into that depth. How does this correlate with things like NLP, which I see as people trying to hack confidence and authority?

[00:11:24.760]
Yeah. There are different types of confidence ultimately, and there is a confidence that comes from experience. And then there's a confidence. There is much more the attitude based confidence or being more gung Ho and going for things and just saying yes to things, making things working on the fly, that kind thing, the just different types of confidence and one you have to work one you have to build up over time or you end up kind of faking it ultimately that kind of confidence that you need to be confident as a business leader, for example, to be confident as a sales person, you have to build that up.

[00:12:09.880]
But some people can get away with faking it if they know the right thing to do. So we need to understand that it was best saying, of course, we want people to use tools to influence and persuasion ethically. They can be hacked and they can be used for nefarious purposes. They can be used to come people to trick people. So I don't think that's particularly what NLP is generally about. But the reality is the people who are going to do that, they already figure this stuff out.

[00:12:38.520]
Generally, they are already out there with an intention to do those kinds of activities. So really, what we need to do is arm everyone else to be able to utilise that to put good out into the world and also to recognise and combat the stuff that isn't.

[00:12:55.900]
Here's a question. We have a business owner who wants to level up. He wants to play a bigger game in the world and he recognises or she recognises. I need to present differently. I need to start doing podcast interview. I need to start doing video content. I need to start doing public speaking. They may be written a book, and then they've never managed to push beyond that because of the fear of all these things that they've never done before. They know they have to start doing them, but they feel like they're not ready yet.

[00:13:30.800]
What can we do to start cultivating that confidence? Yes, that's my question. Okay.

[00:13:37.580]
The first thing is, even when you don't feel confident, it doesn't mean you shouldn't start. So really, unless somebody has such a paralysing terrible fear of doing this stuff, you just can't let it be a reason not to take action and start doing it anyway. If I think about the first time I ever got up on a stage in front of a group of people to speak. I was pretty terrified and probably a number of times after that where I got up to speak. I was also pretty terrified, and I think what was mostly terrified was what would people say afterwards?

[00:14:14.230]
What would people really think to me? And that is generally the feel like people tend not to really be afraid of being on podcast, being interviewed, public speaking. What they tend to be afraid of is looking like an idiot afterwards or embarrassing themselves or not showing themselves in their best light or saying something, making mistakes and being a bit too perfection is the bad things that's what people tend to get hung up on. Is this going to damage me in the long run? Am I going to look like an idiot or in?

[00:14:44.320]
I feel like an idiot for doing it. So that's really where people tend to get stuck here. And so it's that kind of thinking that gets people all in their heads thinking about everything that could go wrong, everything that they might not do right. And instead of just being present and relaxing and doing their best. And sometimes it does just take experience and practise to get to that level of being able to relax and put your best self forward and let go of the stuff that isn't perfect.

[00:15:17.290]
Okay. I might have said something a bit stupid there, or I might not express myself as well as I want to. Can you do something about that? Great, if you can. And if you can't move on.

[00:15:27.680]
I think you kind of hit the nail on the head there that the only way to get over fear is to move forward. I don't think an analogy I've often used as an elastic band that a comfort zone is much like an elastic band. There the stretch. But what's interesting is you stretch and elastic band enough and it actually stays in its stretched position. It expands essentially. And comfort zones are a lot like that. So what are some common mistakes that you see people making when they're attempting to be more persuasive, but they perhaps into the level of skill that they could be.

[00:16:10.280]
They haven't put in the work.

[00:16:11.240]
So to speak, it really depends on how they want to dissuade. So if we're talking about sales persuasion, I think the big mistake that I see people making and will try and help people with is people go into this sales person mode. I am selling now and suddenly I've gone into this sales mode. They feel it's sleazy. Their prospects feel is sleazy and people start getting turned off by that often. What seems to happen. People move out of this one thing to help, have great products, have a great service and suddenly think I have to sell you this now.

[00:16:46.400]
Well, if you've done your job, you don't have to sell anything. That is a big mistake that people make. But another one is really just being being too uptight about things. And maybe this is a particularly common English trait, and I will put this down to England more than other parts of the UK and the world. There is a tendency to be quite emotionally uptight. Okay, maybe it is a sweeping generalisation, but it is there and it will stop people from expressing themselves fully from really going to some emotional places.

[00:17:22.150]
And everything has to be super professional or that we have to be kind of clipped in our answers rather than actually engaging and having a warm, friendly conversation, even if it is about professional topics. So this idea that business and personal separate, it's kind of integrated. And I think people get enough on that have to project the professional image all the time have to live up to this image that you may have created about who you need to be in life or business, and that, for starters, may not be very authentic to who you truly are.

[00:18:00.110]
And a lot of people get trapped in this idea of who they think they need to be rather than who they are.

[00:18:06.320]
I think, as I've been in business, something you just made this conscious for me really is I've worked with people every level of business, from people who are fresh in the door, 19 year olds all the way through to multi million dollar business owners. And what's interesting is that the further up the hierarchy they go or the more successful personally to become, the more casual they are. And that's pretty universal. And so anybody who's looking at, well, how could I perhaps come across as more authentic and persuasive chill out is probably one of the key elements there.

[00:18:46.900]
Yeah. Interesting. But, you know, that I used to be a flight attendant with very well known certain British airline, and I worked in first class a lot of the time as well whilst I was there, and you would see that difference, even even in that environment, that most people who were travelling first class unless they were there, like, for a one off experience, most of them were regular first class Flyers, and they were all just really relaxed about everything. And you think what everything doesn't everything has to be absolutely super perfect up there.

[00:19:23.370]
No, really, that never mattered. It actually that sort of thing seemed to matter much more in business class than in first class. And I guess that attitude spreads to other parts of life as well. When you've made it, you don't you don't have to trying to make it anymore.

[00:19:39.600]
Yeah. Let's talk about podcasting then, specifically because that's an area of focus for you. And I think for a lot of people, it should be an area of focus for you because for me, podcasting has been life changing. I can't there's no two ways that I could really put that as a host, and certainly more recently, being quite intentional about being a guest and bringing as much value as I can into other people's audiences. And that has led to opportunities that I couldn't even begin to describe.

[00:20:14.160]
Additionally, it's had an impact on the circle of people that I know I feel crass calling it contacts or network because it goes way beyond that. These are friends and friends help friends, as you know. And obviously my business now revolves around that. But if anybody is looking at building their confidence and breaking into public speaking and have a greater impact, I don't think there's anything more accessible and potentially powerful for you than podcasting. And that's really where you put a lot of emphasis now is helping people make that transition into becoming podcasters and podcast guests.

[00:20:54.000]
What advice would you have for anybody is thinking?

[00:20:57.160]
I.

[00:20:59.120]
Don'T think I could do that. Or be. You know what? I think I should maybe do that.

[00:21:05.200]
There are many different types of podcast, and I have maybe more than one answer for this. But the kinds of people who I am working with in terms of getting their podcast out there started giving them the launch plans and getting things working and running smoothly. More people who have a message, you have a purpose who feel that they have a mission to be out in the world, they're making a difference and making things better. And those are the people who I want to help, because right now we are still in a situation where some live stuff is coming back.

[00:21:40.070]
But Sam isn't and still things are very uncertain. So virtual events and podcasts are still big and still very in demand. All of the speaking requests that I get on the opportunities I get at the moment are virtual, and I'm okay with it. I love doing it, although I mis travel a little bit, but not so much. I don't feel quite ready to do that myself, but this is where there's an opportunity right now, and it's not going to go away, because with the pandemic and everything, more and more people have switched to these kinds of things.

[00:22:12.870]
Online education is growing, and podcasting is a very big part of the online educational world that is very expensive to start and do and really only demands you some time and energy into putting a show together. But for people who have a message that they want to share, for people who actually want to stand there in their industry, podcasting can be a very powerful way to do that. And so I think it's great actually to have both. Why not have both? If you can start a podcast that is very much about you getting the opportunity to showcase what you know and what you talk about and bring in other experts and people who would be interesting for you to talk with.

[00:22:57.610]
Not only are you going to start rubbing shoulders and making great friends with top experts on being more associated with the leading people in your industry. But you are going to be seen in that light as well, not just by Association, but because people will think about you in relation to your podcast and the kinds of things that you talk about. So it does set you out as a speaker, as someone who's likely to get invited for opportunities that relate to the area that you're podcasting about.

[00:23:29.360]
If you really want to be known, then getting on other people's podcasts as a guest that are relevant to the kinds of audiences that you would want to be attracting is going to be much more powerful for you. In terms of being known. You can become pod famous now, and so it requires work. It requires some effort and energy, but it's still going to be a lot more achievable than trying to regularly get yourself on TV, though, if you can do both, do both. But podcasting has huge opportunities for really standing out as a thought leader, as an expert in what you do.

[00:24:08.980]
But the other side of that is you have to bring the goods if you're faking it. If you don't really have the goods, you're not going to last very long.

[00:24:17.140]
I think that's absolutely true. And I think that's why it's important to pick your podcast, and it's also Additionally important to know what you want to be known for. Again, this was a problem for me for a long time that I didn't really know what my area of focus was. And then I decided to focus on the expert business, the personal brand entrepreneur, because that was where I felt called there's nothing lights me up more than seeing somebody unlock their potential and build a business around it.

[00:24:50.040]
But I guess you don't have to know exactly what your thing is today. Just pick something. Let's take a lawyer as an example. I'm going to roll the dice here and take a chance that then we have a lawyer listening and he's thinking, what could I possibly podcast about? And how could that possibly make any kind of contribution to my business? What kind of response might you offer them?

[00:25:15.700]
I have a few ideas ultimately depends on if they want to do this for professional purposes or not, and the chances are that they will, then there is no need to small with this. Having a podcast that may be about one particular aspect of the law. There are one of the most successful brands of podcast right now is true crime stuff. So if you do criminal law and you think that could be a great area to speak about and you could actually use highlight industry cases, true crime podcasts are very, very popular.

[00:25:49.910]
That would be a great area to go into. However, if you're in a tough law, equity and trust law stuff that way I did law at University and equity and trust law would put me to sleep. If you can make that interesting and talk about it in a way that is going to be really helpful. There will be people who will tune into your show. Some of them may be lawyers, law students and the likes, but some of them move who maybe you're potentially going to have episodes there's like, well, here's what to do if you're in this kind of situation or here's some of the legal options for these kinds of things.

[00:26:27.020]
And let's take a look at remedies in this kind of situation or maybe even have some consultation kind of based EPS. Sowell I'll give you a consultation for free for 20 minutes. But we're going to turn it into a podcast. That's the price. That is stuff that people would tune into and could be very, very powerful for establishing you as a leader. Really, because I doubt that that many other people are doing it.

[00:26:55.100]
That kind of brings me to the monetization side of things, because when people think about podcasting and generating revenue through podcast, they automatically think ad revenue. The truth is that's a marginal element for most podcasters. If we take the example of the lawyer, yes, it might attract some clients, but it's going to attract all kinds of other opportunities. It's very likely going to attract speaking opportunities. It's likely going to attract panellist opportunities, potentially on television radio. It's also potentially going to attract training opportunities. There's all kinds of opportunities that can come out of being a podcast guest or a podcast host.

[00:27:40.860]
Yeah.

[00:27:41.350]
What are some of the strangest ways you've heard of people monetizing a podcast.

[00:27:45.260]
There are multiple ways to do it now. And you're right ad revenue as the one that everyone was focused on that for the longest time, because that was the primary way. I don't think it is now, you know, unless you have 10,000 plus regular downloads for every episode sort of thing, then I wouldn't even bother looking at ad revenue, to be honest. So affiliate marketing make the most sense. If you have products and services that are going to be relevant to your audience, that may not be the in direct competition with you.

[00:28:16.380]
Then run some ads on your show, ads for other shows. Do add sort of the people grow your own show, grow your own brand. But those are probably some of the best ways right now to be looking at making money. But yeah, in getting people into your own products and services, having your own book or your course or programme, those can be great ways to get some income. One of the biggest ways that people are making money with smaller podcasts that don't have those necessarily hundreds and thousands of downloads for every episode is selling their own courses and programmes.

[00:28:54.060]
And I think this is something that a lot of people don't consider when they don't have an audience is they don't imagine necessarily what life would be like with an audience, because with audiences come opportunities. And until you have some kind of audience, you want to understand what those opportunities could be. So. But it's important for anybody listening to understand his focus on building the audience, serve that audience, and then they'll tell you what they want and they'll bring you the opportunities to monetize. I think that's that's probably the most important lesson for me.

[00:29:30.470]
And don't let not having a complete plan or a complete vision hold you up, just sort of start moving and you'll learn as you're all.

[00:29:40.970]
I think one thing that I will say with this is a lot of people very unsure about do they really want to have their own podcast? And that's why the people should actually start with guessing on other people's podcasts before they start their own. So you start to get a feel for it. You'll start getting connected with people, and that should give you some idea about whether you actually do want to have your own podcast or not, and you're going to get that experience. I don't think it's essential that everyone does have their own show, but if you're not sure about it, start trying out some guesting on other people's shows and you're going to start getting the benefits of podcasts for starters there.

[00:30:16.140]
Then you can see a bit later on if you actually would like to have your own show as well. Because podcasting is a long game, you know, for most people, unless you already have a big following or you already quite well known, then it takes quite a while and quite a lot of energy. An audience is hard but totally worth it.

[00:30:37.060]
I mean, it's hard, but I don't think there's anything more productive that anybody could do for their career. If people want to connect with you. If anybody's listening thinking, I need to be a bit more effective in my presentation style. Be that on a podcast or on a stage or in any situation where you have to communicate or they're thinking, yeah, I think I need to do something about podcasting. Take those first steps. Well, action would you like them to take?

[00:31:06.480]
I would like to get in touch with me. I mean, whether you want to be a little bit more influential or persuasive or a lot more, then there's a lot you can do and there's a lot can help with, especially if you are someone who needs to be up in front of people speaking and presenting in any capacity in your professional life. Then there's a lot you can do to make sure that you can turn that up to make you fully advantageous for you and have you standing out as an extant Needer in touch, visit my website.

[00:31:38.410]
Present influence. Com. You can take the quiz, the quiz there to find out how persuasive you are, and I have other resources as well. Get in touch with me on LinkedIn. Send me a message and you can cheque out some of the courses on my website as well. If you're interested in signing up for a cause or a programme and I'd love to hear from you, I see how I can help you, Johnny.

[00:32:00.870]
I just remembered what I was going to say. Okay, and this for the listener is important. You know what's interesting? When I go on other people's podcasts, people contact me at me and say, I really enjoyed that. When people listen to my podcast, they don't say a thing. So if you're listening to this podcast, I think I'll have to think and should let Bob know I listen from time to time. Just do it. You won't believe how much I would appreciate that. I think that's something is common with a lot of podcasters as their audiences.

[00:32:28.990]
It's often a very yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:32:32.640]
We would always as podcasters love to hear about from our audience because we want to know what people want. What do you like? What we have to base it on stacks. Otherwise we're just basing on which episodes of people downloading the most and have got the best feedback. Or maybe there are some episodes where you might occasionally get a review, but actually getting audience interaction is tough.

[00:32:54.920]
Yeah, Johnny, you have been great fun. I have one question I'm going to ask you, which I ask every guest at the end of the interview. Normally I give them some morning. The listener doesn't know this, but I do. I've forgotten to give you warning. So what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago?

[00:33:13.800]
Oh, boy.

[00:33:14.780]
Yeah, I do not cut the silence.

[00:33:18.070]
So you I do wish I have some warning for that one thing I do know that I didn't do five years ago. Well, I do. Actually, the one thing is on my mind is what I'm doing right now. Earlier this year I invested in a stand up desk and it has made the world of difference to me. I am no longer sat down all day if I have to do writing, which I do sometimes do for content creation, another desk that I go and sit at. But for stuff like this where I find my energy is better for speaking and presenting when I'm standing up and I don't like this whole thing of being sat down all day, so it's health wise.

[00:33:56.860]
I think it's massively better. So I would mix that actually is the other thing it makes me think of is the ketogenic diet that I do. So the mixture of key to genic diet intermittent fasting and having a standard desk. There's a few other things around that as well. They've made all the difference to my brain clarity, to my energy to not feeling sourced at the end of the day and not feeling like an gradually running myself down by being sat down with those are things that I wish I'd started sooner.

[00:34:23.860]
That's a great answer. And you know what's funny? I have one of these robotics standing desks that goes up and down and I'm sitting down when I should be standing up. Just there you go.

[00:34:32.880]
I do all my podcasting standing up.

[00:34:34.600]
I probably should. Johnny Ball, you have been an awesome guest. I've really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to speaking to you again. Hopefully really soon met up.

[00:34:44.630]
I've enjoyed it.

[00:34:47.860]
Before I go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit Amplify Me FM Forward Slash Insiders also connect with me wherever you hang out. You'll find me on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop gentle, thanks to you for listening.

[00:35:15.660]
And I'll see you next week.


Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Episode Overview

People tend to fall into one of two camps when it comes to persuasion.  

They either think it’s all sleazy manipulation and avoid it or they think it’s all sleazy manipulation and embrace it ( #bromarketers ).

Being persuasive, with intention and integrity is a skill which can be learned.  And for those whose products and services truly change lives - it’s important and a key part of your personal branding.

So how can you be persuasive with Integrity?  This week I’m speaking to Johnny Ball ( @speakinginfluence ), host of the Speaking Influence podcast about how anybody can be more persuasive when it matters.

About Johnny

Johnny Ball is the host of Speaking Influence, the podcast about the psychology and application of influence and persuasion in life and business.

He's a persuasive presentations coach, a professional speaker on topics like podcasting for thought leadership, ethical persuasion and how to get your message noticed.

Johnny's Site : presentinfluence.com

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.160]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today on the show, Bob is speaking with Johnny Ball.

[00:00:11.520]
So if you really want to be someone who is looked at as a leader or someone who is in authority, then you must do some inner work as well as some master practical work to make that happen and be willing to have to drive to build that level of confidence up for yourself. Because I think when it's real, when that confidence is authentic, then it's very hard to argue, but when it's undeserved and people will still go for that. But the often is perceived as being shallow or undeserved as well.

[00:00:45.140]
So confidence is a really huge part of this. And one of the reasons for that is because people respond to confidence.

[00:00:55.360]
Hi there and welcome back to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurial. My name is Pop Gentle and every week I'm joined by incredible and inspiring people who share what makes their business works. If you're new to the show to second right now to subscribe in whatever player you use. And if you're listening on Apple podcasts, make sure you cheque the new follow option on the top right of the page. Otherwise Apple won't tell you there's a new episodes. This is a new thing. So please cheque that out before I jump.

[00:01:21.570]
Introducing this week's guest, I have a new thing. After nearly 200 of these interviews, I've learned a thing or two and it turns out success leaves clues and I want to offer the map to you. So head on over to Amplify Me agency Forward Roadmap, I grab your copy of my brand new personal brand business blueprint everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business. It's yours for free as a gift for me. So let's get into it this week. I'm delighted to welcome John Ball the show.

[00:01:51.840]
John, there's so much I want to ask you, but for those who maybe I don't know who you are, why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do.

[00:02:01.160]
I would love to be, but Firstly, thank you for inviting me on to the show is really great to be joining you. My name is John B, but my people call me Johnny and people who have grown up in the Seventies and Eighties in the UK would probably know why. That is a number. That's exactly why. And so I just kind of got used to it and decided that Johnny sounds a lot friendlier. Anyway, I am a persuasive presentations coach and I also help people get their persuasive podcast star as well.

[00:02:31.900]
I'm working with people now on purpose driven missions and goals to help their audiences in the specific and unique ways, get their messages out there. And that's in podcasting and in life as well. And I help business owners particularly and coaches, speakers, entrepreneurs become more persuasive on whatever platform they're using, both in life and in business through a mixture of understanding the tools and weapons of influence and persuasion and various other tools and techniques that I have learned and picked up along the way. And I host a top podcast about public speaking about primarily about influence and persuasion tools.

[00:03:11.710]
And so it covers a lot of public speaking and presentation stuff in there. I speak to psychologists and I have some ex cult members. I spoke into political speechwriters, negotiation skills experts, marketers brand experts, all sorts of things that relate to influence and persuasion and all the stuff that people would want to know about. I live in the city of Valencia in Spain, but I'm not from here. I was born in Manchester. If you can't tell from a cause, I lost it years and years ago and mostly live around Greater London area for most of my life until I made the decision to up sticks and try living somewhere else.

[00:03:49.860]
I'm still hearing cult members entered when regular that people say, what did you want to do when you left school? And I always have struggled with that question. I mean, normal answer is pirate, space, pirate and Jeni adventure, but actually cult leader was on my list as well. Not about that. And if you knew me, I think this is why I'm quite keen to speak to you. If you knew me, I'm probably the least cult leader person you could ever meet, but for some reason it was always quite attractive to me.

[00:04:21.690]
I could see you being quite good at that. Actually, Bob, you have the kind of voice that makes people lean in, so that's a good sign of influence. And that's an important factor for being a cult that you speak so and clearly. And you have that breathe quality to your voice that is actually very influential and can have I can have some powerful if it on people. I bet you get some comments from people about how much they like your voice from time to time. Right.

[00:04:50.680]
Well, actually, that's another funny thing is I'm no teenager, but my whole life, nobody had ever mentioned my voice until I started the podcast. And for me it was what do you mean, you liked my voice? I spent most of my life being quite anxious and paranoid about my voice, and now, apparently, it's an asset. I'd never have considered that before, but you're absolutely right back to cult leaders. We're talking influence on persuasion. I think that's where we should start today and completers are probably a good example because they are influencing and they're influencing heavily, but it's actually quite negative and it's manipulative.

[00:05:28.510]
And I think that's a lot of people's anxiety when you start talking about influence and persuasion, that it's it's an abuse is taking advantage. It's playing people. And I think that it's important for people to recognise is that not everybody knows what they want. Not everybody can discriminate between what's good for them and what's bad for them. And so being able to confidently express your position and influence somebody to do the things that are good for them. And the truth is, if you're selling anything, it better be good for the people that you're selling it to, because if it's not, you need to have a conversation with yourself like a cult leader.

[00:06:06.700]
But let's assume what you're doing is good for the world. You should be able to confidently persuade people that they should take the actions that are good for them. And I may say that just to kind of cut through all the manipulation and the negativity around stereotyping people who have these conversations, it's important to be able to your case for good. And I think that's where we should start this conversation.

[00:06:29.180]
I agree. And it's interesting. I had a chat recently with professor of rhetoric and rhetoric is one of the areas of influence on station that I love discussing and didn't really learn much about it until later in life. And I think lots of people don't encounter it now unless you've had in the UK, particularly unless you've had a private school education where you probably have encountered rhetoric and a lot of the things that relate to it, then you probably don't have much of a clue what or how it works, although you will have come into contact with some very clear examples of that, things like governmental, three word slogans and things of that.

[00:07:08.760]
But what's interesting is that when it comes to rhetoric, these are tools of influence and persuasion that we have been aware of for centuries, from the times of the ancient Greek philosophers. Really from Plato. Aristotle. In fact, Aristotle's work on rhetoric still considered the seminal work today. He was one of the first people to really stop and study what made people influential. What made a difference when people were speaking and presenting and things haven't actually changed all that much. But his goal with all of that was that you should learn these tools so that you would be able to speak truth to power so that you would be able to share great messages with the world and put truth out into the world, not to manipulate, not to just work for your own needs, which often is what it ends up getting used for.

[00:08:05.620]
Whilst there were some elements of that in the world of cuts cuts, really a more much more emotional based, although a lot of rhetoric does rely on that. A lot of rhetoric is linguistically based, but cult control of his that primarily targets emotions.

[00:08:23.360]
So I guess to make this practical, if we take the idea of influence and persuasion and we apply it to the average business owner, what are the touch points where they might consider how persuasive they're being? So we have public speaking. We have broadcast the two natural platforms that you and I instinctively go to. But for a lot of business owners, they are maybe a next step element. How can we maybe explore being more persuasive in our day to day transactions? So we're in a meeting where on a sales call where sort of handling a situation with a team member, what would be, I guess, core skills that we should look at building out, well, definitely.

[00:09:10.880]
One thing we should be looking at for ourselves is to have more confidence in who we are and how we show up, because your charisma is an important factor in being more influential in persuasion persuasive. So if you really want to be someone who is looked at as a leader, as someone who is in authority, then you must do some inner work as well as some after practical work to make that and be willing to have the drive to build that level of confidence up for yourself.

[00:09:45.050]
Because I think when it's real, when that confidence is authentic, then it's very hard to argue against, but when it's undeserved and people will still go for that. But it often is perceived as being shallow or undeserved as well. So confidence is a really huge part of this. And one of the reasons for that is because people respond to confidence. If you put it this way, if you think, well, what should an intelligent person doing in a situation? Should they weigh up different sides of a matter and have take time to think about it?

[00:10:20.160]
Go.

[00:10:20.290]
And I don't really know the answer yet, but I'm going to think about this and let's give it some energy. Let's give some thought that seems like a really rational thing to do. And yet we're much more attracted to the person says, well, here's what to do. Let's just do this and straight away with the confidence of this is exactly what we need to do, whether it's right or wrong. That is more appealing to us. We like it when people are definite about things, and we do tend to assume that the person who is confident that has earned that authority to demonstrate their confidence.

[00:10:50.370]
But that's not always the case from what you're saying.

[00:10:53.270]
And I think this is an important thing that the inner work side of it is quite important. And influence and persuasion isn't something that you can hack. I think this is really what we're talking about. Influence that has depth. I think that requires personal growth to grow into that depth. How does this correlate with things like NLP, which I see as people trying to hack confidence and authority?

[00:11:24.760]
Yeah. There are different types of confidence ultimately, and there is a confidence that comes from experience. And then there's a confidence. There is much more the attitude based confidence or being more gung Ho and going for things and just saying yes to things, making things working on the fly, that kind thing, the just different types of confidence and one you have to work one you have to build up over time or you end up kind of faking it ultimately that kind of confidence that you need to be confident as a business leader, for example, to be confident as a sales person, you have to build that up.

[00:12:09.880]
But some people can get away with faking it if they know the right thing to do. So we need to understand that it was best saying, of course, we want people to use tools to influence and persuasion ethically. They can be hacked and they can be used for nefarious purposes. They can be used to come people to trick people. So I don't think that's particularly what NLP is generally about. But the reality is the people who are going to do that, they already figure this stuff out.

[00:12:38.520]
Generally, they are already out there with an intention to do those kinds of activities. So really, what we need to do is arm everyone else to be able to utilise that to put good out into the world and also to recognise and combat the stuff that isn't.

[00:12:55.900]
Here's a question. We have a business owner who wants to level up. He wants to play a bigger game in the world and he recognises or she recognises. I need to present differently. I need to start doing podcast interview. I need to start doing video content. I need to start doing public speaking. They may be written a book, and then they've never managed to push beyond that because of the fear of all these things that they've never done before. They know they have to start doing them, but they feel like they're not ready yet.

[00:13:30.800]
What can we do to start cultivating that confidence? Yes, that's my question. Okay.

[00:13:37.580]
The first thing is, even when you don't feel confident, it doesn't mean you shouldn't start. So really, unless somebody has such a paralysing terrible fear of doing this stuff, you just can't let it be a reason not to take action and start doing it anyway. If I think about the first time I ever got up on a stage in front of a group of people to speak. I was pretty terrified and probably a number of times after that where I got up to speak. I was also pretty terrified, and I think what was mostly terrified was what would people say afterwards?

[00:14:14.230]
What would people really think to me? And that is generally the feel like people tend not to really be afraid of being on podcast, being interviewed, public speaking. What they tend to be afraid of is looking like an idiot afterwards or embarrassing themselves or not showing themselves in their best light or saying something, making mistakes and being a bit too perfection is the bad things that's what people tend to get hung up on. Is this going to damage me in the long run? Am I going to look like an idiot or in?

[00:14:44.320]
I feel like an idiot for doing it. So that's really where people tend to get stuck here. And so it's that kind of thinking that gets people all in their heads thinking about everything that could go wrong, everything that they might not do right. And instead of just being present and relaxing and doing their best. And sometimes it does just take experience and practise to get to that level of being able to relax and put your best self forward and let go of the stuff that isn't perfect.

[00:15:17.290]
Okay. I might have said something a bit stupid there, or I might not express myself as well as I want to. Can you do something about that? Great, if you can. And if you can't move on.

[00:15:27.680]
I think you kind of hit the nail on the head there that the only way to get over fear is to move forward. I don't think an analogy I've often used as an elastic band that a comfort zone is much like an elastic band. There the stretch. But what's interesting is you stretch and elastic band enough and it actually stays in its stretched position. It expands essentially. And comfort zones are a lot like that. So what are some common mistakes that you see people making when they're attempting to be more persuasive, but they perhaps into the level of skill that they could be.

[00:16:10.280]
They haven't put in the work.

[00:16:11.240]
So to speak, it really depends on how they want to dissuade. So if we're talking about sales persuasion, I think the big mistake that I see people making and will try and help people with is people go into this sales person mode. I am selling now and suddenly I've gone into this sales mode. They feel it's sleazy. Their prospects feel is sleazy and people start getting turned off by that often. What seems to happen. People move out of this one thing to help, have great products, have a great service and suddenly think I have to sell you this now.

[00:16:46.400]
Well, if you've done your job, you don't have to sell anything. That is a big mistake that people make. But another one is really just being being too uptight about things. And maybe this is a particularly common English trait, and I will put this down to England more than other parts of the UK and the world. There is a tendency to be quite emotionally uptight. Okay, maybe it is a sweeping generalisation, but it is there and it will stop people from expressing themselves fully from really going to some emotional places.

[00:17:22.150]
And everything has to be super professional or that we have to be kind of clipped in our answers rather than actually engaging and having a warm, friendly conversation, even if it is about professional topics. So this idea that business and personal separate, it's kind of integrated. And I think people get enough on that have to project the professional image all the time have to live up to this image that you may have created about who you need to be in life or business, and that, for starters, may not be very authentic to who you truly are.

[00:18:00.110]
And a lot of people get trapped in this idea of who they think they need to be rather than who they are.

[00:18:06.320]
I think, as I've been in business, something you just made this conscious for me really is I've worked with people every level of business, from people who are fresh in the door, 19 year olds all the way through to multi million dollar business owners. And what's interesting is that the further up the hierarchy they go or the more successful personally to become, the more casual they are. And that's pretty universal. And so anybody who's looking at, well, how could I perhaps come across as more authentic and persuasive chill out is probably one of the key elements there.

[00:18:46.900]
Yeah. Interesting. But, you know, that I used to be a flight attendant with very well known certain British airline, and I worked in first class a lot of the time as well whilst I was there, and you would see that difference, even even in that environment, that most people who were travelling first class unless they were there, like, for a one off experience, most of them were regular first class Flyers, and they were all just really relaxed about everything. And you think what everything doesn't everything has to be absolutely super perfect up there.

[00:19:23.370]
No, really, that never mattered. It actually that sort of thing seemed to matter much more in business class than in first class. And I guess that attitude spreads to other parts of life as well. When you've made it, you don't you don't have to trying to make it anymore.

[00:19:39.600]
Yeah. Let's talk about podcasting then, specifically because that's an area of focus for you. And I think for a lot of people, it should be an area of focus for you because for me, podcasting has been life changing. I can't there's no two ways that I could really put that as a host, and certainly more recently, being quite intentional about being a guest and bringing as much value as I can into other people's audiences. And that has led to opportunities that I couldn't even begin to describe.

[00:20:14.160]
Additionally, it's had an impact on the circle of people that I know I feel crass calling it contacts or network because it goes way beyond that. These are friends and friends help friends, as you know. And obviously my business now revolves around that. But if anybody is looking at building their confidence and breaking into public speaking and have a greater impact, I don't think there's anything more accessible and potentially powerful for you than podcasting. And that's really where you put a lot of emphasis now is helping people make that transition into becoming podcasters and podcast guests.

[00:20:54.000]
What advice would you have for anybody is thinking?

[00:20:57.160]
I.

[00:20:59.120]
Don'T think I could do that. Or be. You know what? I think I should maybe do that.

[00:21:05.200]
There are many different types of podcast, and I have maybe more than one answer for this. But the kinds of people who I am working with in terms of getting their podcast out there started giving them the launch plans and getting things working and running smoothly. More people who have a message, you have a purpose who feel that they have a mission to be out in the world, they're making a difference and making things better. And those are the people who I want to help, because right now we are still in a situation where some live stuff is coming back.

[00:21:40.070]
But Sam isn't and still things are very uncertain. So virtual events and podcasts are still big and still very in demand. All of the speaking requests that I get on the opportunities I get at the moment are virtual, and I'm okay with it. I love doing it, although I mis travel a little bit, but not so much. I don't feel quite ready to do that myself, but this is where there's an opportunity right now, and it's not going to go away, because with the pandemic and everything, more and more people have switched to these kinds of things.

[00:22:12.870]
Online education is growing, and podcasting is a very big part of the online educational world that is very expensive to start and do and really only demands you some time and energy into putting a show together. But for people who have a message that they want to share, for people who actually want to stand there in their industry, podcasting can be a very powerful way to do that. And so I think it's great actually to have both. Why not have both? If you can start a podcast that is very much about you getting the opportunity to showcase what you know and what you talk about and bring in other experts and people who would be interesting for you to talk with.

[00:22:57.610]
Not only are you going to start rubbing shoulders and making great friends with top experts on being more associated with the leading people in your industry. But you are going to be seen in that light as well, not just by Association, but because people will think about you in relation to your podcast and the kinds of things that you talk about. So it does set you out as a speaker, as someone who's likely to get invited for opportunities that relate to the area that you're podcasting about.

[00:23:29.360]
If you really want to be known, then getting on other people's podcasts as a guest that are relevant to the kinds of audiences that you would want to be attracting is going to be much more powerful for you. In terms of being known. You can become pod famous now, and so it requires work. It requires some effort and energy, but it's still going to be a lot more achievable than trying to regularly get yourself on TV, though, if you can do both, do both. But podcasting has huge opportunities for really standing out as a thought leader, as an expert in what you do.

[00:24:08.980]
But the other side of that is you have to bring the goods if you're faking it. If you don't really have the goods, you're not going to last very long.

[00:24:17.140]
I think that's absolutely true. And I think that's why it's important to pick your podcast, and it's also Additionally important to know what you want to be known for. Again, this was a problem for me for a long time that I didn't really know what my area of focus was. And then I decided to focus on the expert business, the personal brand entrepreneur, because that was where I felt called there's nothing lights me up more than seeing somebody unlock their potential and build a business around it.

[00:24:50.040]
But I guess you don't have to know exactly what your thing is today. Just pick something. Let's take a lawyer as an example. I'm going to roll the dice here and take a chance that then we have a lawyer listening and he's thinking, what could I possibly podcast about? And how could that possibly make any kind of contribution to my business? What kind of response might you offer them?

[00:25:15.700]
I have a few ideas ultimately depends on if they want to do this for professional purposes or not, and the chances are that they will, then there is no need to small with this. Having a podcast that may be about one particular aspect of the law. There are one of the most successful brands of podcast right now is true crime stuff. So if you do criminal law and you think that could be a great area to speak about and you could actually use highlight industry cases, true crime podcasts are very, very popular.

[00:25:49.910]
That would be a great area to go into. However, if you're in a tough law, equity and trust law stuff that way I did law at University and equity and trust law would put me to sleep. If you can make that interesting and talk about it in a way that is going to be really helpful. There will be people who will tune into your show. Some of them may be lawyers, law students and the likes, but some of them move who maybe you're potentially going to have episodes there's like, well, here's what to do if you're in this kind of situation or here's some of the legal options for these kinds of things.

[00:26:27.020]
And let's take a look at remedies in this kind of situation or maybe even have some consultation kind of based EPS. Sowell I'll give you a consultation for free for 20 minutes. But we're going to turn it into a podcast. That's the price. That is stuff that people would tune into and could be very, very powerful for establishing you as a leader. Really, because I doubt that that many other people are doing it.

[00:26:55.100]
That kind of brings me to the monetization side of things, because when people think about podcasting and generating revenue through podcast, they automatically think ad revenue. The truth is that's a marginal element for most podcasters. If we take the example of the lawyer, yes, it might attract some clients, but it's going to attract all kinds of other opportunities. It's very likely going to attract speaking opportunities. It's likely going to attract panellist opportunities, potentially on television radio. It's also potentially going to attract training opportunities. There's all kinds of opportunities that can come out of being a podcast guest or a podcast host.

[00:27:40.860]
Yeah.

[00:27:41.350]
What are some of the strangest ways you've heard of people monetizing a podcast.

[00:27:45.260]
There are multiple ways to do it now. And you're right ad revenue as the one that everyone was focused on that for the longest time, because that was the primary way. I don't think it is now, you know, unless you have 10,000 plus regular downloads for every episode sort of thing, then I wouldn't even bother looking at ad revenue, to be honest. So affiliate marketing make the most sense. If you have products and services that are going to be relevant to your audience, that may not be the in direct competition with you.

[00:28:16.380]
Then run some ads on your show, ads for other shows. Do add sort of the people grow your own show, grow your own brand. But those are probably some of the best ways right now to be looking at making money. But yeah, in getting people into your own products and services, having your own book or your course or programme, those can be great ways to get some income. One of the biggest ways that people are making money with smaller podcasts that don't have those necessarily hundreds and thousands of downloads for every episode is selling their own courses and programmes.

[00:28:54.060]
And I think this is something that a lot of people don't consider when they don't have an audience is they don't imagine necessarily what life would be like with an audience, because with audiences come opportunities. And until you have some kind of audience, you want to understand what those opportunities could be. So. But it's important for anybody listening to understand his focus on building the audience, serve that audience, and then they'll tell you what they want and they'll bring you the opportunities to monetize. I think that's that's probably the most important lesson for me.

[00:29:30.470]
And don't let not having a complete plan or a complete vision hold you up, just sort of start moving and you'll learn as you're all.

[00:29:40.970]
I think one thing that I will say with this is a lot of people very unsure about do they really want to have their own podcast? And that's why the people should actually start with guessing on other people's podcasts before they start their own. So you start to get a feel for it. You'll start getting connected with people, and that should give you some idea about whether you actually do want to have your own podcast or not, and you're going to get that experience. I don't think it's essential that everyone does have their own show, but if you're not sure about it, start trying out some guesting on other people's shows and you're going to start getting the benefits of podcasts for starters there.

[00:30:16.140]
Then you can see a bit later on if you actually would like to have your own show as well. Because podcasting is a long game, you know, for most people, unless you already have a big following or you already quite well known, then it takes quite a while and quite a lot of energy. An audience is hard but totally worth it.

[00:30:37.060]
I mean, it's hard, but I don't think there's anything more productive that anybody could do for their career. If people want to connect with you. If anybody's listening thinking, I need to be a bit more effective in my presentation style. Be that on a podcast or on a stage or in any situation where you have to communicate or they're thinking, yeah, I think I need to do something about podcasting. Take those first steps. Well, action would you like them to take?

[00:31:06.480]
I would like to get in touch with me. I mean, whether you want to be a little bit more influential or persuasive or a lot more, then there's a lot you can do and there's a lot can help with, especially if you are someone who needs to be up in front of people speaking and presenting in any capacity in your professional life. Then there's a lot you can do to make sure that you can turn that up to make you fully advantageous for you and have you standing out as an extant Needer in touch, visit my website.

[00:31:38.410]
Present influence. Com. You can take the quiz, the quiz there to find out how persuasive you are, and I have other resources as well. Get in touch with me on LinkedIn. Send me a message and you can cheque out some of the courses on my website as well. If you're interested in signing up for a cause or a programme and I'd love to hear from you, I see how I can help you, Johnny.

[00:32:00.870]
I just remembered what I was going to say. Okay, and this for the listener is important. You know what's interesting? When I go on other people's podcasts, people contact me at me and say, I really enjoyed that. When people listen to my podcast, they don't say a thing. So if you're listening to this podcast, I think I'll have to think and should let Bob know I listen from time to time. Just do it. You won't believe how much I would appreciate that. I think that's something is common with a lot of podcasters as their audiences.

[00:32:28.990]
It's often a very yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:32:32.640]
We would always as podcasters love to hear about from our audience because we want to know what people want. What do you like? What we have to base it on stacks. Otherwise we're just basing on which episodes of people downloading the most and have got the best feedback. Or maybe there are some episodes where you might occasionally get a review, but actually getting audience interaction is tough.

[00:32:54.920]
Yeah, Johnny, you have been great fun. I have one question I'm going to ask you, which I ask every guest at the end of the interview. Normally I give them some morning. The listener doesn't know this, but I do. I've forgotten to give you warning. So what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago?

[00:33:13.800]
Oh, boy.

[00:33:14.780]
Yeah, I do not cut the silence.

[00:33:18.070]
So you I do wish I have some warning for that one thing I do know that I didn't do five years ago. Well, I do. Actually, the one thing is on my mind is what I'm doing right now. Earlier this year I invested in a stand up desk and it has made the world of difference to me. I am no longer sat down all day if I have to do writing, which I do sometimes do for content creation, another desk that I go and sit at. But for stuff like this where I find my energy is better for speaking and presenting when I'm standing up and I don't like this whole thing of being sat down all day, so it's health wise.

[00:33:56.860]
I think it's massively better. So I would mix that actually is the other thing it makes me think of is the ketogenic diet that I do. So the mixture of key to genic diet intermittent fasting and having a standard desk. There's a few other things around that as well. They've made all the difference to my brain clarity, to my energy to not feeling sourced at the end of the day and not feeling like an gradually running myself down by being sat down with those are things that I wish I'd started sooner.

[00:34:23.860]
That's a great answer. And you know what's funny? I have one of these robotics standing desks that goes up and down and I'm sitting down when I should be standing up. Just there you go.

[00:34:32.880]
I do all my podcasting standing up.

[00:34:34.600]
I probably should. Johnny Ball, you have been an awesome guest. I've really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to speaking to you again. Hopefully really soon met up.

[00:34:44.630]
I've enjoyed it.

[00:34:47.860]
Before I go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit Amplify Me FM Forward Slash Insiders also connect with me wherever you hang out. You'll find me on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop gentle, thanks to you for listening.

[00:35:15.660]
And I'll see you next week.


Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Episode Overview

Being in business at any stage, can feel like having your feet held millimeters away from a wood chipper - All the time.  That’s life at the tip of the spear. It’s an uncomfortable place to live.

This week my guest is Sam Palazollo and his company is called Tip Of The Spear Ventures.  Now - that sounds super macho and all, but in reality Sam is all about recognising the challenges and what it takes to succeed and nurturing those in leadership roles. 

Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a giant team - join us as we explore life at the tip of the spear.

Sam's website : https://tipofthespearventures.com/



Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.260]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show. Today. On the show, Bob is speaking with Sam Palazzolo.

[00:00:11.200]
You're used to wearing six, seven, eight hats in any given moment as a solopreneur. And how do you take one of those hands off and with comfort, delegate to another individual? It's giving up control. It's extremely uncomfortable, right? But you've got to be able to delegate, and then you got to be able to hold the people that you delegate the assignments to accountable.

[00:00:40.960]
Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Podcast. I'm up Gentle and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share will make their business work. If you're new, then take a second to subscribe through your player app. And while you're listening, join our Facebook community. Just visit Amplify Me for insiders and you'll be taken right there. Hi there and welcome to the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show. My name is Bob Gentle, and every week I'm joined by incredible people who share what makes their business work.

[00:01:14.220]
If you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribe in your player. If you're using Apple podcasts, just a quick reminder. Hit the new follow button in the top right hand corner. That way you will actually get notifications when I post new episodes, which is every single Monday before I jump into introducing this week guest. Once again, I have a new thing. After nearly 200 of these interviews, I've discovered a thing or two, and the most important thing is success leaves clues. So I have put together the Amplify Personal Brand Success roadmap really distilling.

[00:01:47.300]
Probably the important milestones of way points that it jumps out to me as common to pretty much every single successful guest I've had. So that's my gift to you completely free. Head over to Amplify Media Agency Forward Roadmap and grab your copy of the Personal Prime business blueprint everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business. So let's get into it. This week I have living proof that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas this week. My guest is Sam Palazzo. Sam, welcome to the show.

[00:02:21.300]
Hi, Bob. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:22.780]
So I have so much to talk about you. So for those who don't know, why don't you start by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and what it is you actually do? Sure.

[00:02:32.980]
I'll give you a 30,000 foot overview. We can dig down to treetop level or root level during our conversation, but I spent about 20 years in the automotive industry doing everything from working, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution and ultimately retail. Partly that experience to go into big consulting. I've worked with Deloitte as well as Aon's Change Management Group, had my own consultancy, and I also was working with a CEO there in where I had grown that firm from myself single shingle to 20 folks. We're working on projects domestically in the US as well as internationally abroad.

[00:03:12.150]
And one of the CEOs I worked with asked one day if I could hear him out on a tech startup idea he had. This is in 2010. I said, sure I'll help any way I can, which is my nature. We got together. He shared with me what it was that he was doing. I said, It sounds amazing. How can I help? How can I support? And he said, I'm glad you like it. I'd like you to help me run it. So I Dove headfirst into a tech startup.

[00:03:40.180]
We raised $8 million straight out of the shoot, probably 6 million too much. But he and I helped implement and execute the sales blueprint. We grew one of those legendary hockey stick sales revenue graphs had a couple of private equity firms that were interested in us at the 18 month Mark, one of which had a similar holding. But it was a non offering, and they're the ones who ultimately acquired us. At the 22 month Mark. I off ramped at 24, and that's where I started to the Sphere Ventures, which is where I'm at today Tip, is a unique private equity firm.

[00:04:18.770]
We have two sides of the house. One still is very much a consultancy, so I hark back to my days. I love working with organisational leaders to help them overcome their challenges. The other side is very much a venture side of the house, where we help some early stage entrepreneurs post revenue about a million dollars. But we help them to grow and scale their businesses. And in 2017 I've always taught at the at the higher A level since 2008, adjunct faculty member at UNLV, where I teach an exact Ed course based on my fifth book, which was published in 2018, called The Leading at the Tip of the Spear.

[00:05:00.820]
The Leader and I formed in 2017 05:01 C three nonprofit that provides executive education. It's called the Javelin Institute, so that's a high level overview, Bob, of who I am, and you're right. We're a Nevada Corporation based on Las Vegas, Nevada, and that's me at a high level.

[00:05:22.840]
I think anybody listening will be possibly scratching their head thinking, Why is Bob speaking to some? And I think they would be quite right to say so, because a lot of my guests, they are what you would consider the sort of micro business, the very small business, the single consultant, single creator of venture capitalist would not normally be the kind of person that I'm speaking to. But when I looked at your background, when I looked at the kind of businesses you work with them, when I looked at how you work with them and how you run your own business, you are essentially a personal brand entrepreneur, and you're simply doing it in a slightly different Lane to a lot of my guests.

[00:06:01.940]
But for me, it's highly relevant because I've been thinking quite a lot recently about that there is a world in which personal brand, it's very well known. Everybody knows about it, and it's particularly the online entrepreneur people like that. But when I look at the traditional business community to the brick and mortar or the start up, it's something that they are less familiar with. And actually it's still fundamentally important to them. And I thought you would be a really interesting people to speak to about that, particularly.

[00:06:33.070]
And then there are a few other places that I would like to go. But I guess where I would like to start is if you were to maybe die described. What are the kind of businesses that you are typically working with?

[00:06:46.700]
Yes. So we're pretty industry agnostic. I come from the tech space. So technology, whether hardware or software oriented. That's certainly a sweet spot. But our experience has run the gamut. We've worked manufacturing, we've worked construction, we've worked large organisations, small, North, South, East, West. It's pretty agnostic. Maybe this is where you're going with the question, because it kind of is I want to say a reminder for what it is how you started off the podcast, and that is that successfully clues, right. There are certain skill sets and certain behaviours that leaders have that regardless of the industry that they participate in, whether they're believing themselves or they're leading a team of hundreds or thousands.

[00:07:39.540]
The success, I want to say, ingredients are always the same.

[00:07:44.720]
Those success ingredients have you ever gone to the extent of actually codifying in terms of, well, here they are ABC Roadmap framework, anything like that, or is it something that's much more almost like a creative palette that you can see where there are gaps, intuitively or instinctively?

[00:08:04.900]
Now, of course, we have this is one of those things where the five one s three that I mentioned provides executive education. And one of the things that we do from an exec Ed perspective is we provide leadership development as well as executive coaching, leadership development in the form of either workshops, webinars, either on site or virtual, those types of things. But I'm an accountant by training go figure, Bob. And one of the things that I'm always looking at is what are the metrics? So what are the key performance indicators that we're going to measure against?

[00:08:45.640]
Typically, we see in that exact ad space that there's not exactly a clear tie back to the ROI, if you will, the return on investment, what it is that is making someone get better and primarily because there's a lot of I think, touchy Feely how it is that you think and how it is that you feel will make you a better leader. I'm looking at it from the how do we quantify that? And most importantly, what results when we work together? Are you able to put up on the scoreboard of leadership that show that you're actually improving?

[00:09:25.720]
So that's where it is that I come from when we drive forward with those types of initiatives. Right.

[00:09:33.420]
So when you're looking at a leadership scoreboard, for example, to be super crude, leadership is often quite an intangible. But if you're going to have a scoreboard, you're going to have to have tangible. So what kind of things would typically be going up on that scoreboard?

[00:09:51.460]
These are specific behaviours that leaders want to improve in, but typically the want might not equate with the have to or should. So in other words, sometimes leaders will pick some items that might not necessarily from a behavioural perspective, be able to really drive them forward faster. But they'll want to work on them because from their perspective, they view them as this is something that is clearly within my skill set, or I can improve on easily, and I can show some results quickly. So one of the things from an assessment perspective, we obviously asked the individual to rank themselves in a behavioural assessment, but then we almost we do with 360 degree where we'll ask their stakeholders, not only their superiors, subordinates, but their peers.

[00:10:47.150]
What is it that they can improve on and rank them as well? And so it kind of provides us with a nice insight into our line in the sand regarding this is where the candidate that the individual perceives themselves to be. This is where everybody else is saying that they're at. And then we can identify what are the specific behaviours. Then maybe it's a gap analysis. Candidate rank themselves really high. Stakeholders rank themselves really low, those types of gaps, big blank spaces kind of drop themselves out as.

[00:11:22.580]
Okay. This is where we should really be focused. And as I started out, saying, those types of things by typically won't be consistent with if we had only surveyed the leader where it is that they would want to focus, right?

[00:11:37.500]
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. This is a question that for me, has become very pertinent recently, and it's something that, you know, life throws you themes from time to time. You see the same thing coming up again and again for me, this is very now and it's I work with a lot of business owners, and I see a lot of business owners is something I've seen a lot. It's only really become conscious recently where they've been very successful. And they've been very successful because they built a high profile.

[00:12:08.830]
They're really well known. Everybody knows them. They're charismatic, and that's great. It works brilliantly. But their business grows to the point where they decide to scale it up and they can scale it up in a small way. They can bring an investment scale it up in a big way. But there comes a point in which they decide, okay. I've built the business through my personal brand. I got it so far, but that's not going to carry me forward. I need to I need the team to carry the strain.

[00:12:37.110]
I want the corporate brand to jump out in front and let me fade into the background. And they try that. And then they wonder why it didn't work. They wonder why the business seems to falter it. It stops growing. And it's largely because they their personal brand was the most successful ingredients in it because they were charismatic and magnetic. So how can we as smaller business is personal brand entrepreneurs, expert, business owners. How can we take what got us to this point of success and then scale up west, retaining that central value?

[00:13:21.880]
But in such a way that we can still get our time back.

[00:13:26.040]
If you see what I mean, I sure do. I think this is the leader dilemma, right? Or a leadership challenge. And I think one of the gentlemen I had the opportunity to do some work with was Marshall Goldsmith. Marshall wrote the book What Got You Here won't get you there. Marshalls the executive coach to the Fortune 100. And I think it's one of those things where as a leader, you're going to experience certain revenue plateaus, where your skill set is going to be challenged in a different and new way, even though it's just a different revenue streams, typically, we'll see those revenue plateaus $1 million, $10 million, $25 million so on, so forth.

[00:14:13.730]
But at each one of those plateaus, Bob, there's a different need or a different skill set that needs to be exhibited by the leader. Typically, it comes back to, you know, you can't be everywhere, simultaneously or all the time as the leader very much who it is that you surround yourself with their skill set, their drive, and your ability as the leader to delegate and hold them accountable. Those two keys, regardless of which Plateau play themselves out time and time again for the leaders that I work with, the ability to delegate or to give up control.

[00:14:52.440]
If you can imagine most of the folks that might be listening to the podcast, they might be just like I was, where single, single, running my own consultancy, looking to grow in both staff as well as conquest for clients, because the bigger, supposedly the better off you'll become. And so you've got to surround yourself with that a plus talent. But then you're also you're used to wearing six, seven, eight hats in any given moment as a solopreneur. And how do you take one of those hats off and with comfort delegate to another individual?

[00:15:36.080]
It's giving up control. It's extremely uncomfortable, right? But you've got to be able to delegate. And then you've got to be able to hold the people that you delegate the assignments to accountable. And I'm not talking a heavy handed type of methodology when expectations don't results don't produce the same quality level that you do it. How do you work with people when you maybe didn't communicate as clearly in your mind? You know how to do it. But delegating requires clear communications, so that not only you have good at understanding what you want done, the most importantly, the individual you're delegating to, they understand what you want to have done, and you also need to have the conversation.

[00:16:23.050]
And you might as well talk it out regarding how it is that you're going to hold them accountable, because if you're on one accountability track and they're on the other accountability track, you're not on the same track. You're not on the same page. So great question. It's almost again. Success leaves clues what it is that we see, regardless of the revenue Plateau that leader is challenged with as they grow, their organisation, their ability to delegate and hold folks accountable. Those are two key areas.

[00:16:55.340]
There was another thing that popped into my head as you were talking there. This is another area that I see again and again in businesses and listeners will be familiar with me talking about this. I had a guest on the show called It's Terrible. I can't remember, but she made soap and your response soap, home based business. Yeah. Next, it's the kind of thing people need to do when they need to make a book. It's a farmer's market type stuff. But the lady who runs the soap business turned it into a $21 million a year business from making it on her kitchen table in a very short space of time.

[00:17:41.260]
And something she said when I asked her about this, I said, Why is it you have all these people who try to do your business and they maybe make a few hundred dollars and you think, Well, that was an expensive waste of time, but you turn it into this business. What was the difference? And her response to me was Your business will only grow when you grow. You have to take on personal development and your self leadership. And I look at a lot of business owners when they fail to grow and they try everything other than taking on their own growth.

[00:18:15.410]
What is the difference between those people who come to you in the Javelin Institute, for example, and those who you see trying everything other than looking inside.

[00:18:25.770]
I think that sometimes the best leaders are much more introspective than they are looking outside of themselves for what it is that they can do. A leader that's in touch with themselves knows what their shortcomings are, and more importantly, can operate towards their strengths. They're the ones that are going to succeed. The majority of the time when I was with Toy Alexis, we were early pioneers with Marcus Buckingham and the Gallop organisation right around the time that they were launching their strength Finder. And Marcus had something very interested that he shared with us that were on the team at Toyotalexus regarding how we want to approach this whole strength versus weakness moment.

[00:19:13.350]
And it was the following that if you focus on your strengths and really fine tune them, Hone those strengths, your weaknesses essentially become irrelevant. In other words, there's this common misperception, Bob, that the little train that could can go and do it. And Marcus is perspective the little train that could suit us a state of the depot. And we should let the big trains that are pulling heavy loads, which is what trains do. We should let them do that type of job. A little train is probably good at doing some things around the depot, maybe moving a single car or a single train car over to another line and connecting it there.

[00:20:02.420]
The big train should handle the big loads. The little train should know what it is that they're good at from a strength perspective and operate within their Lane, I think, is the modern popular phrase. So that's one example. But it's always an introspective. What am I good at? How can I get better at it? The things that I'm not so good at. I'm not saying to stop working on them, but find that a plus talent who is great at that, maybe that their strength is a better strategy.

[00:20:35.020]
And the thing that I'm always challenging myself and my team with is there's probably a dollar revenue that's expected that you perform at a dollar per hour. And if you can put that dollar per hour price tag on yourself, is the next hour of your work product going to achieve that. So, in other words, if you're a mid level executive or a solopreneur, you probably have a revenue target right from your business plan of what it is that you want to achieve for the year, you probably have broken it down into a monthly type of a revenue target, and then a daily they're in.

[00:21:17.860]
And within that structure, there's the opportunity to say in what the next hour? I'm going to focus on my $250 per hour type of revenue production. And if it's not at that $250 per hour revenue production, maybe there's somebody out there that's better at it. And this is where. And I know what it's like having. If you're out there and you're a solopreneur and you're working for yourself and buy yourself, there's all kinds of talent that's available out there from a virtual assistant perspective. They can be international.

[00:21:52.300]
We're communicating via the Internet, geographically dispersed. You can do the same thing. So that way you can offload some of those functions, or maybe one of those hats I talked about earlier and let it go into the expert zone of somebody else. So that way you can stay focused on the proper revenue drive that you establish for yourself.

[00:22:16.000]
You know, as you were talking, I had a big light bulb moment, and I think focusing on what you are good at, it makes so much sense. A lot of people when they're trying to scale up or level up, they tried to push all the balls up Hill at once themselves. But the truth is, a lot of the time the balls your best where you have a zone of genius, you're in a comfort zone. And if you want to level up, you're going to need to find a way to scale up where you're operating in your zone of genius.

[00:22:49.340]
And this will almost always take you outside of your comfort zone. You delegating. On the one hand, that's taking outside your comfort zone. But if communicating with people is your zone of genius, and you want to scale that up, you're going to have to move from talking on one to one, two groups to talking one to many broadcasting, YouTube, public speaking, writing books. These take people outside of their comfort zone. But it is their true zone of genius and probably doing a lot of other things that are holding them back because they are easier emotionally, they're not challenging.

[00:23:25.190]
So they don't take us outside that comfort comfort. But yeah, the moment you really double down on your absolutely best time, things will accelerate is certainly what I found. Yes, a really nice insight.

[00:23:37.620]
It's a great pick up, and there's a lot there to unpack for sure. But you get on something from a comfort zone perspective. We did some work with Jason Van Camp. Jason runs an organisation called Mission six0. They're based out of you to Jason as a US Army West Point cadet graduate joined the obviously the army and the Special Forces was a decorated Green beret, and he wrote a book that's brilliant. It's called The Deliberate Discomfort and The Focus of It is. And it's written by Jason.

[00:24:16.420]
But it's also written by really some heroes that are out there from a US military perspective who've gone through these tremendously uncomfortable situations, and fortunately, they live through them to be able to write down what their experiences were. But most importantly, and the best part of this book is that the Leadership Lessons from Deliberate Discomfort are on full display. From an outcome perspective, you don't have to get into a hub that runs over a mind, blows it up and into a Creek that's next to the road and be trapped and pinned underwater where you essentially lose consciousness because you're drowning.

[00:25:03.540]
You don't have to. As a leader from the comfort of your home, you can read the book and understand and feel those same types of emotions. But then you can also have some take away lessons from it. And typically, the leadership lessons help you get into that uncomfortable zone. So that way growth can occur because, you know, it's kind of like in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is one big desert reclamation project. When the economy is great in the States and specifically in Nevada and Las Vegas, we claim more desert.

[00:25:39.640]
There's plenty of it to go around.

[00:25:41.820]
Right.

[00:25:42.450]
But it is one of those things where, you know, because there's no borders geographically by water, for example, or mountains. Typically, we can just go out and we can access additional desert conquest it and put up housing developments, right? It's a very similar type of methodology and deliberate discomfort where the more uncomfortable you can put yourself into from a situation, the greater your comfortable be the next time you approach it. What wasn't comfortable yesterday is now comfortable today. And you can just like that Las Vegas desert expansion.

[00:26:18.240]
You can just continue to conquest different territory. And you also hit on something that's interesting. And that is these like the soap person who has this really nice $21 million business in a venture capital or private equity space. Everybody wants to focus on the unicorn. Everyone wants to focus on the billion dollar operation. We don't because my mentality is that call it a lifestyle business, but call it a success business. If somebody who creates a business that somewhere between ten and $20 million has a gross profit of 30, those are really great businesses, and those are the types of businesses that afford really great lifestyle.

[00:27:04.750]
I would argue that some of them at that dollar and the way the numbers fall out. Bob, those could be legacy wealth generation or leave behind businesses. And I get it. It's not as sexy. Soap probably is not as sexy as a text as per. I get it. You get it too. But don't think for a second that you can't be successful and running those types of smaller operations as well.

[00:27:32.800]
I think that's absolutely true. I know a lot of people who run. I know one guy who runs a business. He employs three people. It's a purely online business training business. He works two days a week personally taking home 40 grand a month and that's pound Sterling. So if he were to working that there is no job on the planet that would pay him that unless he were working at a very high level. But he would have to be working very hard for that money. So that's the thing you say, a lifestyle business.

[00:28:12.440]
But the lifestyle you can achieve through a micro business can be actually significantly better than the lifestyle you can achieve through traditional routes. So really is a case of judging apples for apples. I think a lot of people, especially, I guess I spent a little bit of time working in the incubator space and you meet people who have the opinion that lifestyle business is almost a dirty word. But sometimes the answer is what a lifestyle and that's important to remember.

[00:28:43.960]
No doubt, it's a great point. We participate with a lot of University incubators accelerators as well in different geographic locations. I still participate in angel group meetings, and typically there is the discounting. If the entrepreneurial initiative, excuse me, can achieve that billion dollar plus type of an exit. And the reality is there's going to be a handful of those types of organisations annually, and there's also the danger of being first in market. Typically, people don't necessarily need to be the innovative genius to come up with something.

[00:29:28.680]
They just need to figure out what might be broken in the system that they're attempting to operate in based on the providers of the services or products that currently exist there. They can build a really nice business around that.

[00:29:41.700]
I'm going to sort of jump into your space a little bit now and I'm curious to hear from you. Let's say I've had a brilliant idea for a product, for example, and I want to go and speak to somebody about making it happen. What advice would you have at what stage does somebody like you want to get involved? How do you normally participate with the business?

[00:30:05.640]
So we traditionally we drew the line in the sand at the million dollar revenue, primarily because we were in the early days, the tip of the spear. I love the entrepreneurial spirit. I love people who get excited. Everybody has the next best or the better Mousetrap. And I love that mentality. Here's the issue, though, at less than a million dollar revenue, they haven't had the market traction, and it's not a proven product or service. From my perspective, it's an idea. And, you know, the entrepreneurial journey with newness sometimes goes from ideation to creation to launch pad to lift off.

[00:30:52.960]
Those are the four stages that we typically see an organisation go through. And while it's simply an idea, it hasn't had that traction within market. And that's where it is that we've drawn the line in the sand at a million dollars revenue. We typically find that organisations that are able to achieve that Plateau, that revenue Hill that they have achieved traction within market. And there is something there that it then becomes. Ok, great. How do we go from 1 million to 5 million? And what is it that we can do to deploy from our perspective to help them get there?

[00:31:30.080]
We're a really good firm when it comes to our focus has always been around the sales bizdev arena, which kind of swims upstream and then into the marketing channel but also swims downstream to the operations from a fulfilment perspective of the product or service as well as the customer experience or customer service type departments. So that's our primary focus on when working with entrepreneurs. How is it that we can help? We're going to look at their sales business development because I'm a firm believer that nothing happens unless you sell something, you can have the greatest idea.

[00:32:10.050]
You can have the best creative moment where you've designed it, and it is simply brilliant. But it is one of those things where if the market doesn't want it and if you can't sell it, you're not going to achieve success.

[00:32:27.860]
I think is a lot of people. They do get romanticised and romance into their own product ideas, and sometimes they are just terrible ideas and people still invest in them, which just blows my mind. I have an idea. I have a case in point in mind, but I'll get sued. So I'm going to self censor at this point.

[00:32:48.830]
I think it's one of those differentiations between passion or profit, right? And I typically will work with some entrepreneurs who have that entrepreneurial spirit that I love, but they're doing the things that sabotage themselves towards achieving greater revenue because they look, they look at business here is a great example. We were looking at a firm to merge with. It was a digital ad agency and the co CEO of the digital ad agency, the gentleman that we were going to merge with, he said, look at we're revenue heavy type of focus organisation.

[00:33:35.460]
We look at it from what we're going to do projects. These are the thresholds that we look to achieve per project on an annual retainer basis. This is the revenue that we look to drive. But we also look at the business as there are going to be some things that we want to do from a passion play perspective. They're not going to achieve those revenue targets either on a project or a retainer type basis, but we want to do them because we find that those are the things that we love doing.

[00:34:03.270]
Those are the things that make us fulfilled. And I think that's really great. I really like that mentality. It's not a good business model because there's no revenue in it. But it is one of those things where, you know, the trick becomes, how do you make certain that the activities that you're focused on turn from passion to profit? If you can't make that leap, if you can't jump that chasm because it's close, if it's too gigantic between passion and profit of a difference, you probably shouldn't do it.

[00:34:40.360]
And, you know, you shouldn't do it. So it's one of those situations, by the way, the M and a the play the merge with this digital ad agency. It fell apart. It fell apart because we just couldn't agree to we're going to either be an organisation that drives towards revenue because we've got those profit moments, or you're going to continue to run the organisation in a passion direction, which is, in essence, when we looked at it, you know, you've seen a revenue chart, that's hockey stick graph.

[00:35:14.600]
There's almost been this downward in a similar opposite direction because they were passion pursuit oriented instead, a profit pursuit oriented.

[00:35:26.170]
Yeah. I think different people are motivated by very different things. This is one of the things when you're looking at, for example, in my space, when you're looking at a niche, which niche is going to motivate you Niching, because this for commercial reasons. And if you are nice into a space that has a lot of revenue in it or your Niching for impact, in which case, who do you want to impact the most? Are you? Itching for passion. And usually it's a bit of a blend and everybody is different.

[00:35:55.190]
But, yeah, I think when you're looking at partnering, partnering is such a dangerous thing. And one of the things that I often heard and I'd be interested in your perspective on this. One of the things the accelerators and the incubators often say is you should have two people as founders in a business. Personally, I think that's almost a recipe for disaster because it needs this sort of single point to focus leadership in order to propel an organisation. If you feel you need two people to do that, then you're going to give each other excuses as much as you motivate each other.

[00:36:30.510]
But you operate in the space. What is the philosophy behind that behind that? Is it a philosophy you share?

[00:36:36.740]
You know, I think that if you have two founders, then there can be a really great gang or gang or play off of each other's strengths and weaknesses. When two folks combine into one, I think that there's some great synergies that can be derived and the organisation can actually drive further faster. I think that there comes a time, though, where sometimes as a solopreneur, you need help. We talked about that earlier, joining forces with another later, as long as you are on the same page from a focus, and this is driving towards where we're going, as long as there's agreement with that and great delineation of roles from responsibilities.

[00:37:22.340]
We had a meeting yesterday with some clients that we think that we found another opportunity for them in their business, but also for us to join forces with them. And so kind of in a crawl, walk run mentality. We're looking to explore, how is it that we can here's what we think the opportunity is, how is it that we can combine forces so that we can conquest this new area that they're not focused on? We like the market. We want to get into it. It certainly is a complementary role and responsibility differentiation or delineation of those roles and responsibilities were upfront.

[00:38:04.720]
We would handle sales, bus def initiative. They would handle fulfilment, and we join forces for a product or service delivery. It works out really well. And that's a really great example of how it is as two firms coming together, that you can have that type of a Ying and Yang relationship, if that makes sense.

[00:38:26.610]
But it does, it makes perfect sense. As we come towards the close of our conversation, I want to ask you this question and you've written books. You are a regular content creator. You a sort of a guest lecture in University. You have your own legacy area of your business in the Javelin Institute. A lot of people in the VC space might look at what you're doing and say he's doing an awful lot of things he doesn't have to do. A lot of people would just sit there with a big bag of money.

[00:39:04.970]
They look for investment opportunities and they would operate very quietly, whereas you're taking the approach. I want to be known. I want to be visible. You're here on a podcast. So this publicly matters to you. So I'm curious to hear from you. How would you articulate why you do that, then? Potentially, you don't have to do it.

[00:39:27.500]
I think I mentioned earlier that I'm a share by nature. I love to give back when the reason why I started teaching at the collegiate level was because when I look back, I went to night school. I had to work my way through College, and the professors that came in were professionals in the community at night school. So they worked during the day just like I did. And then we all joined forces at nighttime and had courses together. And I always said that, you know, there is going to come a day where I'm going to do that.

[00:40:02.480]
I want to give back. It helped me out as a student because it brought a dry textbook to life with real world examples. And that was my goal. That's also the goal that I have over at the Javelin Institute was a five, one, one C three nonprofit. The IRS States that you can claim that nonprofit status by offering education, but I wanted to go a step further than that and to work with leaders or make certain that a portion of the proceeds therein are provided with two leaders who experience family hardship in my mind, Bob, family hardship comes down to four DS death, disease, divorce or drug utilisation.

[00:40:48.540]
And so that's kind of the mission at the Javelin Institute, and that's kind of my passion play. Now keep in mind I mentioned earlier, and I'm not hypocritical. I'm not talking out of both sides of my mind. The model for the nonprofit is based off of one of the largest executive education firms here in the US. It's about $140,000,000 a year annual revenue driver. I figure, you know what, if we can break off a portion of that and reach an audience with our methodology, how it is that we can take people and make them better leaders all the better for it.

[00:41:26.680]
But it is one of those things where the passion play for me is helping leaders who experience family hardship. I want them to be the recipients and a certain degree towards the activities that we have going on at the Institute.

[00:41:39.710]
So for those people listening, thinking, Sam has shot a light in some places, I would really like to go because that's how it's been for me. Light being shown in all kinds of areas I would never normally look. And I think that's always a great place for development. But if anybody's listening thinking, I want a bit more of some. I want a bit more. I want to spend time on the tip of the spear. What action would you like them to take?

[00:42:06.780]
So we've got a couple of things I'm certainly can put it in the show notes so our consultancy is based on business transformation. Whether you're a large Fortune 500 company or a solopreneur, we put together a 37 page, 128 question business transformation, selfassessment workbook. You can work through it at your own pace. We really created as a DIY do it yourself type of methodology. We typically have folks that will do that. Then I'll outreach us and ask us, how is it that we can either do it with them or do it in partnership with them?

[00:42:43.360]
So that'll be a resource that will make available will also make available in the show notes at the Javelin Institute, we have a programme called The Best Leader in 30 Days. It's a 30 day, two minute exercise per morning on the map or a calendar page of 30 days where you can significantly improve your abilities as a leader. I'll provide that link as well. Also at the Institute on a month and month out basis. Ten out of twelve months. We offer a series of webinars that are complimentary and then a workshop if you want to take it a step further, we offer those ten out of twelve months of the year will provide that in the show notes as well.

[00:43:28.480]
That is an awful lot of value right there. And I guess if people want to connect with you.

[00:43:33.350]
Which is your favourite social media platform where do you like connecting best LinkedIn is my best will include my profile and access to connect with me directly there. Send me an email or an email there and we'll connect on LinkedIn. Linkedin to my favourite on Twitter. Generally the posts that are from me. Go figure Italian guy post an Italian so that's probably unless you've got Google Translate. Probably not the best space, but will post their periodically.

[00:44:05.780]
Alright Palazon, as I said, that correctly. Yes, that's correct. You have been an awesome guest. I'm really grateful for your time, so much insight, so many places I would never normally go. And that's always the beginning of adventure. So thank you so much for your time. You have been an awesome guest. And what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago? I nearly you do it.

[00:44:29.580]
No, that's okay. I think it's one of those. It's a great Capstone questions. So we'll wrap up with it. I think we made the determination about five. Really. When I started Tip of the Spear Ventures that we were going to do two things we were going to work on projects that we wanted to work on. And we were going to work on those projects with people that we wanted to work on them with. And so when we looked at putting the band back together, so to speak, at Tip of the Spear Ventures, after my tech start up initiative, we knew and of the people that we wanted to surround ourselves with, as well as these are the projects that are of interest to us the people from my perspective, it's the primary.

[00:45:12.020]
My mother always said that if you tell me about who your friends are, I'll tell you everything I need to know about you. My friend's mother took that a step further because she was a librarian. She said not only tell me the people you're hanging out with, but tell me the books that you're reading. And for me, the people aspect comes down to who is it that I know? Who is it that I love? Who is it that I trust? And who is it that I respect?

[00:45:38.300]
If I know, love, trust and respect people. Boy, my world gets easier from not only a business but a personal perspective. But that's a lesson that when you can make that determination, your life will become so much better, so much easier. What are the projects you want to work on? And who is that that you want to work on those projects with?

[00:46:00.020]
That is an awesome answer. It's all about connection. Some Palazzolo thank you so much for your time.

[00:46:05.500]
Thank you. But.

[00:46:09.400]
Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show notes or visit amplify me of Forward slash insiders. Also connect with me. Wherever you hang out, you'll find me on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop Gentle.

[00:46:35.000]
Thanks to you for listening, and I'll see you next week.



Thanks for listening!

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Episode Overview

If failing sometimes is inevitable then doesn’t it make sense to have a plan for you’ll systematically turn that to your advantage?  I think so and this week on the podcast we’re diving into this and so much more with author and coach Robin Waite.

About Robin

Robin Waite is the founder of Fearless Business, Speaker, Podcast Host and bestselling author of five books including Online Business Startup, and Take Your Shot

As the Founder of Fearless Business, Robin helps coaches, consultants, and entrepreneurs to slow down, create space and confidently charge their worth. Offering insights on Product Architecture, Pricing Your Products and Sales.

Robin's website : https://www.robinwaite.com/

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

[00:00:01.160]
Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today. On the show, Bob is speaking with Robin Weight, and it's such a powerful context. So I always encourage business owners to launch and fail and fail fast because you get the feedback you start those conversations off. People can see as well, you know what you're trying to achieve, and then they can be bought into that mission and go on that journey with you.

[00:00:29.640]
Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify, the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Podcast and Bob Gentle. And every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new, then take a second to subscribe through your player app. And while you're listening, join our Facebook communities. Just visit Amplifying Forward Slash Insiders and you'll be taken right there. Hi there. I'll come back to Amplifying, a Personal Brand Entrepreneur show. My name's Gentle. And every week I'm joined by incredible people who share what makes their business work.

[00:01:02.160]
If you're new to the show, take a second, right? Not to subscribe. And if you're listening to a podcast, make sure to hit the new follow up on in the Top, right? Otherwise you will get notified when there's a new episode. So this week, I'm really excited to welcome Robin Weight from Failsbusiness Coaching. Robin, welcome to the show.

[00:01:18.560]
Hey, Bob, great to be here. Thank you for inviting me on.

[00:01:21.440]
So before I start rambling for the guest who doesn't know who you are, why don't you just tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do?

[00:01:30.700]
Yeah, of course. Thank you. So some. Well, I'm physically based in the Cotswolds in the southwest of the UK. If you think sort of chocolate box like cottages, that's exactly where I'm rolling countryside in terms of what I do. So I'm a husband's father. I've got two beautiful daughters through a seven and five, and then in my spare time, I'm a business coach. So we help other coaches, consultants and freelancers to essentially, all of all of our clients tend to be very bright people, amazing results for their clients, but they seem to be working all the hours under the sun and then scratch their heads at the end of the month wondering where all the money that I should be earning.

[00:02:08.170]
So we help our clients to slow down, create a little bit of space for themselves, and then confidently charge more for the product or service is that they're delivering to their clients. And we do that in a painless way as we possibly can. But sometimes it does require a bit of tough love as well.

[00:02:23.760]
I think the thing that intrigues me when I first came across your stuff was the fearless side of things, because I think a lot of people underestimate fear it's closely tied to this idea of a comfort zone that there's what's normal we'll only sort of take you so far and anybody that's achieved extraordinary things, and we all want that in our business has to do extraordinary things. And that requires us to move beyond what's normal because doing normal just gets you normal. But you don't start the business because you want normal.

[00:02:55.180]
So I'm curious when you branded around the sort of fearless business coaching side of things, what was your thought process there? Why fearless, as opposed to all the other things you could have chosen?

[00:03:08.100]
Yes. Such a great question. So. Well, first of all, I think a lot of people mistake the word fearless like you've alluded to for the word reckless. And actually it's kind of completely the opposite there. Being fearless is actually in business, especially as about fearing the things in business ever so slightly less that are going to stop you from achieving your goals. And I think that back in the days when we used to go and fetch water on the planes of Africa, there were real things to be afraid of, Lions and crocodiles and hippos and gigs like that.

[00:03:38.760]
But actually, the reality is in business, there isn't a lot to fear, but a lot of people kind of build up in their mind around simple things, like standing up and doing a 62nd pitch and networking meeting or maybe charging a bit more money for their products or services, and that absolutely petrifies them. And it immediately creates fight, flight and freeze. The reality is on business. You might lose a bit of face if you do something silly or daft, or you might lose a bit of money.

[00:04:05.460]
And the reality of both those is neither is actually that bad. But the true where I kind of really kind of then embed the identity of fearless is actually it's down to a couple of my sort of past time. So I'm keen surfer. I'm not particularly good, but I'm a very keen surfer. And I've served 15 foot waves in Morocco and nearly killed myself. That was kind of a bit of an accident, but it was a really sort of a life changing moment for me. I won't give you the boy with the full story.

[00:04:33.180]
I'm a keen cyclist. I've been down Hills at over 50 miles an hour on basically a push bike. So there is this element of bringing fearlessness into sort of personal life as well. And so when I spoke to my branding person is an amazing lady called Sanai. She's got a great book as well all about her branding process. She was like, you need to bring in some of that personal aspect of your life into your business brand because it's really powerful. And the word fearless. Actually, funny enough, I was doing a talk.

[00:05:04.760]
So originally I was Robin weight business coach, which was a bit dull. And I was doing a talk about four years ago, and somebody said to me, I think I said that statement, there's nothing to fear in business. They need to fear the things in business, ever a slightly less and literally somebody in the audience, she out. You're the fearless business coach. And I was like, oh, wow. Yeah, absolutely. It kind of really sums up, you know, what I'm about how I want my clients to sort of think about business and the way that they sort of project themselves out into the business world.

[00:05:34.590]
So there's quite a lot as you picked up there, there's a lot sort of wrapped up in that word fearless.

[00:05:40.380]
I think what you've done with it, and I don't want to sort of go too deep on this, but it does set a beacon at a very specific frequency that's going to attract a very specific kind of person. And really, that's the essence of branding. If you want to strongly attract anybody, you're going to have to send out signals that they can actually see. And the fearless business coach and everything that goes around it. For me, it does speak to an awful lot of the things that actually prevent people from moving forward.

[00:06:12.440]
You might be great at what you do, but I think you know what it is a lot of the time. I work exclusively with business owners, and I have done for 20 years. And it's always surprised me that some people, even though they're maybe not so smart, there may be not the most skilled for some reason, they managed to build incredible businesses. And yet other people who are far more highly skilled overtly more competent, they just seem to hit a wall. And it says, though there's a success barometer in their brain that every time they get to a certain level of success, and it looks like it's going to beyond it.

[00:06:50.340]
Something internally just pulls them back again, and it takes a force of will. Or you tell me, what does it take to move beyond the well.

[00:07:01.470]
There'S a couple of really obvious examples out there in the real world of exactly what you just described. So take what's his name? I forgot his name. Now. Jamie Cook, the chef.

[00:07:16.000]
Jamie Jamie Oliver.

[00:07:16.960]
Jamie Oliver. That's the one. Thank you, Bob. Jamie Oliver. Most chefs look at him now, and he's a rubbish chef. But what he's done from a personal branding perspective is he's incredibly good at inspiring people. He's got this energy that a lot of the chefs don't have. It's a very positive energy. He to create change. And he's just gone full force with his books with his restaurants, which, sadly, he suffered a couple of years ago and things like that. And he's built this amazing, like, personal brand where most chefs in the industry kind of looked down on him because, actually, he's not what they would consider to be one of the best chefs.

[00:07:50.890]
But what he has done is he's inspired millions of people to start cooking from home and be creative with the recipes, which they use. Another example of this. Joe Wicks really came to the forefront during the pandemic when he was doing his living room gym sessions for kids and things like that and all the pair in forcefully to jump around their front room and things. But again, you ask a personal trainer what they think of Joe Wicks, and they all scoff. They're all like, he's the worst personal trainer on this planet.

[00:08:20.800]
But again, look at what he's done from a branding perspective, from a marketing and sales perspective. He's absolutely nailed it. But it's because he brings this right sort of energy. He's not worried about other people judging him. He's got this mission, which he's on the same as Jamie Oliver, to inspire people to start doing more of something with Jamie Oliver. It's cooking and eating healthily with Joe Wicks. It's about being healthy and movement and exercise. I love that sort of thing. And I think we can play it safe and worry about what other people are going to think of us.

[00:08:59.280]
Or Consequently, the opposite side of that is a fearless with what we're doing. We have to stand by our purpose and our mission and push on with the irrespective of those sort of naysayers and the people who are kind of knocking us back the negative people. And I think when you can kind of cut through that, the truth is, Bob, like, I say something slightly controversial here. I think sometimes not. Sometimes I think there's a majority of people who start up a business thinking somehow it's going to be easy.

[00:09:28.980]
They do it for the wrong reasons. I just to make money, and they're not willing to push themselves outside their comfort zone. And Lo and behold, they don't make much success on progress or gain much success from it because they're not willing to kind of break the mould. And then the people you see were the most successful. I mean, look at somebody like Elon Musk. I mean, people think he's a bit nuts, but look at what he's achieved, all of the money and time it took for NASA to put Rockets into space, and he's done it in a third of the time, starting from scratch with barely any money or funds.

[00:10:07.820]
It's just absolutely incredible. And he's the sort of guy who's just like I did, there's a cost, obviously, if we fail, if he seen rocket ships up and then they crash, there's obviously a massive cost to that. But he's like, I'm going to do it anyway, and I think we need business owners need to think more like that. I'm just going to give it a go irrespective of how ridiculous everybody thinks my idea is.

[00:10:29.000]
I think what I really like listening to that is, yes, there are negative consequences. But the examples of Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks and I apologise to the US audience. If you don't know who they are, Google it. They're people who quite clearly are focused on the positive consequences, the negative consequences there there anyway. But the truth is if you do what other people haven't done, you'll get what other people haven't got a yeah, it comes down to vision at the end of the day. And I think really, that brings me to what you were talking about.

[00:10:59.450]
Lots of people start a business to get a job. But actually, you can do much more than that. If you bring in a little bit of vision and the vision that genuinely excites you inspires you, then you'll start doing the things that require a little bit of courage and achieving what other people have. It because most people won't cross that divide. And I think it's easier to cross the most people appreciate.

[00:11:22.080]
Yeah, 100%. We have a sort of almost a qualification process when we speak to business owners, and we're obviously their business. The business idea is important. Don't get me wrong, but actually it's the person behind the business, which it makes the difference. Are they willing to be challenged on their way of thinking? That's quite important. Are they willing to try out new ideas, but not just like, one of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they try and, like, perfect everything before they put it out into the world for fear of judgement.

[00:11:56.830]
So if they all got this thing out there, that's not finished, that's not perfect. They think that somehow, like they're not going to get any feedback, or if they do get feedback, it will be negative. And somehow it's going to fail. But now there's a great book called The Lean Startup by Eric Rees, where he talks about imagine if he spent twelve months like building the perfect product and then put it out into the ether, you know, one nobody knows about it. So you don't have an audience there to start off with.

[00:12:26.530]
But the second thing is my idea of a product, the perfect product, Bob, is probably quite different to your idea of the perfect product. And if I don't have that feedback from Bob in terms of, like, what he feels works in my product and what doesn't how can I improve it? So what Eric Reef talks about the Lean Startup is this process whereby, well, let's see if we can build 80% of the finished article within months one. Then we'll put it out into the world will ask for some early adopters to be to test it.

[00:12:56.160]
So now we're starting to build an audience and have those conversations they can then feed back to us what's working and what doesn't work and what features they want to see in the next iteration. And if we then iterate like month on month on month. The product by the end of month twelve is very different to the product that the business owner would have just built if it was based on their own ideology, their own ideas because you've iterated twelve times with all the feedback and now when we launched that final version, we've got a prebuilt audience of people who are now raving fans because we've listened to them.

[00:13:27.660]
And it's such a powerful concept. So I always encourage business owners to launch and fail and fail fast because you get the feedback you start those conversations off. People can see as well like what it is that you're trying to achieve, and then they can be bought into that mission and go on that journey with you.

[00:13:49.260]
I love that. I think what I would like to talk about next is pricing, because that's something I know you focus on quite often, and I think it is an issue a lot of people have. There's a lot of anxiety and fear and pricing because it the moment of truth when the price comes out. It's often when a lot of great whites fail in when a lot of proposals maybe don't do what they could have done for your business, because you probably underpriced. I'm curious to hear from you as somebody who spends a lot of time in this space, the pricing mistakes you see people making, and I guess what are some hacks or some strategies that they can use to try and mitigate those mistakes that they're making all the time?

[00:14:30.600]
Yes. So the most common mistake is actually charging what everybody else charges. So I always recommend people and starting up in business to go and have not just starting up, but go and review it regularly, but go and look and see what the competition are doing, especially from a pricing perspective. The mistake, however, is to assume that those businesses are doing is the correct way to price the business. So correct way to price their products or services. So the reason for this is like, you know, you can have a whole load of people who are charging a specific price.

[00:15:03.050]
But imagine you've got, I don't know, five people selling websites. And so Bob's looking at Dave, Dave looking at John, John's looking at Rachel, Rachel is looking at Susan and Susan's looking at Bob, which one of those five people is an expert in pricing? The reality is probably none of them. Are they've all just kind of winged it. So the other thing as well is that you know what Dave's charging? He may be operating his business at a loss because he wants to undercut the others in order to get business in.

[00:15:28.540]
So why would we copy a business model that is fundamentally flawed and losing money, it just wouldn't work eventually. We're going to fail as well. So a better way to look at it is actually when you do go and look at our competitors, look at the cheapest, look at all those in the middle. But also, you know, there's one business out there in your niche. Ho is the most expensive, and the likely it is that that one who is the most expensive has probably got more Google reviews.

[00:15:56.010]
Maybe they've been around for longer. Maybe they've collected more video testimonials, but the clue and we always here. We've got to look out for clues. I've got to be detectives in the business world to work out what works and what doesn't the clue is that the most expensive. And yet they're still getting clients. So that means there's an opportunity and you alluded to this. And something you said earlier on, if somebody else is already out there doing it, the likelier is that you probably could too.

[00:16:22.080]
But the reality is, like most people, when it comes to pricing, they may choose to be the cheapest to undercut people very quickly realise that that's not serving the because theyre not making enough money. And they also don't want to be perceived as the cheapest in the market because that's also not good positioning. But they also don't want to be seen as the most expensive because they believe. And this is down to belief and confidence and mindset. At this point. They believe that if they're the most expensive, nobody's going to buy from them.

[00:16:47.680]
But as we've said, there's somebody is out there who is the most expensive and they're getting clients. So the proof is in the pudding. So they kind of settle in the middle. And then again, they're scratching the heads each month going one, I own the money, which I'm worth. So that's the first most common pricing mistake, the second most common pricing mistake, which people make is around they actually charge. This is more so relevant to service based businesses. So graphic designers, web designers, consultants, freelancers those sorts of businesses.

[00:17:16.120]
So charging times for money, hourly rates and day rates now all sorts of different directions. I could go with this, but this is a topic I can talk about, like all day long. But here's a really clear example of how time for money is fundamentally flawed. Okay, now if you took I'm using web designers as an example, because I used to run a web design business for twelve years before I started coaching and people want to access to me to learn more about this productization process and pricing.

[00:17:44.030]
If you took two web designers and they're both charging £50 now because they don't know what Robin knows about pricing. But you've got one person, you know, on the one hand, who has just started and web design, maybe they're not particularly efficient working very quickly. They don't get great results because they don't know all of the tips and tricks and hacks in order to get your website optimised and all that good stuff. They're designs not fantastic, but they're charging 50 pound an hour. In a way, they are off they go.

[00:18:11.340]
They designed the website. Then, on the other hand, you've got this other person who's been in the industry for 20 years, builds websites because they're super fast, doesn't know what Robin knows about prices. They're still charging 50 pan out they get amazing results and their sites look brilliant. Well, all of a sudden, you've got this beginner. Let's say they got this beginner. Web design is charging 50 pound now, and it takes him 30 hours to build a website. So he's getting paid 1500 pounds for it.

[00:18:34.420]
And then on the flip side of that, you've got the pro, does it super fast and gets amazing results. But does it in 10 hours like he's getting paid a third of the price for doing a much better job? It just doesn't make sense. It's just baffling. And the way to overcome this, Bob is then this is about the value proposition. This is when we get into how do you actually go about articulating your value so we can elevate the position of this. This veteran web design has been at for 20 years.

[00:19:05.080]
One he's got to believe in his worth. He's got to be able to stand there constantly and say, Listen, I'm really good at what I do. The second thing is we can then start to introduce something like a guarantee. No, nothing. I'm going to caveat this. Nothing in life is guaranteed. But what we do offer is something called a perceived value guarantee. So this pro, this veteran has been doing it 20 years. If you can stand there and say, Listen, I build amazing websites, I'm pretty certain that if I build this website within the next 30 days, it will be generating 15 to 20 new leads a month for your business.

[00:19:39.640]
And that's going to add 20K to the top line, depending on whatever your products are worth. If we're not generating that number of leads within 30 days, I tell you what I'll do. I'll give you money back and I'll pay you a thousand pounds for wasting your time. So the value proposition is like, so it's really powerful when you start to hear that. Now, if we got into pricing and the process will actually, the price of my website is ten K. Right. So he's like, eight to ten times the price of the guy who's just starting out.

[00:20:08.140]
But he's got this really cast in solid guarantee and that confident in my ability to get your results, you know, 15 to 20 leads to a month, which is going to grow your business. And if I can't do that, I'll give your money back and pay you some extra money on top. Which one would you choose? You'd probably be okay. Well, this guy is charging a lot more, but he's got the guarantee on it. Versus this guy is like what built very many websites. That's his value proposition.

[00:20:31.960]
So that the second mistake is around charging time for money. And hopefully I've given you an example have how to kind of articulate the value better. And the third mistake. And this is a final one, Bob, and then not throw it back over to you is around discounting. So the mistake is discounting the core product that sits at the heart of your business. So most people they'll offer discounts. If you were to take their personal trainer, for example, you buy one session and it's £80. But if you buy a block of eight, they reduced their price down to £60 a session because there's somebody is buying a block of products really common.

[00:21:09.700]
And everybody knows the business that's done this. We probably bought from businesses that do this and I do believe in rewarding loyalty. And there's other ways to reward loyalty. However, if somebody comes for eight sessions versus just buying one session, the likely it is they're going to get a much better result or outcome. So why all of a sudden do they have to pay? Does the client pay less for getting a better result? Again, when you put it like that, it just doesn't make sense. So I never discount a core product.

[00:21:39.310]
And there's also mass behind this. So the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants here in the UK to the study on this for the average business. And this varies depending on what gross profit your business is sort of putting out for the average business, though, if you discount by just 10%, you have to sell 25% more of exactly the same thing in order to make the same net profit.

[00:22:01.700]
Okay.

[00:22:02.520]
And that's quite stark. Most people assume that if I do a rent discount, I've only got to make rent more sales. Alright to make the same money. But now it's the money falls down through your profit and loss account like the cost compound. So it actually had to get imagine all of a sudden having to put 20 more effort into your business just to make the same money again, it just doesn't make sense. So discounting like massively erode profitability. There's a big however, and the I'll finish in about 20 seconds.

[00:22:30.610]
So he, however, is you can put out things called attraction offers. So if you have like a one time thing widget which somebody can buy, which gets them through the door discount that some people you'll have heard it called a loss leader and attraction offer. There's all sorts of different names for these things. Lead magnets, for example, paid lead magnets, but give it away, give it away at a discount or whatever, but to get people through the door because then once you've built up the now like and trust and this person wants to work with you, then now they're paying for their core products, which is where the customer lifetime value is built.

[00:23:07.170]
So hopefully that makes sense. Or he's a bit of a diatribe of those three most common mistakes, Bob, but he that's going to be helpful to somebody who's just starting out or already in business.

[00:23:17.510]
Now I was super helpful. I think anybody should have got some value from that, I think was particularly interesting around the guarantee side of things is it sounds terrifying. I mean, can you imagine building a ten grand website and then saying, if it doesn't guarantee 15 leads a month, if I can deliver you 15, I'm going to give you your money back as somebody similar to you ran a web design business for nearly 20 years. That's a terrifying idea. But what it does mean is you have to pick your clients carefully.

[00:23:48.910]
You can pick clients that you know are going to lose. And then the other side of that is you offer a guarantee like that and your clients carefully word will get around that you back winners, and the word of mouth will start to spread. Your clients will do the marketing for you. And you will importantly start to attract the right clients. That's some very interesting psychology. There's not something you could necessarily do overnight, because if you are networking in the wrong places, if you are speaking to the wrong people, if you aren't being fearless in your own marketing, if you're not setting this beaker and attracting the right people, then that guarantee will kill you.

[00:24:30.310]
That's it. I call it having skin in the game. But essentially, when you build a product from a service so that productization process, there's kind of three things which you need to really heavily focus on three simple questions. The first one is, who do I love working with? The second one is, how do I get the best results with my products or services? And then Consequently to that, when you start to get into the mechanics of products, it's going to be around. So defining over what time period and for a fixed fee.

[00:25:03.860]
And if you can get those three things, sort of working in harmony. Like most people, when they think about, like, avatars or ideal clients or your niche, they think about marketing. They think about a market niche. But actually, this is all about understanding your super power. What is your product niche? You need to you need to define both of those and have, like, a vertical, a really specific idea of who is my ideal client, right? I'm only going to work with coaches and what is my product.

[00:25:31.820]
My product is teaching them on how to charge more. Okay. And and occasionally I know when I fall down myself, it's because I've deviated from that. I've maybe taken on a client who doesn't fit that ideal sort of client. Avatar who maybe doesn't want to be challenged, doesn't understand what mindset they need to start to shift into in order to kind of create that success. Or maybe maybe actually, rather than sticking with pricing, I start to talk about marketing or something like a different area. So the product niche in the market niche both need to work together.

[00:26:05.270]
I think that like you've alluded to the businesses which really suffer and struggle are the ones who are like all things to all men. So not any. They just serving all of the same. This is a matter. Bug bear. Bob, it always gets me when I ask people like, who's your ideal clients say SMEs small medium enterprises. Here in the UK, we have 6 million businesses registered. Okay. Bob, ask me how many of those are large businesses?

[00:26:31.920]
Very, very few, like 5% less than that.

[00:26:35.550]
30,000 of those are considered large businesses. Okay. So it's less than 5% of them. Right. So a large business in the UK is considered 250 or more employees. Okay. So, you know, there are a lot of businesses which fit in that ten to 250 employees businesses which I would consider to be sort of mid sized. But basically SME is not a niche. It's everybody. It's every business. And so you need to be always laugh and tell people the story, and then they let alright, get it now.

[00:27:00.580]
So then you have to start to really sort of nail it down. The other mistake people make as well, like, from a market niche perspective, is they'll focus very heavily on demographics and psychographics. Okay. So which are helpful to a point so that we'll have this idea of this remarkable entrepreneur called Bob, who I think you're in your forties, aren't you? Bob runs a podcast. So those are all psychographics and demographics. But actually, you know, what we want is something which makes Bob really stand out as an avatar.

[00:27:35.440]
So now we need a really specific nation. Typically, this tends to be something like industry. So it might be people like Bob who run a podcast in the entrepreneurship category on on itunes. So it's like Super Super, super specific, because then there's probably only, like, 50 or 100 other bobs out there that we can then start to have conversations with. So you need to kind of really dial it into that specific sort of industry sector that you want to work in or work within as well.

[00:28:10.300]
And again, that's about being fearless, because most people go all of a sudden I've like, there's 350,000 Bobs that I can't work with. I'm cutting out a massive chunk of the marketplace. Yeah. But the reality is like if I walk into a room and say, hey, room of 100 people and I stand up at the front and say, Listen, I'm looking to connect with somebody who runs a personal brand entrepreneur show as a podcast. Like, there's only one person that's going to stand up when I say that it feels like I'm talking to Bob, and that's the bit of branding and messaging that people just don't get and they have to get over themselves.

[00:28:50.700]
And actually, what's interesting is really this brings it full circle, because if you are somebody who is accustomed to building a business through local networking, that cutting out a large number of people and being that specific is going to be terrifying because you have a limited catchment area to work with, which is why sort of levelling up online playing a bigger game, building a personal brand, being super visible and really tried to reach into people's lives very differently will allow you to access those people in a way that other people just couldn't.

[00:29:26.770]
I think there are 7 billion people on the planet, but we're so used to thinking about our little local catchment area that we forget that these days nobody cares where you are, especially after this pandemic. People are so accustomed to working with people online, it's become normal that if you will sort of get over the anxieties in particular that you might have about showing up online because it's so alien, because it does ask you to be different. There's a whole world available to you, and it kind of brings me to where I wanted to go next, which is your books you've written.

[00:30:02.770]
Take your shot. You've also written online business start up, which I think is very relevant in this conversation, but never have an author on the show. I'm curious to ask him, because for a lot of people writing a book, it does look like a bridge too far, something that can't comprehend doing. So I have to ask you, was the process of producing those books, like for you?

[00:30:25.140]
Great question. I have a very unique process before I say that, though, like most people in business, they believe it or not, they've probably already written a book and they don't realise it. So we all encourage in 21st century sort of marketing to be writing blog articles, posting stuff up on to LinkedIn and all of different social media channels. We'll encourage to be producing videos for YouTube and again on Instagram and things like that. We'll encourage to either be on podcasts or host a podcast or and all of that is good quality content that could be essentially repurposed into a book.

[00:31:01.420]
So now coming to my process. So for online business startup, I actually I did a business programme myself, and there's a part of that several years ago. Now part of that was around publishing a book, and we were given a challenge to write 30,000 words in 30 days. And the way I looked at it was, well, that's 30,000 word, 30 days, a thousand were today. I had a little insight. I did a I just thought because I hate sitting in front of like a word Doc and just typing stuff up.

[00:31:31.520]
I love talking as you can probably gather, Bob. So I thought, oh, I'll just record my introduction into my phone and I discovered a little app called Rev. Com, which it's a human transcription service. There's machine transcription service like AI tools, which will transcribe stuff for you be there. I've only ever found them to be sort of 70 80% accurate, whereas Rev. Com it costs a little bit more, but it's actual human transcription, so it's near enough bang on the bat and word for word and very accurate even without the typo and things.

[00:32:03.240]
But ten minutes worth of audio is most people speak at about 100 to 120 words a minute. So ten minutes worth of audio once it's been transcribed and edited, is worth about a thousand words. So I was like, great. So if I have 30 chapters and there were three sections in the book. So I was doing ten chapters in each section and each chapter is going to be a thousand words, I picked the topic, have five bullet points. And then when I had an office in town on my driving to work, I just dictate the chapter and those five bullets, two minutes on each one on my drive into the office, which is only about ten or 15 minutes.

[00:32:41.590]
Set fire it off to Rev dot com. By lunch time. I'd have the transcription back, which I would then edit, and that would then go into the draught. And I did that repeat for 30 days. Pretty much so that's where online business startup came from. And it's actually the same methodology, same technique I used to for take your Shot orbit, Take Your Shot is a slightly different books. It's told us a story. So there was a lot more thought process which had to go into that and the actual rating part of it.

[00:33:07.810]
There was a bit clunky because there was lots of mistakes, pauses for me to think and various things like that. But yeah, it was. It was simply that 30 chapters, 30 sets of ten minutes each day, send it off to Rev. Com edited. And there's your first draught. Most people they like I said, I've got podcast, interviews, videos, blog articles, things like that they can could with a bit of thought, just pull all of that content just into a draught and actually probably got a book or two already written for most people.

[00:33:36.480]
The wheels are turning to the other question I need to ask is okay, books are written. What most people are hopefully thinking is what impact has that had on your business? What's the fruit of that been for you?

[00:33:49.580]
Yeah. So online business startup, that was my first book and that came out in 2014 or 2015. So that sold 15,000 copies. That was back in the days that when I was still running the web design business. So it is for a slightly different audience. But the best thing about that was it open doors, podcast hosts, speaking, opportunity, speaker, organised event organisers. They love people with books because they generally come with offerings for the gift back and things like that. And also it demonstrate. Is it any wonder that the word author appears in the word authority like a book does present you as an authority in your niche.

[00:34:29.940]
My first set of 30 YouTube videos as well were also pulled from that content. So again, that launched me into another space, another channel. So it kind of just amplifies the message which you're trying to put out. And so that was great from a personal branding perspective. And then again with Take Your Shot. I was slightly more strategic with that book because one of the bits feedback I got with online business startup, it's kind of more of a dry how to book, and it ended up being 55,000 words.

[00:34:55.910]
It's quite lengthy, and people were saying that it's great, but I had to kind of chunk it down and read it kind of piecemeal in the same way as I had to write it, chunk it down. So I want to take your shot. I was much more commercial. I wanted a book that was sub 100 pages that you could read in a couple of hours in one sitting that had five really strong salient like takeaways from it around goal setting, productization and pricing that people could put into their business like today and see the results.

[00:35:21.090]
You tomorrow. And I also did it as a story because I love a good story. I like getting involved in the characters in it. So I actually ended up being like a fable if you like a parable about one of my early coaching clients who was this golf pro called Russ. And I won't get all of the spoiler alerts, but basically takes you on his journey of transformation. He meets a coach, he gets given these five lessons, and then, Lo and behold, he starts to kind of his business transforms, his life transforms.

[00:35:47.500]
And the one piece of feedback I love about Take Your Shot is everybody tells me I could really empathise with the character like Russ. That's how I feel in my business. And you know that you've got a good hook when that happens. And for me, it's like I just want to spread the word. I give so many copies of that book away for free because I know how impactful it is. And I know that business owners need help. So yes, it's been great. It's one of the best things I've ever done is getting into writing books.

[00:36:16.320]
Yeah, it's something I think should be on a lot of people's radar because, like you said, I mean, we're in the this is the press to brand entrepreneur show. And a book really is the one thing that will seal your authority. And every book is helpful for someone. And I think what's more important than the pros and the writing style and the literary element is the information that you're transmitting. It might be a literary failure in terms of its not very well written. But if the information is great and it can change someone's life, then there is a place for it.

[00:36:50.210]
And I think this is the thing. Business books, they don't need to be incredibly well written. They need to contain incredibly good information. And if you're good at what you do and you've developed your own way of doing it, you have a framework and a framework in a book for the right person is golden and honestly, how many people do we need to impact with a book in order to have a fantastic business? The truth is not very many, certainly not 15,000.

[00:37:16.250]
And I tell you what, it's going to sound terribly cliched, Bob, but I'm going to say it anyway, but I always tell people I didn't write online business start up online business startup wrote me. It was a process that pulled out all of this information, the story that I wanted to sort of get out there into the world, but it made me do it in a very organised fashion. And then immediately it gave me the confidence because up to that point, I'd run this business for twelve years and the marketing business of twelve years, and it really kind of looked internally at my own levels of confidence and self belief and mindset and things like that.

[00:37:57.780]
But actually, I write in the book. It's like, oh, I can do it. I've got this. Yeah, brilliant. I can educate people and be a leader, a thought leader and things like that. So yeah, I always say to people the book wrote me, I didn't write it and unlocked Pandora's box now because I think I'm on in the process of writing 7th book now, believe it or not. But this one is going to be this is the book just on pricing. So it's everything I've learned over the last five years about money, mindset, pricing and things like that.

[00:38:25.130]
Very exciting. It's going to be the self named feel as business book, basically. So just again to help amplify the brand, which we've created around the coaching Practise. But yes, it's exciting. Actually, I've got a bit. I know we're running short of time here now, but I heard a story recently of a guy, a friend of mine, one of his buddies for years have been saying, I want to write a book. I want to write a book. And my mate kept on checking him with him.

[00:38:52.510]
If you started the book, have you written the book? And this guy is super bright? So, so, so bright. I had all these amazing ideas. Very sadly, he passed away last year because of cover and he hadn't written the book, and it obviously sad for obvious reasons because I passed away. But he's gone. And all the ideas have gone with him and that I kind of think there's an element of it in a way, I don't know. Selfish. Is it the wrong word is really harsh, but it's kind of like, I think if you have an idea burning inside you, we need to hear that it's selfish if you keep hold of that idea and don't share it with people in something like a book.

[00:39:28.640]
Yeah. It is a strange form of immortality.

[00:39:31.580]
Yeah. And that's my legacy. I was listening to something about, you know, some people talking about legacies on clubhouse this morning and I was thinking, yeah, you know what? I may not know we can leave a bit of wealth for our family and things like that. But actually, if you leave something like a book, it's going to stand the test of time. It's always going to have been written. It will always be there. And for a while it hopefully it will generate some royalties for my family as well.

[00:39:56.960]
You know, after I've gone, but people can look back at that and go or Daddy wrote a book. Granddad wrote a my great grandfather was an author and he wrote these amazing business books.

[00:40:05.100]
So I guess I'm quite happy to run a little longer because I want to speak about how clients actually engage with you, what your process is for, actually delivering your value to the world from a very practical perspective, business to business. So what does engaging with your business actually look like?

[00:40:24.160]
Yes. So I mean, I believe in making an impact and community, and sometimes that means doing stuff for free. I know I'm the pricing guy, but actually, sometimes not everybody, certainly in the start can afford. I think business knowledge is something that everybody should have access to. So we do with all of our clients. Everybody gets a free copy of Take Your Shot up Front, the paperback if they're based here in the UK and sometimes further afield around the world as well. O a free 30 minutes diagnostic core.

[00:40:56.010]
We actually just explore your existing offer for your business. We typically work with coaches, consultants and freelancers. So people in that time for money space service client businesses. But I will always have a chat with other business owners as well, because I want to help other people. And then, yeah, in terms of the programme. So we focus very heavily on that offer. Articulation like, what is it that you actually sell? How do you articulate the value of that offer? How do you attract clients in and make sure qualify, make sure they're a good fit for your business.

[00:41:25.950]
We go through that whole sort of productisation piece. We explore pricing and where your money mindset is at. And that's a really fun process because it can actually happen very quickly and there's little sort of four to six weeks. You can start to get the mindset shifts required to go through the gears pricing wise. And we had a client who came into the programme who literally got a return on their investment with us within five days because they joined. They got into one of our weekly group coaching calls, had a mindset shift around how they price their products.

[00:41:54.330]
And they had two pitches. Our weekly calls, one of our weekly calls on the Wednesday, they pitched a client client on the Thursday and another client on the Friday. Both ended up saying, yes, it doubled the price that they previously would have pitched it on the Monday, so they got a return on investment. Thus within five days, which is remarkable and that's kind of like abnormal in terms of like how long it takes. Typically, it's about three to six months worth of kind of just going through the gears, learning the foundational stuff with fearless business and then starting to apply with practical, like actually putting out to the world because we can make a lot of assumptions around pricing, especially.

[00:42:27.380]
Or if I put my prices up, nobody will pay for it. That's an assumption, and it's based on a core belief. We've got. The only way we have know for sure is if we go out and pitch ten people at a higher price point and get some data back. And typically that takes about four to six weeks, and then the final part of it is actually around sales. And this is probably where most people go. The sales trainer. No, we don't do sales training. What we do is we just do sales practise.

[00:42:49.270]
We do role plays on the weekly calls and a lot of fun. We normally have lots of laughter and giggles because of the way we handle those sales role plays. And there's a serious side to it as well, because I believe as well a lot of people give you this information as business coaches, and it's like a social hand grenade. They pull out the pin and throw you into with prospective clients. Whereas I'm like, no, no, let's practise the sales conversation in a really safe like environment on a group coaching call so that you can hear how I handle things like objections articulate the value of your offer back to you.

[00:43:24.310]
So I always become the client. They become one of their slightly tricky clients, and it's just a really good fun. And then the other thing as well. This is important. You don't need a coach for this. I encourage anybody, like in the world we live in today. Most of us are doing business via Zoom. There's an option in Zoom to auto record all of your calls. I would encourage you to record all of your sales calls and periodically listen back to one or two of them.

[00:43:47.520]
Because one of the things I've noticed business ones when they're really in the having that pointy conversation with somebody, their field of view, the focus narrows and they miss clues around asking the right sorts of qualification questions. If somebody raises a rejection early about price, did they pick up on it, even on body language and stuff like that when you're in the zone, don't spot those things if you're not trained to do it. So what? I always encourage people to do record your sales conversations and then watch them back or listen back to them afterwards because again, I inspect to clue you be like, oh, gosh, I can't believe I said that or I didn't pick up on that.

[00:44:26.690]
Isn't it interesting when I told them this, their body language shifted all the stuff, which the moment you normally just miss it's a lot of fun. I like to think it's quite different to a lot of the coaching programmes out there.

[00:44:38.340]
It certainly sounds like certainly I'm intrigued. Robin, if anybody wants to connect with you, which is your favourite social media platform and how would you prefer people to contact you?

[00:44:49.120]
Yeah, the best bet is to jump on to probably Instagram and my tag for that as Robin M for Mark Wait and also like, do you go and grab a copy of Take Your Shot as well. So if you go to the Feelers website rates for Take your Shot or hit the Resources tab, you can go and grab a free copy of the book as well and start your Feelers business journey.

[00:45:11.160]
I'll put a link to that in the show notes and Robin need to end with the question every guest has to answer and that's what's one thing you do now that you should start at five years ago.

[00:45:23.460]
That's such a good question. So for me. So it's a poignant story to this, but I'll keep it brief. In 2016, I had a bit of a breakdown in running the agency. It was busy, it was frenetic had a team of four people who were slightly dysfunctional. Anyway, I ended up giving up the business. I did sell it for a modest sum and it was enough for me to start the coaching practise off, but with it now, looking back and what I know now about business, what I've learnt about business and business coaching over the last five years, I actually wished that I hung on to that business.

[00:45:59.460]
And so my point here is about at the time I thought I was a business doer and I couldn't see a way out of the business and I was out of the business. But like completely exited at whereas actually now with a business owner hat on and the investor and wealth build a sort of mindset which I've learnt over the last few years. I have actually kept that business, put somebody else in it to run it. And I think it would have been a blinding success.

[00:46:24.910]
But hey, that's the benefit of hindsight. And I share that story just as a word of caution. If anybody is thinking about like giving up their business, there is always a way. It's just that right now you're probably too ingrained in the business. You need to find a way to kind of pull yourself out of that and work on the business. Not in it.

[00:46:40.260]
That's a great answer. Robin. We thank you so much for your time. You've been a great guest. There's been a lot of fun.

[00:46:45.020]
That's my pleasure. Bob. Really appreciate you inviting me on. Thank you.

[00:46:51.380]
Just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit Amplify Me FM Forward Slash Insiders also connect with me wherever you hang out, you'll find me on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop Gentle. Thanks to you for listening and I'll see you next week.


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Episode Overview

If your personal brand is all kind of left to chance then you’ll enjoy this week's guest. Today I’m speaking with author Alex Brueckmann about how to be much more strategic in your personal branding.

Alex's website : https://www.brueckmann.ca/

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

Welcome to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show today. On the show, Bob is speaking with Alex Brueckmann.

No became my before dancers to many things about two years ago when I started many business because I had learned that saying yes to everything just because it there is killing yourself and everyone around you.

Hile and welcome back to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneur Podcast. I'm Bob Gentle. And every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new, then take a second to subscribe through your player up. And while you're listening, join our Facebook community. Just visit Amplify Me FM Insiders and you'll be taken right. Hi there and welcome to Amplify The Personal Brand Entrepreneurial. My name is Pop Gentle and every week and joy by incredible people who share what makes their business work.

If you're new to the show, take a second now to subscribe in whatever player as you use. But if you're listening on Apple podcast, make sure and cheque the new follow option in the top right hand corner in your player app. For some reason, Apple has kicked all subscribers and want them to do it again. So make sure you do that that way you'll get new episodes before I jump into introducing this week's guest. I have a new thing. I've mentioned this a few times before, but after nearly 200 of these interviews, I've learned a thing or two and it turns out success leaves a trail and I want to offer you the map.

So head over to Amplify Me Agency. Forward a road map. I grab a copy of my brand new Personal brand business Blueprint. Everything you need to start, scale or just fix your expert business yours for free as a gift from me. So let's get into it this week. I am thrilled to welcome Alex Brookman the show. Alex, why don't you start by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are on the kind of work you do?

Thanks for having me on your great show, Bob. Let me introduce myself. I live in Canada. Originally. I'm from Germany, so love broke me over to beautiful British Columbia, where I live with my spouse and our 18 month old son in beautiful Maple Ridge, 30 kilometres outside of Vancouver. And yeah, what I do. I've been in the strategy realm for kind of 15 years now. I've worked with global brands and companies consulting with them on their business strategy. I'm also an entrepreneur, so I built and scale businesses in Germany and now here in Canada.

And I'm all about helping other entrepreneurs building strong companies that are rooted in a unique purpose with a bullet proof strategy so that they combine working on profit and on purpose. If that makes sense.

That makes perfect sense. And what I would like to talk to you about today. It's something I think everybody is going to identify with you and I'm going to engage in a little bit of fantasy because what I want to talk about is building a time machine. Now I'll qualify this. We all go into business because we have a vision because we have a dream and it's so quickly lost, we get into a hamster wheel and then the vision is gone. Vision is a bit of a luxury when you go to have your face against this grindstone.

And I think one of the beauties of strategy is it really sits in the interface between a dream and reality. If you don't have a strategy, I think the way I often describe it to clients is you need a dream and so many people forget about the dream. You need the dream, then you need the strategy, then you need some projects and then you need some tasks and then you need to go to work and so many people the other start just with the tasks they become.

Would you call it become a Workman essentially, or they get stuck in the vision and they never actually execute on anything. So let's talk about what does it take to make dreams come true? How can we build a time machine?

Alex, I very much like how you frame it. A vision is a dream and it is a very concrete dream is if you translate this into an entrepreneur world, a vision should be something that you wrote down, something that you are very clear about. What is it that you want to achieve with your business in the next day? Maybe 15 months, maybe three years, maybe even five. The time frame doesn't really matter. It's totally linked to your personal reality. But you should write down this stream in a concrete way, and when we specified, it should include the state of your business some years down the road.

When it comes to what do clients say about you? What are the services and products you sell? What do your employees say about the company? What is the geographical footprint of your business? All these things can be written down, and of course, especially valuable is everything around the client. What is the unique value that you deliver? How do you sustain this unique value, etc. Etc. So this dream is your first step and where many entrepreneurs fail and you put it so nicely with this grindstone is to pursue this dream in a structured way so that it actually works and that they make their dream come true.

And this is where strategy comes into play. If you take a look around, you will realise that the term strategy is being used all over the place in so different meanings that it's often just a bus word. And let's translate this bus word into our conversation here. When we talk about strategy, what we really mean is a plan to execute on your dream right to reach your dreams. And this is nothing but a plan, just like jumping into your car, typing into the GPS system, a destination where I've never been before.

That's your dream. And then you start driving towards this destination. And along the way, things happen, right. First of all, you need to decide. Do you take the highway? Do you take smaller roads? Do you want to have ferries to cross Rivers or not? All these things? So that's two decisions in the beginning, before you actually start driving. But on the way, things can happen in your strategy helps to navigate those unknown territories and bring you eventually to your dream, to your final destination.

The difference between strategy and tactics.

Absolutely. Tactics are at least two steps further down. So if we talk about a hierarchy here, you start with your vision, you design your strategy, which is basically your handful of priorities that you focus on in order to reach the vision. And in those priorities, you probably find smaller projects, smaller topics, and those smaller projects you break down into tasks. And that's what you actually do. That's how you break down strategy and move it into action. You cannot execute on a strategy. And what you can do is you can put it into action by breaking it down into tasks, milestones and work toward those milestones.

That's what you do. That's how you translate strategy into operations and into action.

Something that I find quite often is a bit of a deviation, because what I want to talk about is strategy. And I know that you have some particular processes and frameworks around that which I want to get into. And maybe this does come into it. But something that I find happens very often because I work with all kinds of business owners, much like YouTube, but in a different area is they have a vision. There is a strategy, but they get bogged down in the busy work, so they're executing on things that are important.

I'm going to use the example of a consultancy in the average consultancy. You have clients, client work needs to get done and you need to work with the clients, work on the clients stuff. The problem is it can become all consuming, and there are the things that you work on in your business to help you stay still. The client work, they don't really move your business forward. They just feed the beast, like totally. And then there's the work that will move you forward. But for some reason, people never find or make the time for how do you reconcile that with your clients?

I guess that's probably a good place to go.

I think the main reason why this happens is it's twofold. First of all, busy work can feel very fulfilling. At the end of the day, you feel like you've accomplished a lot. You've crossed a lot of items off your to do list, and that makes you feel good. And also the busy work. It's typically the operational work that was there in the beginning. That's maybe the reason why you started your business in the first place, right? Because you were passionate about this particular type of client work that you do.

But as you grow and build a business, there is more to it than just the operation. There is this strategic element to it, and this is your task. As a company owner. No one else will do this for you. So you need to say goodbye to a certain degree to what you loved in the first place. Why you start the business in the first place and need to understand and embrace your additional roles that you need to play as a company on and as an entrepreneur life is full of sweet and shiny objects.

Right? Entrepreneurs constantly spot new business opportunities and see the potential for improvements here and there and want to pursue as many ideas as possible. And again, they might be it in the busy space. They might be rooted in those topics that you laughed and why you found you found your business in the first place. Imagine your default idea or your default answer to any idea or opportunity or offering that comes your way would be yes. As an entrepreneur, how long would it take before you overburden yourself completely and those around you, by the way?

So if you say yes to every opportunity or every idea that comes away, you will always be busy. You will always so busy that you don't find the time to take a step back and look at your business from a perspective that allows you to spot those tasks you should focus on as an entrepreneur versus those that other people around you should focus on. But when we talk about strategy, it is a lot about saying no instead of saying yes. Strategy is about saying no to hack a lot of potential great ideas and promising opportunities.

And this is so difficult because we love great ideas.

And I think really this touches on another area of your work, which is leadership. It's self leadership, taking responsibility. But it's also about giving other people permission to say no. And this is really important. I think when you grow a team, they need to be given permission to say no, I guess absolutely. In order to be effective. And they need to see you saying no in order to do that.

No became my default dancer to many things about two years ago, when I started my new business because I learned I had learned that saying yes to everything just because it's there is killing yourself and everyone around you. This is where company owners, which typically entrepreneurs, we typically have a lot of energy, but there are also people working for us that as kind of a nine to five job. And I don't mean this in any negative way, but they have chosen a different path for them. Their job is to provide the money that they need in order to pay the bills and also to have a good time.

But it's not that they work 15, 16 hours a day as we entrepreneurs sometimes do, because it fires us up and we love it. So if you give permission to your team to say no, they feel free to say yes to the things that matter, and not just yet by default. If you do that consistently and help your people understand the characteristics of something they can say no to and something that they can say that they can say yes to. What you actually do is you help them focus on prioritise, and as a result, the work that is getting done is of much higher quality because they focus on their time on those tasks and topics that truly matter.

I've worked in a company where success became our enemy. We were so successful that we constantly hired new people because the work was just overburdening for everyone. And it was really hard for us to say no to the shiny objects around the corner, meaning those RFQs and RF piece that were coming our way and new clients and new leads that wanted to understand how we work and potentially hire us for their strategy or leadership development projects. I saw personally what it did to me. I saw what it did to the people around me, and that is the reason why I say, as an entrepreneur, you should say no by default and be very, very intentional about the things you say yes to.

Yeah. I think that's the key is being intentional about what you say yes to an understanding that what you say yes to doesn't have to be the same as what everybody else says yes to that motivates, you should really come into this as well. Let's say I've been building my business through luck and just being a nice guy and being kind of good at what I do. I've now decided, okay, I want to move away from just winging it because it kind of worked so far. I want to be strategic.

How do we bridge that gap? I know that's an area you work on. So you're my God.

Well, let me put it that way. Being strategic is a skill like every other skill. You can learn this skill. So one of the most powerful habits that I've seen in business is to constantly grow your strategic acumen, your ability to think and act strategically. Now, what does that actually mean? Typically, everyday business is not a strategy, but operation, as you said it. If I want to stop winging it and be intentional about the growth of my company, I need to understand strategy. So instead of just being in the weed, day in and day out, producing and delivering goods and services, deal with satisfied or maybe also not so satisfied customers, improving your operations and so on.

There are different skills and tasks needed for strategy work than for the operation. First of all, you need to understand what strategy is, how it works. There are tools, thought processes, certain questions that you need to answer, and those are very, very different tools and skills and questions than you would typically use your day to day when I work with my clients and help them answer those questions very often they are like, this is a really interesting question. I wonder why I never asked myself this question and they struggle answering it because it's like a muscle that you need to train first.

So when you train your operations muscle day in, day out and you never train your strategic thinking muscle, guess what the moment you use it the first time you will be very sore the next day. It's like that. It's just like that. It's a muscle that needs training. The good thing is that muscle build very quickly. If you once get into strategic thinking, asking questions about your business from a strategic perspective and a more mid and long term perspective rather than just a short term perspective, those questions will never leave your head again.

Once you're in there, you can ask those questions on a constant basis, for example, especially larger corporations that I work with. They revised their strategy at least once a year and ask some critical questions like is this still ballot? Are the assumptions that our strategy is based on? Are the still valid what has changed in our business, in our organisation and in the economy around us that triggers some adjustments here and there or should trigger them. So you don't need a full blown MBA or a strategy course that takes you two years to accomplish.

Instead, you should just start with a hands on intentional strategy course that helps you understand which pieces of this beast of strategy are important for you, your reality where you are right now so that you can use those tools, those questions on your terms, to refine your business and to build this strategic acumen step by step.

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Now all you have to do is figure out how you want to spend those spare 5 hours. I think what's really interesting there is I can see it in a large Corporation perspective, but I can also see it in the very small business perspective that in many respects it's going to be harder for the small business owner to be strategic because it requires an elevated perspective. It requires you to step out of the everyday, and that requires a certain momentum because people are naturally inclined to step away from the business and make time for something that isn't necessarily revenue generating.

And your analogy of the muscle that really was something that painted a really nice picture for me, because if you want to get healthy, if you want to get fit in, is really what we're talking about. Becoming healthy and strong requires to be strategically led in exactly the same way as a business. Being healthy, it requires discipline, but it also needs routine because these things don't happen unless you're intentional about them. But actually much like fitness. If you do establish a modest amount of discipline. If you do establish basic routine that you do something short, even for once a week, you very quickly see the benefits.

It's like a very interesting perspective.

It's like habits in your life, right? There are healthy habits in your life, like Practising, playing a musical instrument or physically exercising. If you have this as a habit, it's healthy. There are harmful habits, like over consumption of social media, for example, or bench watching your favourite streaming side all day, not getting enough sleep. Those are harmful habits. And then they are really dangerous habits like drinking too much smoking, doing drugs, eating junk food all the time. They do something with you. And the same is true for your business.

If you're an entrepreneur, you need to understand which habits, our healthy habits for your business and which ones are harmful and maybe even dangerous habits. The most dangerous habit in business is to neglect the need for mid and longer term planning and strategic thinking. If you only focus on the here and now on the fast gratification, on feeding the the instant gratification monkey and on boasting your ego and God knows what I mean. There have been large corporations that went out of business because of that brands that dropped into oblivion like Nokia, companies that disappeared, like Lehman Brothers, for example, if you cheque your health or the health of your organisation regularly and you established this healthy habit of stepping away from your operations for a few hours every other month, maybe and taking a look like just like, imagine you drive on that road that we discussed earlier, right?

You're in your car. And from time to time you just stop the car, you jump into a helicopter, you fly up a couple of hundred metres and you take a look at the bigger picture. You will then see, am I still roughly on the right way? Am I driving in the right direction? I have. I lost it completely.

And you know what's interesting with what you're describing there is we're used to seeing what we see. We kind of understand it at the moment. You have to try and explain it to somebody else. That's when you start thinking about it, a new yet. And I think that's why having somebody like you or me available to help you talk about these things will allow you to see what you possibly didn't see before. And that's really, really important.

I totally agree.

So questions are important, and I think you've been doing this. You really focus on the strategy space a lot. And I'm curious to know this is putting you on the spot a little bit. And I apologise to take away the question if this doesn't work. So what are some foundation questions that you always pull out of your pocket that, you know this is going to help them think about things in ways they possibly hadn't before.

So this is going to be a mini math class. Some of the first questions that I take my clients through are actually not strategic questions. They have questions to help them understand the heat now because this is what they know and it eases them into the strategy think the strategic thinking. So some of the first questions I would ask them are around the strength of their organisation today, and they would come up with a hell lot of a long list of strength. And then I would challenge them to take away those that are not unique at every other organisation can also claim they have a strength.

So you boil it down to maybe two, if you're lucky, three unique strengths that only you as an organisation, as an entrepreneur possess. We use those strengths later to build a strategy around those strengths. That's the first step, understanding your strength. And then I help them understand the changes that their environment will see in the coming years and the changes that they expect to happen also internally, their organisation. So beat if they expect to grow, it means probably onboarding more people, establishing more solid processes. You name it, right.

So we understand the ecosystem first. And once we've done that, we boil it down to. What does that mean for me now, as an entrepreneur, as a leader in a company, as a small business owner, whatever you are, you need to first understand the ecosystem and then the trends that you feel or the development that you feel in the next two to three years will come your way. And based on that, the playing field kind of that we mapped out. We then start to talk about vision.

We write down very, very concretely what your business will look like. And this is this can get very creative and sometimes out of the box, which is totally fine. And it needs to be a stretch. If your vision is not a stretch, you should think again, your vision should be a dream coming true, something that motivates you day in and day out to work toward and something that will also motivate the people around you that work with you on achieving this vision. As I said, this can be a bit crazy because in the next step, you would then actually break this crazy dream down into Measurable Increments.

So you will understand how you can work towards the key elements in your vision. Now let's make this concrete. If you say, let's say you're a company or a small company and entrepreneur a few hundred thousand pounds, euros, dollars, whatever turn over a year. And you want to double this in the next two to three years. There are things that need to happen to achieve this. You cannot just wait two to three years and be like, okay, we said two years ago that we want to double our revenue.

Did we actually achieve that? That's not strategic. That's just no, it doesn't work like that. You need to establish a plan and a way in order to grow your revenue over time. And no matter how crazy your ideas are, did you write down in your vision? You will make them manageable by making them measurable. And you can measure the most crazy idea if you dare to. So it's possible to put nearly behind. Every idea is possible to put a KPI key performance indicator that helps you measure whether you're successful or not and whether you're moving towards this grant goal or not.

And once you've done those steps, writing down your vision, understanding how to measure that you're getting there, then we actually talk about, OK, what is our strategy to reaching this now to move those key performance indicators into the right direction. And this is where it becomes very, very difficult for many companies and entrepreneurs alike. Because now we're back at this point that we already discussed, we need to prioritise brutally saying no to things. We need to say yes to those things and we to identify them first, those things, those priorities that drive us towards this vision.

And those are what I call strategic projects. Or you can call them strategic work streams or pills, whatever you want to call them. Those are the handful of priorities that you will focus on day in and day out. And within those priorities, you will identify smaller projects, larger projects that need to happen. So let's take an example. Based on what we said, we want to double our revenue. So most likely one of your key work streams here, our strategic pillars will be something along the lines of lead generation or sales or marketing those buckets you would typically find in one of those work streams because they influence each other so heavily.

You want to put them into a strategic workstream, and then you go into those buckets and something might be along the lines of you need to increase your reach, meaning people need to know that you exist as the company that they know about your services. So how can you do that? The same is true for sales. Are our sales process is strong enough. How do we qualify leads. How do we find new clients? So you break your business into manageable and measurable increments. And you understand how they link, how they how they depend on each other, how they support each other, and then you improve them step by step, one by one and everything else that is not in those buckets.

It's not being taken care of. This is really your your gold standard for prioritisation and for filling your day to day with those tasks that are the most important ones because, you know they will bring you to your vision. This is how you design your strategy in the first place. So you know, by focusing on those priorities, there is no better way than this to reaching the vision. That's why you do it that way. Does that make sense?

It makes perfect sense. And you really very quickly start to understand the importance of rejecting those things that aren't moving you towards these goals that you're really clearly identified. And that's really the key here is being intentional about what you're doing and where you're going and not leaving it the chance. I think what you described there right there. That's how you build a time machine. That's how you accomplish great things. And I think you certainly reinvigorated my own enthusiasm for strategy. And most great, saying no, saying no, no, no is probably the most important thing that you couldn't have.

So I'm going to have to go on. It's very, very simple.

All times an entrepreneur, you only have the same amount of time as everyone else. And if you spend your time on things that don't matter, you will not be able to build a great business, to find fulfilment in your life, to find more freedom in your life, to live a more fulfilled life and work. One thing is for sure. In our days, today money is abundant. If you want money, you will find it. There's enough money out there. The markets are flooded with money. So if you need money to invest, you will find it.

If you spend a dollar kind of unintentionally, you find another one. But if you spend a minute or an hour a day, a week, a month unintentionally, this time will never come back. Therefore, intent being intentional about what you do about your strategy, about your priorities is absolute key.

I think that is a fantastic way to bring things to an end. I could ask more questions, but if people really want to achieve their dreams, I think what you just summed up is probably where I would want people to focus. So I'm going to park things right there. This is an episode. I think I want a lot of people to listen to twice, so let's not pack too much into it. And I think I would like to have you back again. I look at some point with all this conversation because I know you have a book coming out at some point soon, and we probably want to talk about that some time.

But if people want to move forward with you, if they want to connect with you, how would you like them to do that?

There is tonnes of free resources on my website. Go to Alex. The Strategist dot com cheque out free intentional strategy to get there are checklist for your organisational health on there. There is tonnes of free articles there Ven even if you don't want to work with me which is totally fine. Go cheque out those resources. They will help you get your head around the topic of strategy. They are very down to Earth. They will help you immediately to see and dissect the issues in your organisation right now.

Whether you're an entrepreneur or a small business owner or whether you're a leader in a larger organisation, they will help you to make the business and your life better.

I didn't know you had that domain. Not awesome. It's so cool. Alex, I need to ask you one question that I forgot to ask my guest last week and that's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started.

Five years ago, I spent way more time with my family than I did five years ago. I have an 18 month old son and seeing him grow up, it's really hard to say, but the pandemic was kind of a blessing in disguise because I was travelling like 60 70% of this has completely shifted when my son was born. The pandemic hit. It forced me to stay home and I see him grow up. So I would never do this differently again if I had known the pleasures of how great it is to be around family all the time and to see, to build a happier marriage, to build better relationships, how fulfilling this can be.

I would have started to focus on that many years ago.

I Echo that entirely. I have had a very, very brief. I think I've worked in a traditional job for about four years as an adult where I had to go out, away from home to work. I would never do it any other way than to work from home. It's just the best. I was very grateful to be able to see my kids grow up other. They're both adults now, I think. Yeah, it's the best.

Totally.

I would wish that for anybody. Alex Brookman, you have been an awesome guest. I've really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Thank you. But it's been an honour to be guests on a great show.

Before I go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show notes or visit amplifying me to FM Forward Slash Insiders also connect with me wherever you hang out. You'll find on all the social platforms at Pop Gentle. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on Apple Podcast it would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list. My name is Pop gentle thanks to you for listening.

And I'll see you next week.



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